Withdrawing legal services from a client before a case has concluded
The Board endeavours to provide a quality service to every client, from the moment they apply to the time the case is concluded and the file closed. However, circumstances may arise where it may be necessary to withdraw legal services from a client before the case has concluded. This generally occurs either because the applicant has become financially ineligible, or the solicitor-client relationship has broken down.
The process of withdrawing legal services falls under three categories:
- Withdrawal of legal advice: this applies when a legal aid certificate has not been granted.
- Termination of legal aid: this ceases the provision of legal aid by the Board.
- Revocation of the legal aid certificate: this differs from termination in that the legal aid certificate is held to have never come into being. While the outcome may appear the same, there are costs implications for the client, as they may be asked to pay the full costs the Board incurred in providing them with legal services. Revocation, as opposed to termination, rarely occurs in practice.
Whichever option is being chosen, the procedure is relatively similar. The phrase “withdrawal of legal services” is used to encompass all three.