Appeals: civil high cost cases

How to appeal a decision made by the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) for legal aid funding in high cost civil cases.

How it works

Where an individual disagrees with the director’s determination that they do not qualify for legal representation or family help (higher), they can apply to an independent funding adjudicator (IFA) or the Special Controls Review Panel (SCRP) for reconsideration of that decision (except where the application is for exceptional cases funding).

Appeals must be submitted within 14 calendar days of the refusal decision.

Special Controls Review Panel

The SCRP is an independent review body made up of practicing solicitors and barristers. It’s chaired by Heather Williams QC and sits bi-monthly as a 3 member committee to consider appeals relating to certain high cost cases and other more complex cases.

Appeals and issues referred to the SCRP are considered, without a hearing.

This is unless the panel believes it’s in the interests of justice for the individual, or LAA, to make oral representations before them. If this happens, you are given a copy of the agenda note and appeal bundle to be placed before the SCRP in advance of the hearing, as well as an opportunity to make further representations.

Funding and costs appeals review - panel arrangements (PDF, 222KB, 17 pages) sets out the practical arrangements for the appeals process against certain LAA decisions.

Review panel members

Review panel members are listed in the document below.

Appointment of appeals panel members (PDF, 263KB, 4 pages)

Crime high cost cases

Appeals: crime high cost cases


Phone (Exceptional and Complex Case Team): 0300 200 2020


Published 1 June 2014
Last updated 6 October 2020 + show all updates
  1. Amended review panel arrangements uploaded.

  2. Appointment of appeals panel members

  3. Published a revised version of the Funding and Costs Appeals Review Panel Arrangements document.

  4. Review panel members published.

  5. Funding and costs appeals review - panel arrangements updated.

  6. First published.