Funding Legal CostsPublished on: 28 October 2016
During consultation with the judiciary and legal profession prior to the Government’s drastic cuts to family Legal Aid in 2013, many voiced concerns that the costs ‘saved’ on legal aid would simply be passed across to be borne by the Courts, directly and in practical terms, as they fought valiantly to deal with a deluge of unrepresented litigants.
One party to fund the other party's legal costs
The Courts have adopted practices and systems for trying to help them without putting them at an unfair advantage over people paying for legal services, but there will always be situations where it is manifestly vital that a party has access to legal advice, even when they do not qualify for the very restricted Legal Aid still available, or do not have recourse to funds of their own.
In certain family law situations the courts can make orders where it is clear one party has the resources to fund their own representation and the other party does not, requiring one party to pay to fund the other party’s ongoing legal costs and, in some cases, costs they have already incurred.
The Courts will not treat such an application lightly and will need to be satisfied that the person seeking the Order has no reasonable access to other sources of funding such as credit cards, loans, savings or an asset against which borrowing could be secured.
Additionally their representative is expected to be very clear in the budget they present to the Court and the reasonableness of any intended course of action set out in that budget is likely to be scrutinised closely.
The Court does also have some powers to order the sale of assets prior to the final decision being made, to provide or free up future funds.
Lanyon Bowdler are very well-placed to assist clients in these circumstances.
We are one of a number of firms authorised by specialist and reputable litigation loan providers to carry out work funded by them. As such, we can assist a client to establish if they are eligible for the loan and, depending on the outcome, either work under the terms of the loan or provide firm evidence to the Court that a loan has been refused, as part of an application for an order for payment of their ongoing legal costs.
Likely to impress
Our unique pricing structure is likely to impress a judge faced with an application for such an order since the choice and flexibility of pricing options will give the Court a clear set of alternatives with which to work.
Our pricing is tailored to a clear breakdown of work likely to be required which also goes some way to assisting the Court to satisfy itself the proposed costs are reasonable to the needs of the case.