Legal aid guidance

Guidance keyword filter

Find out about any area of the legal aid process using our guidance search tool. Quickly filter by keyword or category for Civil, Criminal and Children's.

See a full listing of guidance by aid type

Civil guidance

Guidance for the legal profession about advice and assistance and legal aid for civil matters.

Criminal guidance

Read guidance for the legal profession about advice and assistance and legal aid for solemn and summary criminal matters.

Children's guidance

View guidance for solicitors on children's proceedings under the Children's Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011.

Civil guidance - helpful search tools

Merits of different types of case

TOOL: find the merits guidance for your case

Easily access guidance on the merits of different types of civil cases by using our specially designed tool.

Increases for different types of case under A&A and ABWOR

TOOL: A&A increases and templates guide

Access guidance and easily check if a templated increase is available on Legal Aid Online for the type of A&A case you are working on.

Cost limits

TOOL: standard cost limit of your case

Use our case costs limit tool to view relevant information about your civil legal aid work.

After a grant, and prior approval needed

TOOL: find a template sanction

Find out whether there is a template sanction you can use and what the authorised expenditure is.

After a grant, and prior approval needed

TOOL: common types of work involving unusually large expenditure or unusual work

Check if you need sanction for common types of work of unusually large expenditure and if there are guidelines on how cost will be assessed.

After a grant, and prior approval needed

TOOL: sanction required if not acting as an expert?

Find out when sanction is needed if you are consulting with or employing a professional who is not acting as an expert.

After a grant, and prior approval needed

TOOL: funding for child welfare report

Use this tool to find out whether you need special urgency cover, when you need sanction for the report and if an increase in the cost limit may be needed.

Availability of advice and assistance

TOOL: apply for/oppose an order under the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000

Use our interactive flowchart to view guidance about each step of applying for or opposing an order under the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000.

This legal assistance guidance is the key reference material for legal aid professionals. It is regularly updated.

Each section of guidance includes:

  • our policies on applications, and practical advice covering all stages of a case, including:
    • applying for, and providing, advice and assistance and ABWOR, and our approach to different types of case
    • applying for, and providing, legal aid, and our approach to different types of case
    • procedures after legal aid is granted – for example, the requirements for sanction for certain types of work, reporting procedures, amendments to grants or changes in circumstances
    • clawback and expenses in civil cases
  • a section on legal aid for contempt of court
  • guidance on accounts

You can also view all guidance for all types of legal assistance on one page.