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Legal aid help

(3 Posts)
LittleMarshmallow Thu 08-Oct-09 21:04:04

Was wondering if anyone could help

I am currently defending myself against h in court over contact with ds. I applied for legal aid back in June / July but it has only just been granted mainly due to the fact my solicitor didnt have the account fee'd. Legal have only granted it from Sept not June and now I have been given a £3000 bill which I cant afford to pay,

I was up front with my solicitor from the beginning as I stated I would only go down this route if it were funded by legal aid as I couldnt afford to pay the costs of court.

Does anyone know why legal aid hasnt covered the period from June? and can I do anything about it?

DLI Fri 09-Oct-09 19:28:59

it only covers from the time you were assessed. so if your application was sorted out until September then that will be the date. Legal Aid is not backdated to the beginning of the case. What was the problem? it usually only takes a couple of weeks to be granted? did you receive a private client terms of business from your solicitor? i would arrange to speak to the complaints manager or write a letter explaining everything, if it only reduces your bill its better than nothing. if it turns out you have to pay offer to pay a certain amount each week/each month until paid off,

mumofsatan Sat 10-Oct-09 06:39:07

don't quite understand what you are saying by 'my solicitor didn't have the account fee'd'?

As DLI has said, legal aid only covers from the period when it was granted so if only granted in September, then any work undertaken prior to then would be on a private client basis. (you should however query whether any work was done under the 'Legal Help' Scheme which, if you qualify, covers the first few hours work, normally the initial interview and work to be undertaken to cover all the paperwork to apply for 'full legal aid')

Also, as DLI says, if you were to be billed as a private client whilst waiting for your legal aid application to be assessed, then you should have received a private client letter setting out the terms of business and your solicitors charging rate. You therefore need to contact your solicitor with regards to this.

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