Guidelines for applying for approval – supporting documents, issues to be addressed and costs

You must use the online application system in all cases to allow us to obtain the basic information needed for a prompt decision.

If you are seeking prior approval in a case of exceptional urgency, apply by telephone, then promptly complete the online application.

Documents to be submitted

With the application for approval, you should send us:

  • a copy of the petition, indictment, complaint or grounds of appeal or otherwise
  • an explanation as to why you consider it reasonable to carry out the unusual work or work involving unusually large expenditure of £2,000 or more.

Where you send us lengthy documents, please highlight the relevant passages.

Issues to be addressed

Where the work involves getting an order of the court (for example, specification of documents), you should get our approval before asking the court to consider the matter. You should:

  • address, in detail, why you believe the work is essential
  • show that you have considered all other reasonable options, having due regard to economy
  • provide full costings both for the course of action proposed and for possible alternative courses of action.

Details of costs to be given

  • the application must provide a breakdown of the cost of the proposed work. If this has not been provided, but we are satisfied that the work seems reasonable, then we may continue the application to ask for a breakdown
  • tThe breakdown of costs should provide sufficient information to show us all elements of the work to be done. It should include any applicable hourly rates, along with an estimate of the time needed to complete each task. If it does not, and the provision of satisfactory information is likely to allow us to grant the application, then the application may be continued for this information
  • with travel costs, a note of the form of travel to be used
  • subsistence and overnight accommodation charges.

Any application we grant may include a condition that costs may not exceed a specified amount or that specified work may not be carried out.

Before making the application, you should consider whether there is an alternative, more economical way to do the work. This may include considering using technology to reduce expense (video conference to avoid travel for example), or limiting the scope of the work to remove any parts of the work which are not essential to achieve the required outcome (the scope of the proposed work may go beyond what is needed to address the relevant issue).

In this section