Applying for Legal Aid - how to apply
You can pick up the forms from your solicitor, if your solicitor does legal aid work. Firms who carry out legal aid work will display a sign. One of the forms will be the main application form in which your solicitor will have to give full details about your case. Either you or your solicitor can fill in this section of the form.
If your solicitor completes this section you are entitled to see a copy of the form. It is this section that the Legal Aid Agency will look at when deciding if your case is worthwhile. Your solicitor will have to assess the prospects of success in your case as good, borderline or poor.
Your solicitor should give as much information as possible and send any relevant documents that might help to explain more about your case.
There will be a form for you to give all the details of your income & savings and the value of any property you own. If you are Self-Employed you may have to send a copy of your accounts too and complete a separate form. If you are employed, your employers will have to complete a form also.
This form will not tell your employers anything about your case so don't worry. Your employer's will need to give details of how much you earn and how much Tax and National Insurance you pay.
Your solicitor will then send the forms to the Legal Aid Agency.
The Agency will tell you and your solicitor if you are eligible for legal aid, this can take up to 4 weeks, sometimes longer.
If you need legal aid urgently, your solicitor can make an emergency written application, this usually takes 2-3 days, but can take longer.
It is also possible to make an emergency application over the telephone or by fax. If the Agency think your case is urgent enough they will grant legal aid without seeing any forms.
However, your solicitor will have to send the forms to them afterwards, usually within 5 working days.