Applying for approval for counsel in children’s proceedings

You must apply for approval online and provide all the information requested.  In a case of exceptional urgency and where you do not have immediate access to appropriate facilities for an online application you may apply by telephone. You should then promptly send us the online application, if we grant or part grant your application over the telephone.

Information to be provided with an application for the employment of counsel

Once you have identified the need for counsel, you should apply to us for approval to employ counsel as soon as possible.  The request should:

  • be accompanied with all the relevant papers (uploaded as attachments to the online application) if they have not already been uploaded on the case at an earlier stage
  • highlight any relevant issues in the Statement of Grounds, Grounds  of Appeal, Stated Case and/or other documents to allow us to give the issues proper and detailed consideration
  • if you upload any documents, such as productions or expert reports, then you must draw our attention to the relevant parts in the application. Simply uploading lengthy documents without doing this will not assist your application.

In the application itself you must:

  • be clear what level and number of counsel you are seeking. For example, one junior counsel
  • be clear what you are seeking counsel to do.  For example, to conduct the proof or appeal or provide a written Opinion
  • give a detailed explanation of the case’s background
  • give full reasons why the employment of counsel is considered to be appropriate in the particular circumstances of your case. The factors we take into consideration are explained fully in this section of legal aid guidance
  • specifically outline  any complex, novel and/or unusual issues in the case
  • give a detailed explanation of the relevant circumstances that actually arise in the case, rather than a broad reference to the proceedings being complex, difficult or novel  and/or making a broad reference to the case having Convention right’s implications.

In this section