Complaints procedure

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

Complaints procedure

If you are unhappy with the level of service provided by the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) we would welcome your feedback. We will respond to your complaint within 20 working days of receipt provided the published procedure has been followed.

We will only respond to complaints in relation to our staff and/or processes involved in the administration of legal aid.

We will not respond to complaints regarding:

  • a solicitor – these should be referred to the Solicitor’s Regulation Authority or the Legal Ombudsman
  • any other Civil Service department or agency

You can submit your complaint by post, e-mail or by telephone. Further guidance on the areas we deal with and the relevant contacts (PDF, 211KB, 2 pages) is also available.

Stage 1 complaints

If you are writing to us but are not using the complaints form (MS Word Document, 44.1KB) clearly mark your letter ‘Complaint’. This helps us to deal with your complaint quickly and efficiently.

When contacting us with your complaint, please provide:

  • your legal aid reference number (if you have one)
  • (Clients only) your surname at birth and date of birth and National Insurance number (if you don’t have a reference 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 2 complaints

If you are unhappy with our initial response, you can send a further complaint for consideration by a stage 2 complaints handler to complaints@legalaid.gsi.gov.uk. If you are writing to us but are not using the complaints form (MS Word Document, 44.1KB) clearly mark your letter ‘Complaint’. We will arrange for a second review of your complaint by a different complaint handler.

We will need the following information:

  • explain why you are unhappy 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 2 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.

MP correspondence and Ombudsman investigations

Queries from Members of Parliament and the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman should be submitted to CorporateCorrespondenceTeam@legalaid.gsi.gov.uk.

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.

Claims below £500 should be sent to the complaints@legalaid.gsi.gov.uk. Claims above £500 should be sent to CorporateCorrespondenceTeam@legalaid.gsi.gov.uk.

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