High cost civil cases

On this page:

What is a high cost case?

The LSC's Special Cases Unit (SCU) is responsible for managing funding for complex or high cost civil cases which fall into four types:

The Funding Code: Criteria - Section 6 sets out the extra requirements and the referral criteria for these cases.

Managing high cost cases

All high cost civil cases must be referred to the Special Cases Unit. Referral criterial are in section 6 of the Funding Code: Criteria. Additional information is in:

Each case will have an individual contract based on an agreed Case Plan and the price for each fully costed proposed stage.

The Case Plan will change as the case develops as future events are difficult to predict in the early stages. Further guidance is in Section 15 of the Funding Code: Decision Making Guidance.

The LSC consulted with The Law Society and Bar Council on how to manage these cases and has produced:

All are in the Documents panel.

High cost family cases

High cost family cases are managed in either our London or South Tyneside offices.

Generally London deals with any case where Queen’s Counsel or two counsel have been instructed and all Child Abduction Acts cases and TOLATA cases. South Tyneside deals with all single counsel cases except Child Abduction and TOLATA cases.

Under Documents you will find information packs for both London cases and South Tyneside cases.

They provide information and assistance on our procedures for individual very high cost family cases and set out what actions should be taken when you take on a new case which is going to be very expensive, or when an existing case increases in cost to become very expensive.

Under “Case plans” you will find an “Events” model plan used with London SCU and a standard case plan used by the South Tyneside team.

Contact details for each team are contained in their relevant information packs.

Case plans

The five standard Case Plans set out:

They include a Fully Costed Stage Plan for the next stage of work.

A full Case Plan is required in all Litigation Support cases to assess effectiveness and to track progress of the case.

If disbursements only are being funded detailed cost information on these only will be needed.

The stages must reflect the:

Typically these will be in line with the judge's directions in Children Act cases or the court stages in Woolf multi-track clinical negligence cases.

For more information

The LSC's Annual Report sets out an analysis of applications for and grants of exceptional funding.

To contact the Special Cases Unit write to:

Legal Services Commission
3rd/4th Floor, Invicta House
Trafalgar House

Tel: 01273 878870

Criminal high cost cases are managed by the LSC's Complex Crime Unit. More information is on the High cost criminal cases page.

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Last updated: 10 March 2010

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