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Sample Refusal Letter

10th March 2015

Client Name: Mark Markson

Subject Matter: Defence of claim for liquidated sum
Application for: Legal Aid

Dear John,

I refer to the application for legal aid that you made on behalf of the above client on 5th March 2015.


The statement of facts you made on the clients behalf, the material submitted in support of the statement, and the recommendation you made has been considered by the Board. The following decision has been made:


Having had regard to section 24 (a) and (b) and  section 28 (2) (c) and (d) of the Civil Legal Aid Act 1995, the Board is refusing legal aid

The reasons for this decision are:

Section 28(2)(c): because the applicant is not reasonably likely to be successful in the proceedings, assuming that the facts put forward by him or her in relation to the proceedings are proved before the court or tribunal concerned.

Reason: The claim is for a liquidated sum which the applicant accepts that he is owed. There is no defence to these proceedings. Entering an Appearance will only delay judgement being obtained and increase the applicant’s costs.

Section 24(a): a reasonably prudent person, whose means were such that the cost of seeking such services at his or her own expense, while representing a financial obstacle to him or her would not be such as to impose undue hardship upon him or her, would be likely to seek such services in such circumstances at his or her own expense,

Reason: The above being the case, a reasonably prudent person would not pay for a service which would ultimately cost him more money in legal costs.

Section 28(2)(d): because having regard to all the circumstances of the case (including the probable cost to the Board, measured against the likely benefit to the applicant) it is not reasonable to grant it.

Reason: Contesting these proceedings will only increase the applicant’s costs. There is no benefit to the applicant in doing so. Having considered this, I do not believe it is reasonable to grant legal aid to the applicant.

Section 24(b)  a solicitor or barrister acting reasonably would be likely to advise him or her to obtain such services at his or her own expense.

Reason: A solicitor or barrister acting reasonably would be unlikely to advise a person to obtain legal services where he ultimately will gain no benefit from the proceedings and will only bring further costs on himself.

Applicant’s options

The applicant has the option to request a review this decision. A review means that the applicant, through you as their solicitor, or on their own initiative, can submit further information and ask that the decision be re-considered in the light of such new information. A request for a review must be submitted within one month of the applicant being notified of the decision.  I will notify you of the outcome of the review after the review has been completed.

The applicant may also appeal the decision to an appeal committee, which consists of members of the Board of the Legal Aid Board. They will consider your appeal and take a decision, which will usually be either to confirm the decision, or they may overturn this decision and grant legal aid. The Committee have wide powers and are not confined to either of these approaches. Usually, an appeal does not involve the applicant submitting any further information to the Board. However, if the applicant asks for a review and submits further information, they will have a further month after we tell them the outcome of the review to appeal. I will notify you of the outcome of the appeal once I have received the decision from the Secretary to the Appeal Committee.  An appeal must be submitted within one month of the applicant being notified of the decision. 

You are required to immediately notify the applicant of this decision and inform him/her of his/her options to seek a review and or appeal.

Please take instructions from your client and let me know if they wish to take either of these steps. Any response must be received by 10th April 2015.

Yours sincerely,

Jane Jones

Legal Services