Resources for legal aid practitioners

Public Law Project has prepared a practice note and a precedent to assist practitioners following the decision in PLP client Claire’s case – R (oao GR) v Director Of Legal Aid Casework [2020] EWHC 3140 (Admin). The decision establishes that the Director has a discretion to value assets other than money on an ‘equitable basis’ (i.e. by valuing at ‘nil’ so that it does not affect eligibility) when determining eligibility for legal aid.

The note sets out the full implications of the judgment and how it can be applied to low income homeowners who may not initially appear eligible for legal aid due to ‘trapped capital’ in a family home which they cannot access. It is likely to be of particular interest to family practitioners assisting victims of domestic violence, but the judgment does apply across all areas of civil law.

The precedent can be adapted and used to make representations to the Director of Legal Aid Casework in supporting new applications for certificated funding or to request a review of a previous refusal, in light of the recent judgment. PLP is aware of a number of individuals who have successfully relied on the judgment since 24 November 2020 and is continuing to monitor its implementation.

Links to resources for legal aid practitioners

Are you an individual affected by these issues?

PLP are a small charity specialising in public law and unfortunately we do not have capacity  to advise on eligibility in individual cases, before an application for legal aid has been made.  A legal aid lawyer specialising in your legal issue (i.e. family) could assist to make an application for legal aid, who should be made aware of the judgment and the resources available on this page. Details of family lawyers able to provide legal aid can be found on PLP’s signposting list or by using the search on the Ministry of Justice website.