Legal aid: points of principle of general importance (PoP)

Apply for a PoP statement to clarify a costs assessment principle or interpret a contractual assessment provision.


A PoP is a statement which seeks to clarify an existing provision of the contract or other guidance published by the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) relating to the assessment of costs.

An application to certify a PoP can be made by a provider, director or assessor following the submission of an appeal to an Independent Costs Assessor (ICA). It must be made no later than 21 days after the receipt of the ICA’s decision.

Anyone wishing to apply to certify a PoP should ensure they set out the exact wording of the PoP they want the Costs Appeals Committee to certify.

Any proposed PoPs must be phrased as a statement to be certified rather than a question to be answered and must raise a principle capable of general application.

Anyone wishing to make an application for the certification of a new PoP should refer to the PoP manual (PDF, 996KB, 157 pages) to see ones previously certified and refer to them as a guide to how they should be worded.

Costs appeals committee

This is the committee responsible for determining PoP applications. Once the committee has considered the application it can either certify or refuse to certify the PoP.

If the Costs Appeals Committee certifies a PoP, it becomes binding on cost assessors.

Make a Point of Principle application

Use the PoP manual (PDF, 996KB, 157 pages) to help you make your application.

You’ll also find the procedures for applying for PoPs are set out in the following places:

Previously certified PoPs can be found on the Legal Services Commission’s website archive pages.

Published 1 June 2014
Last updated 20 February 2017 + show all updates
  1. Manual updated.
  2. First published.