Our Legal Aid Solicitors in Manchester

Although the UK wide provision for legal aid has been drastically reduced in the last decade or so, we are still dedicated to being among the best legal aid solicitors in Manchester has to offer. Our expertise in the field of family law means that we have a wealth of experience in dealing with stressful situations such as adoption, divorce and children disputes. It also means that we see time and time again just how important it is for clients to be able to access expert legal advice. The law can be a complex and intimidating area at the best of times, and as legal aid solicitors Manchester we feel that people should have the support they need irrespective of their financial position. 

The number and type of cases for which it is possible to apply for legal aid has been greatly reduced in the past decade or so, as has the number of solicitors willing to take on the remaining legal aid work. It is now impossible, for example, to apply for legal aid to help with preparing for an employment tribunal, or to fund a case of medical negligence. Nonetheless, there are still plenty of cases in which we can act as legal aid solicitors in Manchester, and we feel it is our duty to explain to our clients if we feel an application for legal aid might be successful, and the personal criteria which apply in addition to the case details.   

In simple terms, particular cases are eligible for legal aid in the following areas of law:

  • All criminal cases with the exception of minor offences
  • Some asylum and immigration cases
  • Some cases dealing with disputes in the field of community care, such as the care delivered in hospital or a nursing or residential home
  • A small number of cases involving personal debt, generally if the debt is so serious an individual is in danger of bankruptcy or losing their home
  • Cases of discrimination can still be dealt with by legal aid solicitors Manchester
  • If a person feels that a decision regarding the special educational needs of their child is mistaken they can apply for legal aid to fight their case
  • Some family law cases, such as mediation to resolve financial disputes following a relationship breakdown, can be dealt with by legal aid solicitors Manchester
  • A few housing issues are still eligible for legal aid support, such as unlawful eviction, possession claims and injunctions in cases of harassment
  • Legal aid is available for clients wishing to be represented at some mental health tribunals
  • Miscellaneous cases such as those involving gang related violence, protection from harassment, environmental pollution and civil claims for abuse and sexual assault allegations

As the outline above makes clear, even without going into specific detail, there are still plenty of cases in which it is possible to use the services of legal aid solicitors Manchester to ensure that you have access to the help, advice and expertise you need. As well as meaning that legal representation is available for everyone whether they can afford to pay for it or not, our work as legal aid solicitors in Manchester means that clients can consider legal action without worrying that they’ll have to pay the expenses of the other party if they lose. We feel that our client’s decisions should always be based on the rights and wrongs of the situation, rather than any possible cost, and our work as legal aid solicitors Manchester ensures that this is the case for as many of them as possible.  

When a client contacts us we’ll ascertain the details of their case and use our experience as legal aid solicitors in Manchester to decide whether it is one of the cases still covered by legal aid provision, which could cover some or all of the legal costs involved. If legal aid might be available we’ll cover the criteria which are applied. In simple terms, our legal aid solicitors Manchester need to be certain that you don’t have the means to pay for your own legal representation.

The financial rules which are in place governing an application for legal aid differ between civil and criminal cases and from case to case, but in general terms, in order for a client to qualify for civil legal aid, their capital and income needs to be below certain limits. The capital held by a client needs to be assessed by the legal aid solicitors in Manchester, and if this test is passed then the income of the client will be assessed. The capital of the client will be assessed on the basis of money they have in the bank or valuable items they own, the value of their home if they own it and the value of any second property they own (only the equity in the property is assed, not the amount secured by a mortgage). 

The limit for legal aid is passed if the client has less than £8,000 in disposable capital. If this is the case, the client’s income will then be assessed. Clients in receipt of specific means-tested benefits, such as Universal Credit, will automatically qualify for legal aid if they pass the capital test. The income test sets an upper limit on the gross income of £ 2,657 per month, and if the gross monthly income of the client exceeds this amount, they will not qualify for legal aid. If the gross income of a client is less than this amount, they will then have their disposable income assessed. This involves deducting basic living expenses from their gross income, including the following:

  • tax and national insurance
  • child care costs
  • housing costs
  • child maintenance
  • set allowances for a partner and children
  • fixed work costs  

The disposable income left after these deductions have been made must not exceed £773 per month. Our legal aid solicitors Manchester will ask for information such as :

  • Any recent payslips
  • Bank statements
  • Details of savings and investments
  • Details of any benefit income
  • Mortgage statements
  • Information on the value of property 

If you want to find out more about working with our legal aid solicitors in Manchester and whether your circumstances are likely to apply please call our Legal Aid Solicitors on 0161 429 7251 or email us at [email protected]. We’ve recently passed our Cyber Essential accreditation, something which demonstrates our forward-thinking attitude and determination to remain ahead of the competition. The first 20-minute appraisal is provided free of charge, and we’ll give you the first appointment for a fixed fee, so you don’t have to worry about how much our advice is going to cost.  If you want to explore our wider charging system then please take a look here.

Higgins Miller Logo

admin

April 21, 2022

Legal Aid & Funding