The country’s top family judge, Sir James Munby has expressed his significant concern about a case where two parents have been denied access to legal aid to contest an application for the adoption of their child.
Both parents have learning difficulties and would find it extremely difficult to represent themselves. However, legal aid in this type of case is means tested and when the parents means were assessed they were found to have monthly disposable income £34.64 over the limit imposed by the legal aid agency.
In his judgement the Judge set out that in his view the situation that the parents found themselves in was “profoundly disturbing” and he felt that the state had “simply washed its hands of the problem.”
This case highlights a much wider problem whereby those who need legal representation simply do not have access to it due to being in-eligible for legal aid and not having the means to pay a solicitor’s hourly rates.
At Higgins Miller we can still grant legal aid in certain circumstances but for those not eligible we have devised a fixed fees system of payment for a wide variety of work. This allows our clients to pick and choose which parts of their case they would like representation for and which parts they feel that they can deal with for themselves, all with the security of knowing the exact costs in advance.
For more information about our fixed fees please contact us.