Paying for your case
Refused legal Aid?
If you are not entitled to public funding (legal aid) direct access to a barrister provides both the best representation and excellent value for money. With the introduction of means testing in both the Magistrate’s Court and the Crown Court and savage cuts to the legal aid bill by Government an increasing number of defendants charged with criminal offences face the prospect of being unrepresented at trial or sentence.
If you have been refused legal aid or are paying for your own legal costs, instructing a barrister directly under the direct access scheme can be the most efficient and cost effective way of ensuring that you will properly advised and represented at court.
I’ve been told by the Crown Court that I have to make a “contribution” to my legal costs under legal aid. Can you still help?
Yes. If you are required to pay a Legal aid “contribution” towards your costs, we can assess your case and advise whether instructing a barrister is actually cheaper than the legal aid contribution. See our case studies where a client found that instructing a barrister was 35% cheaper than taking the legal aid contribution order towards legal costs.
“Instructing a Barrister directly was much cheaper than using both a Solicitor and a Barrister. The Solicitor would have been responsible for much of the litigation, I was confident in my ability to handle the routine parts of this litigation, which led to a massive cost saving for me.”
The difference was 35% of the fee required for both a solicitor and barrister. He was found not guilty and able to recover his Defence Costs.
We can only undertake publicly funded (legal aid) work in the Crown Court if a solicitor is instructed. At present the direct access rules do not permit barrister to act under direct access for publicly funded clients who are entitled to legal aid. However we may be able to act if you have a solicitor, who can instruct a barrister on your behalf.
In serious cases such as murder, fraud and cases known as “Very High Costs Cases”(VHCC) we can act under a legal aid order. In these cases almost certainly a solicitor will be required. You can call us to discuss your case and if you have not yet found a solicitor or would like one of our criminal law barristers to represent you then you can ask your solicitor to instruct on your behalf.
You have a right to choose your own barrister if he or she is able to take on your case. Please bear this in mind if your solicitor says that a “Solicitor Advocate” (who is not a barrister but a solicitor with higher rights of audience has been instructed in your case).
Unfortunately we do not undertake any legal aid work for offences tried in the Magistrates court.
In some cases you may have a policy of insurance that covers you for certain types of offences (usually driving offences or professional disciplinary offences). We can advise whether this would cover your representation. Under the terms of many such policies you have the right to choose a barrister or solicitor instead of having one appointed by your insurance company for you.
Recovery of Costs
If you are successfully acquitted (found not guilty) a defence costs order can be made to recover some or all of your legal costs.
Call us today to discuss your case and funding options on 0208123 9999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org