Legal Aid Funding
The vast majority of the work we do is for clients who are eligible for Legal Aid. As part of our initial advice in any case, we will therefore assess your eligibility for funding from the Legal Aid Agency. We will tell you all you need to know about Legal Aid funding and will assist you in making an application when you are eligible. The general principles regarding Legal Aid funding are set out below.
Legal Aid in Mental Health cases
If you are eligible to apply to the Mental Health Tribunal and are considering making an application, you are entitled to free, non means tested legal advice.
If you decide to proceed with an application to the Mental Health Tribunal, or if your case is referred to the Mental Health Tribunal for hearing, you are entitled to free, non means tested legal representation. Such representation will cover work up to and including the hearing itself, plus advice on whether you have any grounds to appeal a tribunal decision.
If you require legal advice on any other area of mental health law, then you may well be eligible for advice funded by the Legal Aid Agency under the Legal Help scheme, but your eligibility will be subject to the completion of a means test. In brief, if you receive a passporting welfare benefit or if your income is less than £733 per month, you will be eligible, as long as you do not have capital above the value of £8,000.
Legal Aid in Court of Protection cases
If you require initial legal advice on a Court of Protection matter, or any other matter relating to the Mental Capacity Act 2005, you may well be eligible for funding from the Legal Aid Agency under the Legal Help scheme. The means test referred to above will apply.
Funding from the Legal Aid Agency is also generally available to cover the cost of our representation in Court of Protection proceedings. Funding will be subject to the completion of a means test, except in cases under s21A Mental Capacity Act 2005 (DOLS cases) where you may be eligible for non means tested funding.
If you are not eligible for Legal Aid funding for any reason, we will be able to represent you on a privately paying basis. Our rates for privately paying clients are very competitive and will be supplied upon request.