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Fees Bulletin No.1 of 2021 – End to Covid-19 Changes


This fees bulletin confirms that, with effect from 4 October 2021, the temporary changes to CPS fee schemes introduced to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 will be withdrawn.

1. This fees bulletin confirms that, with effective from Monday 4 October 2021, the temporary changes to CPS fee schemes announced in March 2020 will end, and the CPS will revert to pre-pandemic fee arrangements for the CPS Graduated Fee Scheme (GFS).    


2. In recognition of the essential role that prosecution advocates perform in the CJS, and the financial impact of Covid-19, the CPS made the following temporary changes to its fee schemes: 

No.Temporary Change
1Settlement of outstanding GFS fees based on existing trigger points
2Reduction in new VHCC stage lengths
3Payment of concluded main hearings and related fees in on-going cases
4Revised framework for GFS hardship payments
5Payment of a new £500 Upfront COVID-19 Fixed Fee

GFS Reversion

3.    With effect from Monday 4 October 2021, the temporary changes will be formally withdrawn, and the following will apply:

Timely Payment GFS fees will be paid at the conclusion of the case, except in the following circumstances: 
  • Following a trial where sentence is adjourned for more than 4 weeks, upon application from counsel to the CPS, subject to the Deferred Sentence provisions
  • Where a case is adjourned for a retrial
  • After the conclusion of each effective trial in cases involving multiple trials, upon application from counsel to the CPS
  • Where a warrant has been issued but has not been executed within 3 months of the last hearing.
Upfront Covid Fee (UCF)The Upfront COVID-19 Fixed Fee (UCF) will be withdrawn
Hardship paymentsGFS hardship payments may only be claimed in accordance with paragraph 298 of the GFS Manual of Guidance

Reasons for reverting 

4. The reasons for reverting are full set out in CPS CEO, Rebecca Lawrence's letter to the Bar dated 23 September 2021.  In summary, the temporary measures introduced to mitigate the impact of Covid and were intended to:

  • Provide payment for work done prior to the conclusion of a case where delays to proceedings were encountered 
  • Maintain timely payments for any work done throughout the period affected by Covid restrictions 
  • Take account of operational challenges for CPS and the Bar/chambers caused by remote working and possible reductions in workforce
  • Be phased to provide a steady cash-flow while avoiding an immediate spike in invoices/payments which could delay processing.

5. When announcing these changes, the CPS gave a commitment to keep them in place for as long as necessary.  With Covid restrictions lifted and trial work having resumed, the value and volume of CPS fee payments now exceeds pre-pandemic levels.  That being the position, the CPS is satisfied that the circumstances which necessitated these temporary changes have been reversed, and that to maintain the accurate and timely payment of fees, the time is now right to revert to the pre-pandemic position.

CPS VHCC fee scheme

6. The reversion of the temporary GFS changes follows a similar adjustment made to the VHCC fee scheme in January 2021, returning us to stages run over 2-3 months to strike a better balance, for all parties, between the value and volume of payments.

Cracked Trials under GFS

7. In addition to the temporary GFS changes, the CPS also issued guidance in June 2020 regarding Cases Resolved after the PTPH (Fees Bulletin No.5 of 2020).

8. This guidance was issued to assist colleagues where one or more of the key elements that determine the payment of a cracked trial fee were absent due to the impact of Covid restrictions on the court process.  In circumstances where those elements remain absent, the CPS will continue to consider cases in accordance with that guidance.

Further enquiries

9. Should you have any queries regarding this bulletin or any other fee related matter, please contact your Case Auditor or the    

Wendy Pitsillides
Head of Fees
Court Business Unit

Available to download

Fees Bulletin 1 of 2021: End to COVID 19 changes (PDF, 70kb)
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