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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Would a person in receipt of benefits be entitled to have

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Would a person in receipt of benefits be entitled to have High Court fees paid under legal aid? The case is a ' Right for Light ' claim against a Developer.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Could you explain your situation a bit more please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

living in house for over 20 years and own the property. Developer built 5 storey building opposite. Surveyors report confirms actionable injury. In receipt of disability benefits.

Thanks for the information and the time.

I am sorry but I cannot give you good news then. I’m afraid you are in difficulty here.

I am sorry to have to tell you that there is no legal aid to this whether you are on benefits or not.

Im very sorry but I can only give you truthful information.

Can I answer any further points on this for you?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for your answer.


Approximately how much would the High Court fees be to bring the case to Court?


It is very difficult to estimate without knowing full details of the case but fully defended High Court case could easily cost between £10,000 and £20,000 although generally, the winner will get those costs awarded against the loser.

It is always worthwhile looking at existing house insurance because many house insurance policies have legal expenses cover that would pay for those costs.

If you do not have legal expenses cover already, you would now be too late to add it on to your policy as it appears this issue is ongoing

Some solicitors firms will do this kind of thing on a no win no fee basis but they are few and far between and you would have to have a really really good case and ring around a lot and even then you may not find one.

Please remember that light must not be excluded in the deeds and before it is actionable, it must be reduced by 50% at least.

You must have an experts report in that respect, and it is unlikely that a report from anyone other than someone who specialises in right to light matters would produce an acceptable report

It only applies to rooms and not to a garden although the room does not need to be a habitable room, it applies just as much to a garage or kitchen or hallway.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your detailed advice. Excellent. One final question.


What are the approximate legal fees for the High Court excluding barristers fees?

You can get the full list of court fees by following this link

On page 3 you will see the court fee alone this £465, there is a further fee of £220 on page 4 for allocating to the court, on page 5 you will see there is a pre-trial checklist fee of £110 and hearing fee of £1090.

So, not taking into account any legal costs it is going to cost you at least £1885 just to get to the door of the court

A solicitor would probably charge about £175 an hour plus VAT and Chancery Counsel would probably charge over £200 per hour plus VAT.

If you are bringing the claim and the defendant wins, and the defendant is using solicitors and a barrister you would be faced with paying those costs, your own costs and absorbing the court costs although as mentioned previously, if you want, you would usually get all those costs back.

If you issue proceedings and the defendant instruct solicitors and then you subsequently withdraw the proceedings, the defendant would be entitled to sue you for what are known as "wasted costs" which are the costs incurred by the defendant in dealing with your claim which you subsequently abandoned

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