Judicial review challenge to LAA final offer in respect of counsel’s fees succeeds


Re: R (Ames) v The Lord Chancellor [2018] EWHC 2250 (Admin)

The claimant charged by the Serious Fraud Office with offences of fraud and had the benefit of receiving legal aid for his defence at trail. This case is a judicial review of the final offer of just over £1 million, made by the Legal Aid Agency in respect of counsel’s fees.

Holroyde LJ granted permission for judicial review, finding that the decision was irrational as a result of “identified but uncorrected errors” and a breach of the duty of transparency and clarity and/or procedural unfairness in non-disclosure of the “calculator”. He directed that the LAA’s final fees offer be set aside, a fresh decision be made and that the calculator should be disclosed. Holroyde LJ rejected an argument that the LAA’s decision involved illegality.

Paul Nicholls QC was involved in this case.