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How is legal help different from legal aid?

9 replies

messyoldmess · 26/01/2007 17:44

My solicitor told me that up until now I have been receiving legal help, which later becomes legal aid.
How are the two things different?
I hadn't heard of legal help before now, only legal aid.

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Freckle · 26/01/2007 19:04

As far as I am aware (having been out of practice for many years) legal help replaced the Green Form. The Green Form was a document you signed when you first consulted your solicitor which enabled the solicitor to conduct a certain amount of work on your behalf before having to apply for legal aid. Normally you could have an initial interview and some basic work done, up to a maximum amount of time, on Green Form. Then you would have to apply for full legal aid to continue acting for that client. I think that legal help is what the old Green Form covered.

You may well find that you are entitled to legal aid, but with a contribution from you as you are working. In fact, legal aid isn't even called legal aid any more, but a lot of solicitors still use the term because that is what the public recognises.

messyoldmess · 27/01/2007 00:19

Thanks, Freckle, that makes it all a bit clearer. Just assumed I was just receiving legal aid, so was a bit thrown by this legal help thing!

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messyoldmess · 27/01/2007 00:23

The bits on the Green form, I am assuming are far less costly than the whole legal aid, which could cost thousands & thosands!

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chocolatebirdy · 27/01/2007 00:24

Freckle. just wondering what is legal aid called now?

Freckle · 27/01/2007 05:12

Tbh, I can't remember! It used to be administered by the Legal Aid Board, which is now called the Legal Services Commission, so I suspect the new name is linked to that. I'm sure someone else will know.

Freckle · 27/01/2007 05:17

Although I could be wrong and it still is called legal aid and it's just the name of the administering body which has changed.

JustUsTwo · 27/01/2007 07:53

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JustUsTwo · 27/01/2007 07:56

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messyoldmess · 27/01/2007 09:02

Thanks for explaining all that, JustUsTwo, that makes it a lot clearer.
It probably explains why my solicitor is so keen for us to try & sort things through mediation, as it cuts right down on court costs.

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