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Private Practitioner Scheme for the Circuit Court


The Civil Legal Aid Act 1995 provides that we can establish and maintain a panel of solicitors who are willing to provide legal aid and advice to persons who are in receipt of legal services.

We maintain a panel of solicitors who are willing to provide services to persons who have been granted a legal aid certificate by us for certain family law matters in the Circuit Court, to be known as the Private Practitioner Circuit Court Panel.


Panel of Solicitors

Any solicitor/firm wishing to be considered, in accordance with the provisions of these terms and conditions to have his, her or their name placed on the Panel must apply in writing to the Board. The Board will select from among the applicants, those that, in the opinion of the Board, are best suited to be engaged by the Board to provide legal services on its behalf.  In the event that the solicitor/firm is accepted on the Panel, the solicitor/firm must give an undertaking, to comply with these terms and conditions and the provisions of the Act when providing legal aid and/or advice.


Scope of the scheme

The Scheme applies only in relation to persons who have been granted legal aid certificates issued by the Board for family law proceedings in the Circuit Court regarding:-

  • Divorce
  • Judicial Separation


Operation of the scheme

A person who needs legal aid can make an application at a law centre.  If the person is granted legal aid for a divorce or judicial separation, the Board may ask the person to choose a solicitor from the Panel to act on their behalf.  Either the Board or the legally aided person then notifies the solicitor and gives the solicitor the following documents:

  • The legal aid certificate which will include the legally aided person’s name, the nature of the proceedings authorised and the steps authorised on foot of those proceedings, in terms of the expenditure on witnesses that may be incurred; and 
  • a Claim Form CF1 on which the legal aid certificate number should be entered.


The certificate is the solicitor’s authority to provide legal aid to the client under this Scheme.  Part III of the certificate should be retained by the solicitor / firm on the client file.  Part IV of the certificate should be attached to the Claim Form for payment of the fee and any outlay, when the case is concluded.

Legal services cannot be provided under the Scheme without a valid legal aid certificate. 


Fees payable

There is a standard scale of fees paid to solicitors/firms on the Panel for providing services in each case.