The Official Solicitor—family proceedings
The Official Solicitor—family proceedings

The following Family guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • The Official Solicitor—family proceedings
  • General approach
  • Appointing the Official Solicitor as a litigation friend
  • Funding and costs
  • Contacting the Official Solicitor’s office

The Official Solicitor is an officer of the Supreme Court appointed by the Lord Chancellor. The Official Solicitor's staff includes experienced solicitors who specialise in Court of Protection proceedings and the representation of minors and those who lack capacity in legal proceedings, but only when there is no other suitable person or agency available to take on this role.

It is important to note that where an application is made for the Official Solicitor to be appointed as a litigation friend, provision must be made for security for the costs of legal representation of the protected party to the satisfaction of the Official Solicitor. Further, that the Official Solicitor will only be appointed as a last resort, where no other person is willing to act as litigation friend, or in very exceptional cases. No person, including the Official Solicitor, can be appointed to act as litigation friend without their consent. Other criteria, as detailed below, must also be met.

For practical guidance on other aspects of family cases involving vulnerable or protected parties, see Practice Notes: Capacity to litigate—family proceedings, Appointing a litigation friend in family proceedings and Vulnerable persons—participation and evidence in family proceedings.

General approach

In January 2017, the Official Solicitor issued a practice note in relation to adults as to the appointment of the Official Solicitor in family proceedings and proceedings under

Related documents: