Our family solicitors and trainee appreciate how difficult things are financially for many people in York, North Yorkshire and further afield at the moment.
We offer a range of funding options to try to ensure that those needing advice on family legal matters are not excluded from it on financial grounds.
One of these options is “concessionary” rates for those who do not qualify financially for public funding (previously known as Legal Aid), and for those who do, but do not wish to take it up.
We will always assess whether you may be eligible for public funding. In doing so we calculate what is known as your “disposable income”. In simple terms this is net income from all sources (i.e. net income from employment, plus any benefit income, or maintenance you may receive) less allowable deductions. Broadly, the deductions that are allowed are the housing expenses that you pay (whether it be rent or mortgage), and fixed amounts for dependents (for example, it is £271 per month, per dependent child).
We will of course carry out the relevant calculations for you when you come in, but, to give you a rough idea, if your “disposable income” is £733 per month or less you will qualify for public funding. If we find that you qualify, but for whatever reason you do not wish to take public funding up, we will agree to charge you privately at the same hourly rates as we claim for publicly funded work. Those rates are just under £70 per hour, and just under £7 for each letter that we write.
If your “disposable income” is over £733 per month we will not be able to sign you up to public funding. However, if, on the same calculations, your disposal income is less than £1,000 per month then we are willing and able to offer you concessionary rates. We find it works if we keep the rates simple, and, in short, they are £100 per hour; this equates with £10 for every letter we write.
VAT, currently 20%, is additional in both cases.
These rates are very heavily discounted from our normal rates, and we will always give you the best estimate we can and agree a budget with you. In return, there is one reasonable condition that you pay our monthly invoices promptly and, if it is possible, set up a Standing order.
In summary then, our concessionary rates are:-
“Disposable income” Our hourly rate
1) Less than £733 per month As per Legal Aid rates, roughly
£70 per hour plus VAT.
(2) £733 - £1,000 per month £100 per hour, £10 per letter plus VAT.
For more information and to discuss how we can help you, please call or e-mail a member of our Family Team at our solicitors office in Acomb, York on 01904 529000.