Legal Aid

We have a contract with the Legal Aid Agency which means that, where appropriate, we can obtain legal aid for our clients. This means that in suitable cases our clients’ legal fees will be met by the Legal Aid Agency*. The availability of legal aid was significantly restricted by a change in the law in April 2013. However legal aid is still available in many family cases, in particular:

  • Care proceedings or social work investigations leading up to such proceedings: parents, and any persons with parental responsibility, are entitled to legal aid without means or merits test.
  • Care proceedings: other potential clients are entitled to legal aid subject to an assessment of their financial circumstances (means test) and an assessment of the merits of their case.
  • Other public law proceedings e.g. discharge of care orders and contact to children in care, legal aid is available subject to a means and merits test.
  • Domestic abuse: victims of domestic abuse are entitled to legal aid to seek the protection of the court by way of non-molestation orders and occupation orders, again there is a means and merits test
  • Child arrangement orders (contact and residence and other disputes about children), divorce and financial relief following separation: legal aid is available (subject to means and merits test) where the party seeking legal aid is the victim of domestic abuse carried out by the other party or is acting to protect a child from the other party. (Specific documentary proof must be obtained).
  • Child abduction: legal aid can be available.
  • In other family cases legal aid is available if the case is exceptional (Exceptional Case Funding); so far the number of such cases obtaining such legal aid has been extremely limited.

Ison Harrison is committed to obtaining legal aid for clients where that is available. The availability of legal aid is complex but we offer a first free interview so that we can advise you about such issues and how best to proceed.

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