Appeals: assessments on controlled and licensed work

How to appeal against our assessment findings on individual claims, or a sample of claims, billed to the Legal Aid Agency (LAA).


The LAA undertakes a number of different assessment types to validate claims billed to the agency across the controlled work fund. All of these audit activities follow the appeals process as set out in full in the civil and criminal contract specifications.

How to appeal

You have the right of appeal against our assessment findings on individual claims, or a sample of claims, billed to the LAA.

To do this you must appeal to the LAA team who undertook the assessment within a set 28 day time limit, you can also apply for a short extension of up to 14 days within the first 21 days of this limit.

The appeal stages are:

  • internal review
  • independent costs assessment (ICA)

Internal review

Appeals must be made in writing and accompanied by the relevant files.

An internal LAA reviewer will carry out a review of the original decision considering your representations made. If your representations are accepted in full the appeal process ends and the reviewer will write to you advising of changes made to the original decision and the recalculated results.

The LAA will then proceed with any required claim adjustment/recoupment.

Independent costs assessment (ICA)

Where your appeal is not accepted in full, the issues remaining under dispute will then proceed to an independent costs assessor for determination.

Any appeal to an assessor is considered on paper. In exceptional circumstances either party can apply to the assessor for an oral hearing, and the assessor will decide if an oral hearing is required. The ICA will review the assessment together with your appeal, consider the issues, and make decisions on the matters under dispute.

The assessor’s final determination on the appeal will then be forwarded to you along with the revised impact upon the assessments.

The LAA will proceed with any required claim adjustment or recoupment.

Published 1 June 2014
Last updated 5 February 2019 + show all updates
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