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Separation and Divorce in the Circuit Court

What is the Panel?

The Judicial Separation and Divorce Solicitors Panel is our panel of solicitors for judicial separation and divorce matters in the Circuit Court.  It also covers separations concluded by way of separation agreement. 

What work can I expect from the Panel?

This panel covers the provision of legal advice in relation to the conclusion of a separation agreement. It also covers legal aid in relation to the following matters in the Circuit Court:

  • Judicial separation
  • Divorce

Please note that the Panel does not cover High Court appeals. If a legally aided person wishes to appeal their case to the High Court, then they should be referred to a law centre.

How do I join the Panel

You will need to be enrolled as a solicitor in the State, have adequate professional indemnity insurance to the Board's satisfaction (currently €1.5m) and meet tax clearance requirements. You will need to apply in writing, on the application form, and give a signed undertaking to comply with the Terms and Conditions of membership and the provisions of the law regarding civil legal aid.

Click here for the application form for the Panel.  

Applications should preferably be sent by email to info@legalaidboard.ie . Alternatively they can be posted to Private Practitioner Services, Legal Aid Board, Quay Street, Cahersiveen, Co. Kerry V23 RD36 or by DX 166004 CAHERSIVEEN.

I'm signed up. How do I get work?

Applicants apply at law centres for legal aid and advice. The application will be considered by the Board and if granted the applicant will be given a legal aid certificate. It is the law centre's decision in accordance with management guidance as to who is referred to the panel. There is no entitlement to be referred but we will take the wishes of the applicant into account.

A person who is referred to the Panel will be given a copy of an extract from the Panel with the names of the solicitors providing services in the county in which the court proceedings are taking place. Either the Board or the legally aided person then notifies the solicitor and provides them with the following documents:

  • the legal aid certificate which includes 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 claimform 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 the Civil Legal Aid Act 1995.  A copy of the certificate should be retained by the solicitor / firm on the client file.  Another copy 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 without a valid legal aid certificate.

What are the fees payable?

There is a standard scale of fees paid to solicitors/firms on the Panel for providing services in each case.  They may be claimed on the claim form.