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Changes to Legal Aid

From 1st April 2013 the way in which Legal Aid is governed in England and Wales changed dramatically.  As a result of these changes many individuals who would previously have benefited from Legal Aid are no longer eligible.   Legal Aid for most children and finance matters in private law family cases is now only available where an individual has specified evidence in relation to domestic violence or child protection.  At Watkins & Gunn we remain committed to Legal Aid; providing the highest quality advice and assistance to individuals who need our specialist help.

What do I need to do?

Details of what evidence you require and how to go about obtaining it can be found by clicking here.  As well as providing evidence of domestic violence or child protection, you will also need to pass a financial assessment.  An online calculator can be found here.  Once you have obtained the appropriate domestic violence or child protection evidence and have undertaken a provisional financial assessment online then get in touch with our family team who will be able to confirm your eligibility.

What if social services are involved?

If Social Services are holding a Public Law Outline meeting about your children or have decided to issue care proceedings then you will not need to provide the evidence of domestic violence or child protection and will be eligible for help with your legal fees regardless of your financial circumstances.  Please get in touch immediately and we will arrange for you to come in and meet with one of our specialist childcare lawyers.

What Do I Do if I am Not Entitled to Legal Aid?

If you are not entitled to Legal Aid we will still be able to help. We offer an initial assessment where we can assess your needs and explain about our own fixed fee schemes.