Guidance

Appeal to the Court of Appeal Civil Division

How to appeal a county court, High Court or tribunal decision to the Court of Appeal.

Cases dealt with by the court

You may be able to appeal a county court or High Court decision to the Court of Appeal Civil Division.

The court also handles appeals against decisions by the Upper Tribunal, Employment Appeal Tribunal and Competition Appeal Tribunal.

You normally have to ask the judge’s permission before you can appeal. You’ll need to do this quickly, often within a few weeks.

You’ll have to pay to use the court, and you could end up paying the other side’s costs if you lose your case.

Read the guides on what to do if you want to appeal and how to appeal for details of using the court.

You may need legal help to appeal to the court.

You can speak to a solicitor or get free advice from:

Find out more about where to get help if you don’t have a lawyer.

Check you have a good case

You usually only get one chance to appeal, and in almost all cases you must ask for the judge’s permission to appeal against their decision.

The judge will only let you appeal if you have a real chance of success or there’s another very strong reason why the appeal should be heard.

You must explain why the decision was wrong or unfair – for instance there was a serious mistake or the court didn’t follow the right steps.

Check you’re in time

You usually have 21 days to appeal against a county court or High Court decision, or 28 days if it’s an Upper Tribunal decision. In some cases there is a 7 day time limit for appealing.

Find out more about time limits for appealing.

Check where you need to appeal

Check that the court is the right place for your appeal, as you may need to appeal to another judge or court first.

For example, in a small claims case you might have to appeal to a High Court judge before you can go to the Court of Appeal.

If you’re unsure, check on the decision notice, with the lower court or tribunal, in the guide to routes of appeal or the routes of appeal tool. If you file your appeal in the wrong court, you may be out of time when you re-file the appeal in the correct court.

Ask for permission to appeal

You also need to ask for permission before you can make an appeal.

If your case was heard in the Upper Tribunal then you must go back to it to ask for permission.

If your case was first heard in a county court or High Court, you don’t have to ask that court for permission. However, if you decide to ask the Court of Appeal Civil Division for permission and are turned down, you can’t then go back to the lower court or tribunal and ask for permission.

Go to the Court of Appeal after a lower court or tribunal gives permission

If the lower court or tribunal gives you permission to appeal, you’ll need to send a number of documents to the Court of Appeal.

These documents will vary according to the type of appeal but may include:

  • ‘appellant’s notice’: details of your appeal
  • ‘grounds of appeal’: your reasons for appealing
  • ‘skeleton argument’: an outline of your arguments
  • a sealed copy of the decision you wish to appeal

Send 3 copies of the form and grounds of appeal to the Court of Appeal, and extra copies for each of the respondents.

If the court gives you permission to continue, you will then need to send a ‘core bundle’ containing all of the most relevant documents so that a court may easily understand the case.

Refer to the guidance notes and guide to preparing an appeal bundle for more details.

You will have to pay a £1,199 court fee for the appeal.

If you’re on benefits or a low income you may be able to get help with court fees.

Go directly to the Court of Appeal

If the lower court or tribunal does not give you permission to appeal or you decide to go straight to the Court of Appeal, you’ll need to fill in the relevant form and provide the documents referred to in the relevant appeal pack.

Send 3 copies of the form and grounds of appeal to the Court of Appeal, and extra copies for each of the respondents.

You’ll then have to send a ‘core bundle’ containing all of the most relevant documents so that a court may easily understand the case within 14 days.

Refer to the guidance notes and guide to preparing an appeal bundle for more details.

You will have to pay a £528 court fee to apply.

If you’re on benefits or a low income you may be able to get help with court fees.

If the Court of Appeal refuses to give you permission, you can’t continue with your appeal.

Contact the court

Civil Appeals Office Registry

Room E307
3rd Floor East Block
Royal Courts of Justice
Strand
London
WC2A 2LL

Map and directions

Monday to Friday, 10am to 4:30pm
Telephone: 020 7947 7121
Text phone: 18001 020 7947 7121

Email: civilappeals.registry@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk

Settling out of court

In some cases the court may refer your case for mediation to reach an agreement with the other side, or may ask that you think about using mediation. The Court of Appeal Mediation Scheme is currently run by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution.

How your appeal will be handled

The court will write to you about the next steps.

It will let you know:

  • what you need to do next
  • roughly when your appeal will take place

You’ll need the court’s permission if you want to present any new evidence.

The court’s decision

Your case will be decided by 2 or 3 judges, who will usually be Lord or Lady Justices.

The judges may decide they agree with all or part of your appeal, but they can also dismiss it or order a retrial.

In most cases the losing side will have to pay the other side’s costs, such as their legal fees.

The court may not award you costs if you acted unreasonably during the appeal – for instance if you refused to consider mediation without a good reason.

If you lose your appeal

The court’s decision is usually final.

Speak to your legal adviser if you want to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Court rules

You will have to read and follow the detailed legal rules for using the court:

And the Practice Directions:

Daily court list

Find details of the court’s daily hearings.

Previous decisions

You can read the court’s decisions on previous cases on the BAILII website.

Published 16 November 2016
Last updated 7 March 2017 + show all updates
  1. Add routes of appeal tool.
  2. First published.