• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Conditional Fee Arrangements and Legal Aid

Extracts from this document...


a) Identify and explain the purpose of conditional fee arrangements. Conditional fee arrangements are sometimes known as 'no win no fee'. This system can allow legal representation to be provided to you irrespective of your means, with the solicitor recovering their fees only if you are successful. Although this may remove some of the financial risks of taking legal action, it does not remove them all. If you win your case, you must pay your solicitor's fees and any expenses for items such as experts' reports and barrister's or other solicitor's opinions. These are known as disbursements. There may also be a success fee, which is a percentage increase a solicitor will charge his client in addition to his normal standard costs in the event of winning a case. The amount of percentage increase usually depends on the likelihood of winning and is based on the solicitor's normal charging rate, usually based on solicitors' hourly rate. If you lose, you need pay no fees to your solicitor. However, you may have to pay your own expenses such as court and expert witness fees and your opponent's legal fees, including their solicitors' basic charges and success fee, insurance premiums and disbursements; meaning the statement 'no win, no fee' is very misleading and sometimes costs more than what is gained. ...read more.


Merits tests assess whether the applicant's case is likely to succeed, and whether it is sufficiently important to justify state funding. The specific details of the means and merits tests varied according to the type of legal aid, and some imposed neither test. The system of legal aid was set up in 1949 to ensure access to justice for those on low incomes who would otherwise have been able to afford it. This does not mean, however, that they all received access. It still left a huge proportion of people denied access because they could not afford it, yet were not eligible for legal aid. Lawyers constantly claimed that the system was underfunded and that lawyers working within it were badly paid. The underfunding risked creating a second-class service, not because of the lack of quality in the lawyers themselves, but because they simply could not afford to spend the same amount of time on a case as a privately funded lawyer. It was also discovered in 1997 that over the previous year more than 25,000 individuals who were granted legal aid were later discovered not to have been entitled to it, costing the government up to �60 million a year. The standard of legally aided criminal defence work was also very low. A vast quantity was carried out by unqualified staff; solicitors pushed clients towards pleading guilty rather than taking the time to prepare an effective defence. ...read more.


Direct funding is provided for different categories of legal service such as Advice and Assistance, which has replaced the 'Green Form' scheme. Funding is available for the provision of advice and assistance from a solicitor, including general advice, writing letters, negotiating, getting a barrister's opinion and preparing a written case. Funding is also available for advocacy assistance, which covers the costs of a solicitor preparing a client's case and their initial representation in certain proceedings in both the magistrates' court and Crown Court, and in certain other circumstances. When a person has been charged with a criminal offence, the third category, representation, covers the cost of a solicitor o prepare their defence and to represent them in court. It may also be available for a bail application. It will sometimes pay for a barrister, particularly for the Crown Court and for the cost of an appeal. State funding for criminal cases, because of The Criminal Defence Act 2006, is now subject to means testing in the magistrates' court; and means testing in the Crown Court will be piloted from the end of 2007. This would suggest that the government are finding the cost of the criminal legal aid too high and are seeking to reduce the cost for the state, stating that the government are more interested in trying to save money, rather than ensuring everyone has access to justice; in effect, by introducing the means testing for criminal cases the government are limiting people's access to justice. Rebecca Turner Assignment 9.18 08/04/2009 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Machinery of Justice section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Machinery of Justice essays

  1. Woolf Reforms

    A further change that has been applied be the civil courts as a result of the new rules is the increase of use of Alternative Dispute Resolutions. There is a general statement in the new rules that the court's duty to further the overriding objective be active case management includes

  2. Why do young people join gangs and other subcultures? How does a criminal sub ...

    Cohen argued that these crimes were a direct response to status depravation, and that this response was logical and rational. He argued that, "most delinquents are motivated by status depravation, wherein they feel they are looked down upon by the rest of society and denied any status.

  1. THE ACCESS to JUSTICE ACT 1999 Civil Cases The state funding of civil cases ...

    Suppliers and Quality To try to ensure the quality of the service provided the Access to Justice Act 1999 has developed and extended the "franchising" scheme introduced in 1994 by the Legal Aid Board. The 1999 Act has established a scheme of contracts with law firms and since April

  2. The Defence of the Corporate Veil - Parent Companies Beware!

    In particular, the Courts will not allow the corporate form to be used:- - for the purposes of fraud or dishonestly for the express purpose of depriving a claimant of the ability to exercise his lawful rights; - as a mere device or sham to evade a contractual or other

  1. Outline the rights of a defendant to legal representation and bail

    The underlying doctrine is very clear. 'Unnecessary resort to custody is as legally wrong as it is morally offensive.'1 But there are certain principles which should guide decision makers in their treatment of the defendant. Justice delayed is seen by many to be justice denied and the public has a right to be protected against individuals who could pose a threat.

  2. "The Chamberlain Case highlighted many of the weaknesses in the Australian legal system

    Police Bias Police have bias as they are involved first hand with the investigation and sometimes cannot be objective. They would not have had the Chamberlain's best interests at heart. Instead, the force would have been worried about their town, its people and thought of the Chamberlains as outside visitors, a family of "weird" religious beliefs.

  1. Psychological research has lead to a better understanding of crime in society, the legal ...

    The self fulfilling prophecy is where an individual is labelled as a stereotype, and they then become that stereotype because they feel it is what is expected of them. "Smith and Mackie in 2000 define the self fulfilling prophecy as the process by which one person's expectations about another become reality by eliciting behaviours that confirm the expectations."

  2. Expert Testimony and Its Value In the Justice System

    Anyone can be mistaken, even a person who is deemed an expert in their field. Things become even harder for the Jury when they have to listen to conflicting testimonies from the experts of both the prosecution and defence. Deciding upon which evidence should be taken as fact and which

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work