Legal aid

Legal aid

You might be entitled to legal aid to help you pay your legal costs.

We work in partnership with the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) to try to ensure that no-one is denied access to justice simply because they can’t afford it. However, recent changes introduced by the government mean that fewer people than ever before are now entitled to legal aid.

Major changes to legal aid came into effect on 1st April 2013. These changes have severely restricted the availability of legal aid in new cases. Find out more.

If legal aid is still available in your type of case then in most cases your entitlement to receive legal aid will depend on the strength of your case and on your financial circumstances. If you earn too much, or have too much in savings or equity in your home, you may not be eligible. We will be able to advise you about the financial limits for eligibility. In most cases you will need to attend a meeting with a mediation service before making an application for legal aid.

It’s important to remember that legal aid isn’t always “free”. You will have to pay back your legal costs to the Legal Aid Agency at the end of your case if you have been successful in either recovering, or retaining, any of the money or property that was in dispute in the case.

In care proceedings and some other social services cases, the parents, and anyone else who has parental responsibility for the children involved, are entitled to legal aid whatever the strength of their case or their financial circumstances.

If you are looking for advice in relation to domestic abuse legal aid may be available without regard to the usual eligibility limits although you may be required to pay a contribution to the total costs depending on your income and capital. 

Find out more on the government’s legal aid website.

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