Paying for Legal Services
The following information is also available
as a leaflet that can be downloaded.
Getting free help.
You may be entitled to free help under the Legal Aid Scheme.
Funded services are only available from solicitors or advice agencies who are contracted with the Legal Services Commission. This means they have been checked to make sure they meet certain standards and provide good service.
We have contracts in Mental Health, Immigration and Criminal Litigation.
How do I qualify for legal aid?
If you want to apply for legal aid you must bring evidence of your income to the first meeting. Acceptable evidence means letters from the benefits agency or wage slips. We also need your national insurance number.
For civil matters, you may qualify for free legal advice and assistance if you meet certain financial eligibility criteria, and if your case is of a type covered by the legal aid scheme. If you do not meet these criteria you may be asked to pay a contribution towards your legal advice.
In civil cases, if you recover or preserve property or money you usually have to pay your costs out of the money recovered.
In criminal matters, legal advice and representation at the police station is free to everyone. In the magistrates court legal aid and advice and representation is available if
Legal aid is not automatic. Most cases you need to be on a low income, have little or no savings, and have a case that is very important or complicated.
The rules are complicated so please ask us at our first meeting.
What if I’m not entitled to Legal Aid?
We will provide you with an estimate of our charges.
In some cases we may be able to agree a fixed fee. This means that you will know the cost of a piece of work.
In some situations we also offer a discount on our fixed fees, for example our Charity Will Scheme. Under this scheme you may be entitled to a third of our normal charges for a Will if you leave a legacy to one of the local charities we support.
Each September, we run the Foundation Free Will Fortnight’ in support of the Aston Clinton Charitable Foundation. Please add: ‘Under this scheme we will prepare your Will free of charge, in return for a modest donation to the Foundation.