For Solicitors the provision of Civil Legal Aid can, on occasions, be frustrating. Fees paid under legal aid are significantly less than the fees solicitors are entitled to charge private clients. The bureaucracy involved in making an application and accounting to the Scottish Legal Aid Board also discourages more and more solicitors each year from providing this service.
However we believe strongly that it is essential for our clients to be offered the opportunity of applying for civil legal aid as without this support many of our clients could not afford to take legal action which may be essential for their children, a fair financial settlement or indeed their very safety.
We will discuss whether or not you qualify for legal aid at our first meeting however we enclose a link to the Scottish Legal Aid Board’s web site where you can make an initial investigation into whether or not you qualify for initial legal advice and assistance or for full legal aid which covers any court action. In April 2009 the board increased the income eligibility limit for Legal Aid substantially. If your income, after paying essential expenses such as your mortgage, council tax and child care is £25,000 or less you may qualify. The board provides a Legal Aid online calculator on their website which may assist.
Please remember that you may have to make a contribution towards legal aid and that if you recover or preserve property it is very likely that you will be expected to meet your legal expenses from such property. We can discuss this in more detail at an early stage.