You may have passed a solicitor’s office and saw a legal aid logo, or sign which said “legal aid available” and wondered what “legal aid” means. Legal aid is government assistance to meet legal costs for persons who are unable to afford legal representation. An eligibility assessment will be carried out to establish whether an applicant is entitled to legal aid. This assessment will be based on:
· type of legal matter, whether it fits within the scope of legal aid work
· household income (how much money you earn), your disposable income (money you have left after all living expenditure have been met), your disposable capital (property, assets, which can be sold to meet legal costs or investments and saved money) – evidence is required to show how you support yourself.
· Merits (what are the chances of winning your case), you will need to convince the Legal Aid Agency you have a chance of success
If a person is not eligible for legal aid or their case is outside of the scope of legal aid but presents a compelling case, an application for exceptional funding may be submitted to the Legal Aid Agency.
What does legal aid pay for?
· Legal Help– initial assistance and advice
· Legal Representation – representations /presenting a matter on your behalf in court.
Legal Aid is there to assist in providing fair and equal access to justice and if you do fulfil the above criteria it is important that any solicitors firm you instruct still represent and conduct your legal matter to the expected standard.
Haris Ali Solicitors can help to assess your Legal Aid eligibility and you are welcome to contact and discuss with us any queries you may have.