Seeking Counsel's Opinion
If you decide that the written opinion of Counsel is required to consider the merits of a particular case, as distinct from engaging counsel for court proceedings, make an application for authority to Legal Services to obtain Counsel’s opinion via EOS. Set out the following in the Statement of Facts:
- the facts of the case;
- the point(s) of law on which the opinion is sought;
- the time involved; and
- any other relevant information.
Only seek an opinion when the full facts are available and where you are not in a position to offer a reasonably definitive view. In urgent cases, you may have to rely on whatever facts are reasonably available.
If approved, authorisation will issue via EOS. The contribution payable is limited to the legal advice contribution. Where the matter at issue is clearly a designated matter under the terms of the Civil Legal Aid Act 1995 and none of the exceptions apply, do not seek an opinion - because a certificate will not ultimately be issued.
The Board and its solicitors have built up significant expertise and legal knowledge in the area of family law. Counsel’s opinion at advice stage will not normally be required – or authorised - unless there is an exceptional or significant point of law involved.