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

    Being granted bail is important to a suspect for a number of reasons. Refusal of bail may have a significant effect on the outcome of the trial as it may become difficult to consult with lawyers and prepare an adequate defence.

  2. What Impact will Formalising Plea Bargaining have on Justice and Equality in the English ...

    plea without the cost of trial, and witnesses are spared having to give evidence.'21 However, he fails to mention the victim who is likely to lose all faith in justice as a result of the proposed system. To conclude, a formal system of plea bargaining would reverse the adversarial model

  1. Describe how civil disputes can be resolved without going to court (this does not ...

    which both don't always encourage reinstatement of the employee only damages awarded. Arbitration is such a favoured and used process in the UK that a independent body has being setup, it is called ACAS. ACAS is short for Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service: an independent body set up to promote the improvement of industrial relations.

  2. Woolf Reforms

    of pre-action protocols to lay down a code of conduct for this stage of the proceedings. The pre-action protocols that have been produced cover areas of practice such as personal injury, medical negligence and housing cases. They aim to encourage a settlement before proceedings have commenced and an earlier and fuller exchange of information between the parties.

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

    The ranger did this to protect the locals and hide his own inadequacy. The aboriginal black tracker had difficulty with English which unfortunately made the rangers evidence more readily listened to. The Legal system should not allow this discrepancy to occur.

  2. Court proceedings.

    To be eligible for jury service a person must be: - between 18 and 70 - ordinarily resident in the UK for at least 5 years since the age of 13 - not ineligible - not disqualified Members of the judiciary and legal profession, the clergy and the mentally disordered are ineligible.

  1. The Canadian Justice system towards aboriginal offenders

    be recommending that this offence, although of a serious nature, can be dealt with within the community by appropriate, proper supervision of the accused person by the local band.29 The heightened involvement of the aboriginal community in the sentencing circle may also result in less societal dependence on the criminal justice system.

  2. Describe with the aid of examples, the authorities, representative bodies or persons that exercise ...

    of creditors * securities held by them and the dates when these were given * any further information that the official receiver may require3." The statement must be submitted and verified by the director/s of the company and/or by any present or past officers of the company, and/or persons who

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