Thank you, for getting in touch with us. Following the
e-mail via my colleague further querying, I understand you have express
concerns about funding fees associated cost with pursuing the court method if
ADR methods fail.
Below I have enclosed some information concerning funds
legal cases and my opinion of which would be the best possible option for you.
In the United Kingdom, legal cases are theoretically funded
by the government but provided by private legal firms like ourselves which
compete for tax-funded contracts in a bidding process. This bidding process in
mainly based on the competitors’ credentials and the bid which the government
panel feels is “the best value for
money”. This form of funding for legal cases is a new and reformed system
under the new “legal Aid, Sentencing and
Punishment of Offenders Act 2012”, this system introduced the introduction
of the Legal Aid Agency this new department houses the director of Legal Aid
casework, they decide who qualifies for funding.
This whole system used to be controlled by the Legal
services commission, which was very unorganised and by costly for the
Civil legal aid
Civil legal aid is grounded on S10(3) which are the principles used by Lord Chancellor for the
availability of the service.
The following is what we call stage 1 of the application
Likely cost of providing service against benefit
obtained from it
Availability of resources (money)
Importance for individual
Availability of other resources (e.g. ADR)
Prospect of success
PLEASE NOTE: legal
aid is NOT available for civil cases unless it implicates children’s rights or
the liberty of an individual (e.g. asylum)
If S10(3) (the above criteria) is
fulfilled the individual is subject to a (financial)means test.
Person(s) obtaining income support qualify;
If the applicant’s income is above the set
amount -Application will be rejected
If the applicant’s income is below the set maximum
amount but above minimum amount –Applicant
will be subject to contribute to costs
If the applicant’s income is below the minimum
amount –Applicant doesn’t have to pay
Nevertheless, applicants’ applications will be rejected if
they have more than £8,000 in savings furthermore if they are an owner of a
home the first £100,000 of its value is deducted but if the outstanding value
totals over £8,000 including savings, no funding will be available.
Unfortunately, due to the fact alone, your matter doesn’t
implicate children’s rights or the liberty of an individual (e.g. asylum),
Civil legal aid is an option open to you.
Criminal legal aid
In your case, at the moment no criminal matters have
occurred and hopefully, there won’t be.
But I will explain the funding process below for note.
When arrested and detained at a police station, “the duty
solicitor scheme” will offer legal advice to all detainee this will usually be
offered over the phone rather than in person. This scheme was established to
allow all individuals the right to properly defend their selves and allow
fairness in the enforcement stages.
When it comes to legal representation in court in a criminal
matter, the individual must satisfy at least one of the five following
“interest of justice” factors:
Likely to lose liberty or livelihood
Case involves point of law meaning the law needs
Individual unable to understand court
preceding’s (either due to language barrier or have no prior knowledge legal
stance (first-time offenders))
Case may involve interviewing or cross-examining
In the interest of another person that
individual is represented (i.e. rape cases)
After this assessment is pleased the individual must then
satisfy the same means test civil aid applicants undergo.
People appearing in magistrates’ courts will automatically
succeed if they receive income support or are under 18 and in full-time
If appearing in crown courts, the individual will pay into
contribution based system where the higher the income the higher the
The Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 resulted in the
introduction of Conditional fee arrangements. They were firstly available for
personal injury cases but were reform and made available in all civil cases
except family matters.
CFAs work by the client not having to pay any upfront cost
like representation fees or court fees and don’t have to be paid until the end
of the case by the loser of the case. The client pays a “success fee” which can
be up to 100% of normal fees of legal representation but no more the 25% of the
awarded fee. If the client loses all legal representation fees are eliminated
but may have to pay the other party’s costs as they may claim for them from your
party. However, there are insurance plans to cover these costs, which is much
I think that CFAs would be the best option for you as
nothing has to leave your pocket, which eliminates the funding uncertainty and
will allow you the option of having proper legal representation.
My personal view of the government provided statutory scheme
are made for people in exceptional cases which are very rare and complex making
applications very hard to be accepted which makes them for a legal firm not very
cost worthy for the time and expense it takes to be deal with a case so legal
firms tend to opt out of the government scheme which makes it harder for people
depending on their location with genuine cases and cases that would even
require much funding like yours.
This is why 75% of adults do not qualify for criminal legal
CFAs, on the other hand, I think to allow a chance for
people like you but are very capital driven which makes some people’s cases be
turned always as the financial benefit for the firm isn’t worth the recourse
and ultimately no worth It for the client. However, I seriously suggest for
someone like you or in a similar situation to take out an insurance plan as,
despite your case being in your favour, court cases can be unpredictable. Also,
depending on the award you may receive. You may get nothing or very little
after paying for the lawyers.