Franchising - law firms with a franchise to do legal aid work

You will see that some solicitors firms have a sign on their door and on their notepaper to say that they have a "Franchise". This means that the Legal Aid Agency are satisfied that the solicitors are able to carry out public funded work efficiently and to a high standard.

This is not a guarantee that your solicitor has a better knowledge of the law. It simply means that you should be guaranteed a good service in public funded cases, because for example your letters and telephone calls will be answered promptly.

Also you will be kept informed of the amount of your legal costs, usually you will be sent information about your legal costs every 3 months. If the Statutory Charge is likely to apply you will then have some idea of what you will owe. You will also be kept informed about the firm's Complaints Procedure and who is dealing with your case.

You should also be kept informed about the progress of your case.

Some Franchised firms will be able to grant their own Emergency and Full Legal Representation Certificates. This means that your solicitor can make the decision as to whether to approve your legal aid application as an emergency because your case is urgent, without the need to telephone the Agency or send a written emergency application before a decision is reached. This should make the service quicker for you.

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