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Legal Services Agency Northern Ireland

Who We Are and What We Do

The Legal Services Agency Northern Ireland (LSANI) was created 1 April 2015 as an executive agency within the Department of Justice (DOJ), upon the dissolution of the Northern Ireland Legal Services Commission (NILSC).  The Agency’s vision is to be an innovative, responsive and impartial Agency; delivering quality publicly funded legal services for all of our stakeholders.

The Agency’s aim is to support the justice system by administering publicly funded legal services impartially, effectively and efficiently within the legislative and policy framework set by the Minister of Justice. The Agency is responsible for applying statutory tests to determine whether an individual should receive civil legal services; it also pays for the legal services provided. While the judiciary is responsible for granting individuals criminal legal aid, the Agency pays for the legal services provided. In addition the Agency authorises the engagement of experts in civil and criminal cases as well as collecting contributions and other sums payable by individuals who receive civil legal services.

Our work is essential to the impartial, effective and efficient operation of the civil and criminal justice systems. It is also critical in helping to provide access to legal advice and representation for some of the most vulnerable members of society.