Founding director Melanie Hamer talks about legal funding and what can be done if an individual is unable to afford legal representation, but their opponent can. Some individuals may find themselves in a situation where their opponent e.g. spouse or the parent of their child has access to funds and can afford the best representation, but they cannot. The courts now recognise this is not fair and if these individuals can tick a few boxes and jump over a few hurdles, there is a process in place whereby an application can be made to the courts to obtain a legal services order, which would order the opponent to pay their legal representation a monthly sum of money for their legal fees.

How to obtain a legal services order

  • Prove that there is a reasonable case, for example, if the applicant is being unreasonable and asking for £1M and there is only £100K then they will not get their funding. A good lawyer will ensure a reasonable case is put forward.
  • Prove that two commercial lenders such as banks/ building societies have been contacted with letters from them confirming they will not lend.
  • A letter from their lawyer stating that they will not bankroll their case, meaning they will not agree to be paid at the end of the case and will expect payment on a monthly basis.

With all of the above in place, a legal services order should be able to be obtained from the court for the opponent to pay an individual’s legal fees on a monthly basis enabling them to have what is called ‘equality of arms’ and have a good lawyer fight their case for them.

If you think you may have a case for a legal services order or if you would like to speak with one of our specialist family lawyers, please contact us and we will be delighted to help.

T: 029 2034 2233

Author: Melanie Hamer 

Published: 04/08/21