Due to public sector spending cuts the availability of legal aid has been reduced very substantially by the government from 1st April 2013, even for matters that previously came within the legal aid scheme and regardless of how limited your finances may be and what state benefits you receive.
You can check your own eligibility at www.gov.uk.check-legal-aid.
What we will do for you
- As the first step at your initial consultation we will always check whether your legal problem is one of those remaining within the scope of the legal aid scheme. If it is, we will calculate your financial eligibility for legal aid provided you bring original documents proving your household’s income and relevant outgoings – the necessary documents are listed here.
- If you are entitled to legal aid on the means and merits tests, we will continue with your appointment and you will not be required to pay for your initial consultation.
- If you are not entitled to legal aid then, if you choose, the initial consultation will stop at this point without you having to pay anything.
- If you are not eligible for legal aid but wish to pay to go ahead with your initial consultation, one of our family team will spend up to 45 minutes with you listening to your family law problem, answering your questions and giving you preliminary advice including your choices about the next steps you may wish to take and how much they would cost. Our family team have the experience, skills and specialisations needed to outline for you at your initial consultation your options for moving forward on any aspect of family law matters.
What will it cost?
There are two options are available to you:
1. A fixed fee of £50 + vat (£60) for legal advice only.
2. A fixed fee of £150 + vat (£180) – for legal advice followed up by a written record of our advice and, if appropriate, sending an initial letter to the other parties and making a referral to mediation.
If you decide to proceed and instruct us beyond your initial consultation, the fee you have paid for this first meeting will be deducted from your final bill.