Legal aid is available for many judicial review cases provided that a person meets both the financial test and merits requirements (that is, that the claimant has a good case).
Judicial review cases are heard in the Administrative Court, this is a division of the High Court. The Administrative Court deals with the majority of its work at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, but there are also regional centres in Cardiff, Bristol, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester (though papers cannot be lodged at Bristol). Occasionally, JR cases may be transferred to be heard in the Upper Tribunal when the social security expertise of the Upper Tribunal is required.
Without legal aid it is very expensive to bring a judicial review case in the High Court (it is not unusual for the litigation to cost upwards of £25,000 and, if unsuccessful, the claimant is likely to be ordered by the Court to pay the defendant’s costs as well as having to pay their own solicitor’s costs).
However, if your client is eligible for legal aid, their own legal costs will be paid for by the Legal Aid Agency and generally the defendant’s costs will be too, if the legal case is unsuccessful. See 'How to Apply for Legal Aid Funding for Judicial Review' on the Public Law Project's website for more information. Therefore, the cost should not prevent your client from pursuing their case, provided they are eligible for legal aid and can find a solicitor to represent them. But, as previously stated, the matter should usually be resolved at the pre-action stage.
Welfare benefit judicial review legal support mapSkip over Welfare benefit judicial review legal support map (iframe)
The information in this section has been provided by the firms shown, or obtained from the firms' publicly available websites, and does not constitute a recommendation by CPAG or CPAG Scotland. CPAG accept no responsibility for the advice, information or representation provided by the firms.
Using the map
Click on the flags to find out more about each firm including relevant contact details.
- Purple: Legal Aid
- Yellow: Pro Bono
- Green: Scotland
- Blue: Pre -Action Stage support only (Note, other firms also offer pre-litigation support, this is included under their main purple, yellow or green pins)
Making your referral
Include any relevant time limits such as the date of the decision you wish to challenge (or that it is a delay) and of any correspondence. Note the 'promptly and within 3 months' time limit to apply for judicial review from the date of the decision that you want to challenge (ie, not from any subsequent correspondence) .
How this map has been created
The firms shown on the map have largely been identified using the Law Society web page, 'Find a Solicitor' using the search terms 'benefits and allowances’ ‘administrative and public law’ and ‘judicial review’. Each firm identified has then been contacted by CPAG by email and has confirmed to CPAG:
- that their firm is able to take referrals from advice workers to pursue judicial review litigation on social security issues;
- whether they hold a public law legal aid contract or can take referrals on a pro bono basis, and
- how / who advisers should contact to make a referral.
England and Wales
Please feel free to contact the firms shown in England and Wales directly using the contact details provided on the map.
If you are an adviser, please also feel free to contact email@example.com either:
- to help draft or to review your pre-action correspondence; or
- if you have used one of CPAG's judicial review templates and it has not been successful. In this instance CPAG will advise on appropriate next steps and may be able to facilitate a referral to a law centre to issue judicial review proceedings if appropriate.
Please feel feel to contact the firms shown in Scotland directly using the contact details provided on the map.
You may also be able to secure a representative via:
- the Scottish Legal Aid Board: Find a solicitor
- mygov.scot: Help with a legal problem: Find a law centre
If you are an adviser in Scotland, CPAG in Scotland can support you during the pre-litigation stage.