Sanction for counsel

When do I need to request sanction for counsel?

The use of one junior counsel in a Court of Session case and the use of one senior and one junior counsel in proceedings in the UK Supreme Court ( unless you do not intend to instruct Scottish counsel) is automatically available and no sanction is needed. The use of counsel in any other situation needs sanction. See the table below for quick reference.


Type of forum
No sanction required Sanction required What should you do if sanction is required?
Sheriff court, the Scottish Land Court, the Lands Tribunal for Scotland [40a], the Upper Tribunal for Scotland or the Employment Appeal Tribunal or in proceedings before the Proscribed Organisations Appeal Commission, the Social Security Commissioners or the [41]Upper Tribunal n/a Any use of counsel (solicitor advocates excluded from definition of counsel)

Go to the guidance in the Handbook for further details on the information you may need to provide.
Court of Session 1 junior counsel, or 1 solicitor advocate Senior counsel;  more than one junior counsel; more than 1 solicitor advocate
UK Supreme Court 1 senior and 1 junior Scottish counsel
Counsel from outside Scotland


I need to apply for sanction for counsel - what information will you require?

Staff need to assess whether it is appropriate to grant sanction for counsel which involves assessing the extent to which there are clearly complicated or difficult aspects of the case which you have explained require counsel’s involvement. You therefore need to give specific details about the issues which are causing you concern. It will not be enough to say simply that a case is complex or difficult, without explaining why.

Our detailed guidance can be found in
Part 4 Chapter 7.78 of the Civil Handbook.


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