Applicants to the CCRC will often qualify for legal aid. In order to work out whether your case may qualify we will need to start by assessing (i) the work that will need to be done on the case, and (ii) whether there is a realistic chance of success. The case will then need to be passed to an appropriate solicitor to make a formal application to the Legal Aid Agency for funding. The solicitor will then carry out any litigation in the case, whilst the preparation of the CCRC application remains with Stephen.
In judicial reviews of CCRC decisions the same procedure of applying for legal aid through a solicitor will usually apply. However, by this stage you will often already have a solicitor, particularly in cases where the CCRC application was carried out on legal aid.
Applicants to the Court of Appeal will normally be granted legal aid directly by the Court. In such cases it may not be necessary for a solicitor to be involved to the same extent.
Years of government cuts have led to a situation where many clients are unable to obtain legal aid. Clients can be refused by the Legal Aid Agency either on the ground that the merits of the case are not sufficient to justify the grant of legal aid, or on the ground that the client is able to finance their appeal themselves.
As a barrister able to conduct litigation, Stephen can handle all aspects of your case. The amount of work involved in preparing a CCRC application, judicial review, or application to the Court of Appeal varies significantly from case to case, but is always substantial. At the lowest end, a judicial review on a simple point may take only a few days of work. At the highest end, a full case review with a view to an application to the Court of Appeal may take weeks or months, involving the reading of tens of thousands of pages of material from a lengthy trial, drafting of grounds of review, instruction of experts, tracing of witnesses, and correspondence with the CCRC.
A number of funding options are available, tailored to the individual circumstances of your case:
- A fixed fee may be appropriate if your case has a clearly determined amount of work which needs to be completed, for example review of a file and drafting of grounds to apply to the CCRC based on it, or instructions to attend a single hearing.
- An hourly rate may be appropriate in larger cases where the amount of work to be done cannot be determined at the outset, for example where significant research into novel points of law, or into fresh evidence, needs to be carried out. This ensures that you only pay for the work which is done on the case, and all work for which you are billed is accounted for.
- Staged payments can be arranged for cases which are expected to last a considerable period of time.