Legal Aid Agency High Costs Case Plan: Case Study



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ARC Costs recently assisted on a Legal Aid Agency High Costs Case Plan where the total claimed costs exceeded £114,197.36+VAT.

What is a Legal Aid Agency High Costs Case Plan?


In England and Wales, the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) is responsible for providing legal aid to individuals who require assistance with their legal expenses but cannot afford them. A High Costs Case Plan (HCCP) is part of the management and control of particularly expensive legal aid cases.

When a case is expected to be very costly—such as those involving serious criminal charges, complex family matters, child cases, Court of Protection cases or in-depth civil litigation—it might be designated as a “high cost case.” These cases are likely to require a significant amount of legal work, which results in higher than usual costs. A case will usually be regarded as a high costs case if costs exceed £25,000.

Case study – Facts of the case


ARC Costs recently assisted in the recovery of legal costs in a Legal Aid Agency High Costs Case Plan. Our team drafted the detailed fully costed case plan for a case which ran under the VHCC – Care Case Fee Scheme CCFS.  

The solicitor was instructed to represent the Third, Fourth and Fifth Respondent children in respect of Care proceedings brought to the Court by the local county council.  

The First Respondent Mother and the Second Respondent Father had separated and brought proceedings to the Court. The Second Respondent made an application for a Child Arrangements Order as the First Respondent left with the Respondent Children. The First Respondent had been placed in a women’s refuge with the Respondent Children.

The First Respondent had made allegations of domestic violence against the Second Respondent. The Second Respondent alleged the other was violent and had been violent to the Respondent Children. 

The Court made the children parties and appointed a Rule 16.4 Guardian. The Guardian recommended a S.37 Report to be completed and that an ISO be made in the interim. The Court acceded to this. At the conclusion of the S37 assessment the local authority recommended the instigation of Care proceedings.

The Second Respondent changed solicitors on three occasions. This had hampered the filing of his evidence. The Second Respondent filed statements that were extremely long and difficult to follow with various allegations against the First Respondent and her family.

The First Respondent’s allegations against the Second Respondent included sexual assaults and coercive and controlling behaviour.

She also alleged that the Second Respondent was physically and emotionally cruel to the children. The Second Respondent alleged that the First Respondent sexually abused them and had been violent to the children. The First Respondent required a translation facility and was unable to read in any language.

It is also important to note that two of the three children were autistic and this was an additional factor to take into account when considering their needs and requirements from the parents.

A number of hearings and police interviews took place, and in total a further 20 hearings took place, each lasting a number of days or weeks to address various issues within the case.

A final hearing was held over 4 days, where it was concluded that the children would live with the First Respondent and be placed under the supervision of the Local Authority as a final order.

The Court ordered a Prohibited Steps Order in respect of the Second Respondent prohibiting him from exercising any responsibility over the Children until the Child reaches 18 years old.

Case study – Costs of the case


The solicitors on the case instructed ARC Costs to draft a detailed case plan to recover the costs of the case from the Legal Aid Agency.

Due to the complexity of the case, costs were substantial and amounted to £114,197.36 +VAT. The costs included solicitor and counsel fees, translation fees, psychologist fees and other expert witness fees.

We at first with preparing an interim case plan to obtain an increased costs limitation to assist the Solicitor gain access to more funds, and on conclusion of the proceedings, prepared a final case plan and submitted the final bill on CCMS for processing and payment.

How can ARC Costs assist?


The team of knowledgeable Costs Lawyers and Costs Draftsmen at ARC Costs can assist clients with a variety of costs matters, including Legal Aid Agency High Costs Case and High Costs Case Plans.

In legal aid funded matters, we can produce the required costing instruments and obtain an assessment of costs from the LAA. Furthermore, due to our extensive experience in the costs law industry, we can be trusted to provide reliable advice.

To find out more about how we can provide you with assistance, please contact us at 01204 397302. Alternatively, please use our free chat facility to speak to an expert directly regarding High Cost Case Plans, or contact one of our team at


4 Bark Street East, Bolton, BL1 2BQ

01204 397302

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