Complaints procedure

Where to send a complaint, a compensation claim, a Member of Parliament query and Ombudsman correspondence.

Complaints procedure

Stage one complaints

If you are not satisfied with the service the Legal Aid Agency has provided, you can submit a complaint.

Before starting your complaint, please have the following information to hand:

  • your legal aid reference number (if you have one)
  • (clients only) your surname at birth and date of birth and national insurance number
  • your contact details so that we can respond

Explain what you are complaining about and give as much detail about your complaint as possible. Make it clear what you feel is wrong and how you would like us to put things right.

Stage two complaints

If you are not satisfied with our initial response, you can send a further complaint for consideration by a stage two complaints handler.

We will need the following information:

  • explain why you are not satisfied with the initial reply and what issues remain unanswered
  • suggest how you believe the situation ought to be remedied
  • provide us with further information in support of unresolved issues (where requested)

If you are dissatisfied with our stage two response you have the right to ask your MP to refer your complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

We aim to respond to follow up correspondence received in response to LAA’s substantive reply, where a further response is possible within 20 working days.

How to submit a complaint

You can use our online form to submit a complaint. This can be found here.

You can also submit your complaint by post or telephone, using the complaint form (MS Word Document, 33.3 KB). You can contact us here:

Legal Aid Agency
Unit B8
Berkley Way
Viking Business Park
NE31 1SF

Telephone: 0300 200 20 20

Useful information

Before we can respond to complaints received by our complaint form, we need to verify your identity, therefore the following information should be provided. Until we have this information, we will not be able to investigate and respond to any concerns raised.

Provide three of the following;

  • your legal aid reference number (if applicable)
  • your full address including postcode (this should be the address the Legal Aid Agency holds on file for you)
  • your date of birth
  • your national insurance number
  • name of solicitor firm with conduct of case
  • contribution Amount (if applicable)
  • name of opponent (s)

Correspondence that is not a complaint

Certain correspondence cannot be classed by LAA as a complaint and should instead be referred to the appropriate appeals procedure. This includes, but not limited to:

  • a challenge or an expression of dissatisfaction with a decision to refuse an application for funding or to embargo or cancel funding (this includes IOJ decisions).
  • a challenge to an assessment of costs after submission of a claim for payment
  • a challenge to a decision that the statutory charge applies
  • a challenge to the agency’s assessment of a client’s financial eligibility for funding
  • a challenge or an expression of dissatisfaction with a decision to reject an item of billing. The civil claim fix service enables providers to challenge rejects received or to raise queries in this respect circumventing the complaint route. This service has a 24-hour turnaround target and providers must email details to

Allegations of fraud

Information on how to make allegations of fraud in respect of the granting of legal aid can be found in the Legal Aid Agency Counter Fraud and Investigations Guidance.

Different arrangements are in place if you want to report a person you suspect is receiving civil legal aid for which they are not eligible. Further information is available in the Raising concerns about suspicious civil legal aid applications Guidance.

MP correspondence and Ombudsman investigations

Queries from Members of Parliament and the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman should be submitted to

We will respond to MP correspondence within 20 working days.

Compensation claims

The circumstances in which the LAA may make a compensation payment are limited to those where there has been a material error or omission on the part of the LAA that has directly resulted in a financial loss (known as maladministration) to the applicant.

Compensation payments will not be paid unless the applicant has been able to produce, where appropriate, documentary evidence of the losses claimed.

It is for the applicant to prove that the conduct of the regional office or a department constituted maladministration. We will require the figure you wish to claim along with a full and detailed breakdown of costs, along with any evidence you wish to supply. Once this has been received, we will consider your application.

We will aim to provide a response to compensation claims within 20 working days.

Useful contacts

Contact the LAA

Solicitor Regulation Authority

Legal Ombudsman

Other government organisations

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman