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Are There Substitutes To Legal Aid?

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There have been few coordinated attempts to devise alternatives to legal aid.

Some judges and lawyers have suggested moving to an Inquisitorial system rather than an Adversarial system. Supporters of the status quo say argument between opposing sides is more effective in extracting the truth. However this could be at a detrimental to the defendant, as they may not have the skills and knowledge to represent themselves effetely. We would always suggest that getting the correct information from a specialist is the best course of action, before heading to any court proceedings. 

You could possibility have ask for the advice of a “McKenzie Friends”. They are often unqualified, but can sit beside a claimant or defendant and give advice and help. This method of legal help is being increasingly resorted to, when someone cannot afford a legal representation.

Please remember some do charge a fee, but will be relatively cheaper than most solicitors.

There is also the option of using a Law centre, However their funding by sometimes provided by impoverished local authorities, and is now under more threat then every of funding being cut. They Often step in to provide services of advice and sometimes representation for those who are adrift in the justice system.

A Public Defenders Service (PDS) with salaried lawyers working on defence cases has been established since 2001. Opponents say government funded defence lawyers are not sufficiently incentivised to go the extra mile on a client’s behalf and point to similar under-resourced services found in the United States of America.

The PDS was revived in 2015 when the MoJ attempted to use it as a strikebreaking force in the face of a legal aid boycott by barristers and solicitors.

Crowd-funding websites advertising cases of public significance are increasingly used to fund judicial reviews and even private prosecutions.

Using a solicitor more cheaply

You might be able to get a short appointment with a solicitor for free or a set cost. Some of our solicitors offer a 15 minutes free consultation to help find the best course of action for your matter. You can also get in contact with other solicitors that work for you on a 'no win, no fee' basis.

You can check the prices for some common services on solicitors’ websites. Our prices are located [Click here

Prices have to publish for some offences, such a motoring offences and employment tribunals.

Getting advice for free or a fixed fee

Some solicitors firm offer a 15-30 minutes legal advice for free, whereas some others offer a fixed fee. That way you'll know in advance what the advice will cost. You can call a solicitor's office and ask if they offer any free consultancy or a fixed fee.

A free or fixed-fee appointment can help you find out your rights and legal position. It's a good way to find out whether it's worth taking someone else to court or if you have a case that's worth defending.

You'll need to get the best out of your appointment. You should make a note beforehand of what you need to say and find out. You could speak to an adviser at your nearest Citizens Advice to help you decide what questions to ask the solicitor.

To ensure that you take any relevant documents to the appointment, call the solicitor's office to find out if they want you to bring and if there are any particular documents that are needed to process your case, such as a passport.

We at Wainwright and Cummins see every case differently and to make sure that you get the correct advice we ask that you contact us on the phone 020 737 9330 or Via our website.