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How could I fund my legal case?

There are various ways to fund your legal requirements depending on the particular matter and your own financial situation and means.

Privately funding an action – this is the normal basis upon which solicitors are instructed to handle a claim. Legal fees will usually be charged in accordance with the time spent in connection with the matter, at a set hourly rate. VAT will also be charged if appropriate. For private casework Outer Temple Chambers has adopted the Bar Council’s Standard Contractual Terms for the Supply of Legal Services by Barristers to Authorised Persons 2012 (updated for the GDPR in 2018). We also accept instructions under the Combar / CLLS Agreement for the Supply of Legal Services (COMBAR 3 Barrister’s Terms). Payment of fees is required within 30 days of the first fee note/invoice.

‘Before the event’ insurance – this is a type of legal expenses insurance. Often cover is provided as part of contents, building or car insurance. You should contact your insurance provider to see what cover you may have.

‘After the event’ insurance (ATE insurance) – this is a type of legal expenses insurance that provides cover for the legal costs incurred in the pursuit or defence of litigation and arbitration. The policy is purchased after a legal dispute has arisen. ATE insurance can be purchased for nearly all areas of litigation. It can be taken out in conjunction with a conditional fee agreement to insure against the possibility of a claimant being ordered to pay a defendant’s costs if he or she loses. In some limited circumstances it may also cover a claimant’s own legal costs of bringing the claim. Different insurers offer different varieties of cover and different ways of paying premiums.

Third party litigation funding – there are specialist companies which invest in litigation in return for a substantial share (usually up to 50%) of the damages. The cases in which they invest are of a certain size, where the prospects of success are high and where the opponent’s ability to pay is good. The third party funders will require an element of control of the case. The funding will generally cover all or part of your costs, any ATE premium and any costs you are required to pay your opponent.

Legal Aid – If you can’t afford legal advice or support in court, you might be able to get legal aid towards some or all of your costs for a serious problem if you’re on a low income and your case is serious. You might get legal aid, for example, if:

  • you or your children are at risk of domestic violence or forced marriage
  • you’re going to be made homeless
  • you need family mediation
  • you’re being discriminated against
  • you’re taking a case to court under the Human Rights Act
  • you’ve been accused of a crime and could go to jail

There are 2 types of legal aid, for criminal and civil cases. Crimes are harmful acts such as violence or theft. Civil cases are often private disputes between people – for example, because of relationship breakdown or purchase of a defective product. Civil cases also include disputes about government or local services such as benefits or social care.

You can: find out about legal aid on GOV.UK; find out about legal aid for family matters on the Child Law Advice website; find a legal aid solicitor on the Law Society website; or you can also ask your nearest Citizens Advice if they have a list of legal aid solicitors.

Exceptional case funding – if you can’t get legal aid, there’s a small chance you might get help through ‘exceptional case funding’. You can find out how to apply for exceptional case funding without using a legal professional on the Public Law Project website. You can ask your nearest Citizens Advice if they can help you apply.

Conditional Fee Arrangements and Damages Based Agreements

You can talk to our Practice Directors or Managers about the options that might be suitable for your particular matter.

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