Legal aid is means-tested. It is administered by The Legal Aid Agency. If granted, the cost of your representation will be free however, in certain circumstances subject to a means assessment you may need to pay a contribution towards your case. It must also be deemed in the public interests of justice for you to qualify for legal aid.
We will apply for legal aid on your behalf free of charge.
At the Magistrates Court, you automatically get legal aid if you under 18 years old or in receipt of qualifying benefits such as income support, ESA, Job Seekers Allowance, Universal Credit, State Pension Guarantee.
If however, you are in employment, you will need to provide us with proof of the following (and your partners if applicable):
- Up to date wage slips for the last three months
- Up to date bank statements for the last three months
- Details of any outgoings you have in terms of rent/ mortgage, Council Tax, child maintenance payments and savings.
If you are granted legal aid in the Magistrates Court and your case is sent to the Crown Court for the conclusion, your legal aid will automatically be extended. If you do not qualify for legal aid in the Magistrates Court and your case is sent to the Crown Court for the conclusion, then you may be eligible to apply for legal aid just in respect of the Crown Court proceedings. This will be means-tested and you may be asked to make a contribution.
What if Legal Aid is refused?
If legal aid is refused because you are not financially eligible or do not meet the interests of the justice test, then we can provide a tailor-made, fixed fee quotation for the entirety of your case from initial advice to representation. We can also provide early-stage advice on your case and funding free of charge either in person or via telephone.
If you are acquitted as a privately paying client, you may be entitled to recover some or all of your legal costs.
Private fixed fee funding
We will always apply for legal aid on your behalf; however, in some circumstances, you may not be financially eligible. In cases such as these, we would provide a private, fixed fee for our representation. This fee would be upon an individual basis and depend on the type of representation you require and the nature of your case. Our solicitors are available to advise further on this, based upon your individual needs.