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Legal aid and access to the law market


Each year legal aid provides two million people with access to the law market in England and Wales - access which they could not have afforded otherwise. In England and Wales the Legal Services Commission runs the scheme, in Scotland it is the Scottish Legal Aid Board and in Northern Ireland the Northern Ireland Legal Services Commission. Legal aid is a government-funded scheme which provides individuals access to the law market and ensures protection of basic rights, such as the right to a fair trial. The scheme also provides for access to the court process in order to resolve disputes.

In England and Wales the Legal Services Commission has an annual budget of £2 billion per year set by the Treasury. With this budget the Commission is able to provide funding for solicitors to help individuals understand their legal rights and advise on matters such as dispute resolution, family breakdown, debt and insolvency. Additionally, solicitors are able to provide advice to those in custody for criminal offences and if necessary represent them in court.

Whether you are eligible for legal aid will depend on certain factors, such as the type of legal problem you have, how much you earn, the value of your assets (property and belongings) and whether there is a reasonable chance of winning your case.

If you have a legal problem and would like to apply for legal aid or would like to know more about the scheme then speak to your local Citizens Advice Bureau. If you know that you won’t be eligible for legal aid and need to speak to solicitor, Contact Law can put you in touch with a local law firm with specialist solicitors free of charge. So if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local solicitors please call us on 0808 129 5763 or complete the web-form above. 

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Contact Law supports the endeavours of STAE and commends all the work they are undertaking to assist in the plight of the Asian Elephant


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