Laser Shock Processing (LSP) is a process of laser treating of a surface with a pulsed beam of high power density. The process enables hardening of a thin surface layer; therefore, it is suitable for the improvement of fatigue strength of quality materials. Locally directed mechanical waves produce a considerably increased dislocation density in the thin surface layer, which affects the variations of microhardness and residual stresses. The magnitude and variation of the residual compressive stresses in the surface layer are favourable, which ensures higher fatigue strength. Laser shock processing (LSP) is more exacting than conventional shot peening, but it shows certain advantages such as better control of the surface state, processing of locally limited surfaces and a possibility to produce different transitions between the processed surface and the non-processed one. LSP has so far been tested and efficiently applied to various materials, including maraging steels. Relevant publications often deal with LSP mechanisms and the influence of the process on the dynamic strength of maraging steel, but less frequently the influence of individual characteristics such as the microstructure of matrix and of precipitated phases or residual stresses. The present paper deals with LSP of 12% Ni maraging steel. The material chosen is suitable for the production of complex structural parts and dies for die casting, which require high resistance of the material to thermo-mechanical loads. By means of measurement of the state before and after LSP, the value of the mean roughness Ra, surface defects and the variation of residual stresses in the thin surface layer were determined. After LSP of the surface, the influence of processing parameters such as laser-beam diameter and pulse density per unit of area was established.