Legal Aid rates for translation

The Guidance on Remuneration of Expert Witnesses (6.20 -6.22) confirms that a rate of £100 per 1,000 words is considered reasonable for translation as this is the rate that prior authority would not be required in a certificated matter.

For translation, we will require either the rate per word and number of words translated or the hourly rate and time taken. We will generally consider the hourly rate for interpretation to be a comparable rate to that used for translation.

(Civil Finance Electronic Handbook, Legal Aid Agency)

Legal Aid rates for interpreters

  1. Interpreting, telephone interpreting – Criminal: £32 per hour for interpreters based out of London, interpreters based within a London borough – £29 per hour (the rates were increased in 2022), Civil: £28 per hour for interpreters based out of London, interpreters based within a London borough – £25 per hour (the rates were changed in December 2013).
  2. Travel timeCivil: 2/3 of the hourly rate for interpreting, Criminal: 1/2 of the hourly rate for interpreting.
  3. Mileage – 45 pence per mile.

Legal aid rates for interpreters explained

Civil law

Interpreting: – Annex 1 (Expert rates on Civil cases started on/after 2nd December 2013) of The Civil Legal Aid (Remuneration) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 sets out the hourly rate at £25 for interpreters based in London and £28 per hour for interpreters based outside London. This is further confirmed in Version 7 of the Guidance on the Remuneration of Expert Witnesses in Family Cases (September 2022).

Travel time – According to Guidance on the Remuneration of Expert Witnesses in Family Cases the remuneration rates for travel time for experts are capped at £40 per hour and the travel rate cannot be more than 2/3 of the hourly rate of the expert.

Mileage – According to Civil Finance Electronic Handbook Version 3.3, the rate of 45p is the maximum rate for mileage.

Criminal law

Interpreting – According to Schedule 5, Regulation 16 Criminal Legal Aid (Remuneration) Regulations (amended 2022) the hourly rate for interpreters is £29 (for interpreters based in London) and £32 (for interpreters based outside London).

Travel time – Schedule 5, Regulation 16 Criminal Legal Aid (Remuneration) Regulations (amended 2022) confirms that the maximum amount that may be paid as a disbursement in respect of an expert’s travel time is £40 per hour. The Guidance on the Remuneration of Expert Witnesses in Family Cases further clarifies that the travel rate cannot be more than 2/3 of the hourly rate of the expert. However, according to our experience, the travel time rate the criminal legal aid usually accepts is ½ of the rate for interpreting.

Mileage – According to the Guidance on the Remuneration of Expert Witnesses (Version 3, September 2014) the mileage rates for experts are capped in line with the guidance for solicitor travel, currently 45p per mile.

Legal Aid rates for experts

Legal Aid rates for experts were first introduced by the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) in the Civil Legal Aid (Remuneration) Regulations 2013 and the Criminal Legal Aid (Remuneration) Regulations 2013. Since then, the Guidance on the Remuneration of Expert Witnesses has been updated a few more times and the latest version, Version 7, was published in September 2022.


The Legal Aid Agency is an executive body of the Ministry of Justice in the United Kingdom which provides both civil and criminal legal aid and advice in England and Wales.

Legal Aid rates apply in a case where a provision of assistance called Legal Aid, has been granted by the Legal Aid Agency to a person who would otherwise not be able to afford legal representation and access to justice.

In such cases, the Legal Aid Agency will not pay fees or rates in excess of those listed in the Remuneration Regulations unless, in exceptional circumstances, they had granted prior authorisation to exceed those fees or rates.

Where a client is eligible for legal aid and requires an interpreter then their solicitor will secure an interpreter on their behalf. The interpreter will be available at the court to translate what the solicitor and client say to each other. This will usually involve discussions outside of the courtroom. It may be appropriate for the legally aided interpreter to be in court during the hearing, e.g. a solicitor wants to give instructions to their client in court or to discuss issues that have been raised in court at any point during the hearing.

(Guidance on the Remuneration of Expert Witnesses – 4.1)

Because most experts prefer to agree their fees in advance, without prior authority there is a risk that less than the agreed fee will be allowed by the LAA on assessment. The solicitor can eliminate this risk by applying in advance for prior authority to instruct the expert.

However, it may be in their interest to request prior authorisation whenever costs are either unusual in nature or unusually large.

Exceptional circumstances are defined in the Remuneration Regulations and are where the expert’s evidence is key to the client’s case and either the complexity of the material is such that an expert with a high level of seniority is required, or the material is of such a specialised and unusual nature that only very few experts are available to provide the necessary evidence.

The Legal Aid Agency (LAA) cannot pay fees or rates in excess of those listed in the Remuneration Regulations unless we have granted prior authority to exceed the fees or rates. This will be in exceptional circumstances.

Where an interpreter is claiming a minimum charge we would expect these to be justified on submission of either the claim or the prior authority/CW3 application. In order for us to make an assessment as to whether these costs were reasonable, the provider would need to demonstrate that there was a scarcity of resource and therefore it was necessary to instruct an interpreter who claimed for that minimum charge.
This can be done by providing written evidence from at least three local service providers that they charge a 1hr minimum fee. Any justification or evidence provided must be dated within 12 months of the instruction of the interpreter. It is not sufficient for the provider to state that this is a standard charge that is claimed on all cases. Where no justification has been provided we will assess to the actual time taken.

(Civil Finance Electronic Handbook – Page 66)

Cancellation fee – Legal Aid cases

According to the Civil Finance Electronic Handbook, no cancellation fee will be payable if the expert is cancelled more than 72 hours before a hearing. For a case where a hearing scheduled for a number of days might be cancelled, the 72 hours’ notice would extend into the number of days of that cancelled hearing. It might be right to reimburse for the first or second day but the notice would allow the expert rescheduling subsequent days and further cancellation fees would not be appropriate.

London / Non-London experts

The Remuneration Regulations set out that there are different rates for certain types of experts working inside and outside of London. The location of the expert is the determining factor as to whether London or non-London rates or fees apply.

London rates will apply where the expert is based within a London Borough and where applicable the location of the expert’s registered office will be used to determine which rate will apply. Where an expert works from or has a number of different office locations, the office closest to the provider will determine which rates apply.

More information:

19 responses to “Legal Aid Rates 2024 (The Ultimate Guide for Translators and Interpreters)”

  1. Rekha Narula avatar

    This is an excellent tool which my fellow interpreters and I will find extremely useful. It’s especially good for those who are unsure of how to write a quote or even what fee/rates to charge. The LA rates are a good starting point.

  2. Admin avatar

    Thank you Rekha, please share it with your fellow interpreters. You are right, many interpreters don’t know what rates to charge and that can often lead to unnecessary complications.

  3. Rania avatar

    What are the rates for video remote interpreting sessions?

  4. Linguist Directory avatar

    Hello Rania, the rates for video interpreting are the same as for face-to-face or telephone interpreting.

  5. Marta avatar

    Hi, what are the rates for transcription please?

  6. Linguist Directory avatar

    Hello Marta,

    According to the Guidance on the Remuneration of Expert Witnesses, there are no codified rates for transcription fees and therefore any assessment will be based on:

    1) Whether it was reasonable to incur the costs, based on the specific
    circumstances of each case and;
    2) If the costs are reasonable and proportionate. The costs charged by the court
    transcribers would be considered reasonable.

  7. Lauren Shadi avatar
    Lauren Shadi

    Do legal aid solicitors pay the above mentioned rates to agencies as well as individuals?

  8. Linguist Directory avatar

    Hello Lauren,

    The Guidance on the Remuneration of Expert Witnesses sets out the rates for all providers of language services and, as far as we know, there is no separate set of rules for agencies.

  9. Lauren Shadi avatar
    Lauren Shadi

    Thank you for replying.

  10. Sathyarthi avatar

    Hi there,

    Could you please let me know the rates for LAA immigration interpreting?

    Many thanks!

  11. Hiba Bayyat avatar
    Hiba Bayyat

    Hello Sathyarthi,

    Immigration falls under civil law, and therefore, civil legal aid remuneration applies.

    London £25 per hour

    Outside London £32

    Here’s a link to the source:

    I hope this helps.

  12. Linguist Directory avatar

    Thank you, Hiba Bayyat,

    It looks like the civil legal aid remuneration regulations were amended in December 2013 and the interpreter rate for interpreters outside London was changed from £32 to £28 per hour.

    Please see the Annex 1 of The Civil Legal Aid (Remuneration) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 (Expert rates on Civil cases started on/after 2nd December 2013).

  13. Azad avatar

    This is very helpful, but I have difficulty understanding the travel rate, can someone explain how does it work please. Thank you

  14. Linguist Directory avatar

    Hello Azad,

    Travel time is the time you spend travelling to an assignment and back home from the assignment. To claim for your travel time, multiply that time with the correct travel rate.

  15. Abida Dar avatar
    Abida Dar

    Hi Have the civil an criminal legal aid rates been revised as of 1st January 24, if so do we know what they are?

  16. Linguist Directory avatar

    Hello Abida,

    We are not aware of the legal aid rates for translators and interpreters being revised in January 2024, but if you have any information about this, please share it with us. Thank you

  17. kadonali avatar

    Any one know current legal translation rates and what is Legal aid authorised rate for this as a minimum .
    As legal translator what is your mini and max rates for legal document translations.

  18. Linguist Directory avatar

    Hello Kadonali,

    Legal translators can set their own rates. However, in cases funded by legal aid, solicitors are advised to request prior authority when a translator they want to use is charging higher rates than those considered reasonable (currently £100 per 1,000 words). Also, to justify higher rates, solicitors are required to request additional quotes from other translators or translation agencies.

  19. Kadonali avatar


    I hope someone help with current video / audio transcription rates ( which include transcript and translation) per min also usual mini charges particularly for Asian/ African languages .

    translation as known range is 10 20 p per work
    mini charges for transcript range is £30/£4- £60
    transcript per min for 2 speakers or more range is £2-£5 per min

    how i get better ideas apart from the above

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