How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jo C. Your Own Question
Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 32177
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
Type Your Law Question Here...
Jo C. is online now

Both my parents received legal aid from firm dealing with builders

Customer Question

Both my parents received legal aid from firm dealing with builders dispute with council. Legal aid in my fathers name as all benefits for my parents in his name,father died in May 2012,informed solicitor of this straight away but he did not inform legal aid until August 25012.Solicitor did not apply for new application for legal aid for my mother even though he was aware that legal aid would terminate in April 2013.He informed my mother her only option was no win no fee.I see that his negligence in applying on time for my mother led to this situation.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alice H replied 4 years ago.
My name is Alex Hughes and I'm happy to help with your question today.

Please specify exactly what you wish to know please.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The solicitor acting for my mother did not make a new application for legal aid for her on time. He knew in advance that legal aid would end in April.


1. Has there been professional neglience ?


2.Has there been a breach of contract ?


The solicitor is trying to force her to take a conditional fee agreement,we feel that this is unacceptable as this would put her in an adverse position compared to legal aid ( 25% success fee for barrister and solictor ). What steps should we take?


Expert:  Ash replied 4 years ago.
Hello my name is Alex and I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.

I see the expert has opted out - do you still need help?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Can i please have a response.

Expert:  Ash replied 4 years ago.
Did the solicitor explain the delay or why he did not apply for a new legal aid certificate?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

A reason for the delay was never explained despite numerous letters requesting one.

Expert:  Ash replied 4 years ago.
What loss was suffered as a result please?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The ultimate loss is legal aid for my mother and an unnecessary delay in the case and detoriation in the home that she lives in.


Despite statutory charges that have to be paid under legal aid,agreeing to a no win no fee would financially make her worse off for example 25 % fee for solicitor and barrister,interim hearing costs from council,part 36,solicitors basic charges and 20% VAT etc.

Why should my mother agree to something like this that was never part of the original agreement.



Expert:  Ash replied 4 years ago.
How much are the losses in that case? If it was no win no fee, were costs not recovered from the other side?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The dispute with the council is not completed,i am not able to tell you what the costs are. This case was a legal aid case not no win no fee, the case has been on hold since may of this year because the solicitors lost legal aid for my mother because they did not apply for her after her husband died.

Expert:  Ash replied 4 years ago.
The case has not been concluded?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The solictors are tying to make my mother sign a no win no fee or conditional agreement. They have not accepted responsibility for the loss of her legal aid with no explanation at all, they say her only option is no win no fee.My mother says no to them because they are at fault.

Expert:  Ash replied 4 years ago.
Yes but if your mum win costs would be recovered in any event and payable to the legal aid boards?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hence the statutory charge, any damages awarded to her would enable her to sort her home out.


What about the success fees that comes out of her damages to pay the solicitor and barrister?


Surely she will not be left with much of the damages after they are paid.

Could you tell me if you think their actions are negligent because they failed to apply for legal aid for her before the law changed in April this year.

Expert:  Ash replied 4 years ago.
They are only saying they will take the success fee from her damages? When were proceedings issued?