Civil Legal Aid

Cook, Stevenson & Company are registered with the Scottish Legal Aid Board to provide Civil Legal Aid including Children’s Legal Aid.

At your first meeting you will be assessed for Legal Aid – usually initially Legal Aid Advice & Assistance. This is why we ask you to provide us with a financial disclosure at your first meeting – including providing us with evidence of your benefits, evidence of earned income and savings. This information is required by us in order to carry out an assessment and to advise you fully regarding your entitlement to Advice & Assistance and thereafter potentially for Civil Legal Aid if your case involves raising or defending Court proceedings.

If you are in receipt of certain benefits known as passport benefits such as Income Support, Job Seeker’s Allowance or Employment Support Allowance then we would anticipate that you will be entitled to Advice & Assistance. Even if you are working you may find that you are entitled to Advice & Assistance potentially with a reasonably small contribution. Certain benefits that you may receive such as Tax Credits or Child Benefit in addition to your earned income will not be included in the assessment.

Capital or items of value which you may own – other than your house – may however have to be taken into consideration. We are always happy to meet with clients to carry out a Legal Aid Advice & Assistance assessment before you decide whether you wish to instruct us. We know that the expense of legal proceedings can be a major worry/concern for clients and that is something that we are always happy to discuss at our initial meeting. As long as you provide us with all the relevant financial information we will not charge you for attending at the office to carry out a Legal Aid assessment to provide you with an idea of the likely fees involved in the work we may be doing.

For further information the Scottish Legal Aid Board’s website contains additional information about contributions and there is a Civil Legal Aid calculator on the website which can be used to give you an idea as to the contributions which may be involved if you are involved in Court proceedings – such as divorce/residence and contact re. your children.

It is always important if you are involved in any Court action which involves the recovery or preservation of property – for example a divorce or dissolution which might involve your home being sold, that you are aware that even if you are in receipt of Legal Aid you can anticipate that your legal fees will require to be paid from the property that you are recovering or preserving.