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Granting legal advice

If the applicant is found financially eligible, then legal advice is usually granted locally, subject to the principle that if the application is later found to be out of scope, legal advice can be withdrawn.

Typically there is no formal “decision” to grant in this case and the case is placed on the applications record. If the matter is priority, offer the next available appointment with a solicitor. If not, grant a first consultation appointment according to the procedure in Chapter 5 of the Administrative Procedures Handbook.

We aspire to ensure that all financially eligible applicants for legal services receive a first consultation with a solicitor within a month of their application. Certain matters are prioritised and will be given the earliest possible appointment with a solicitor.

In order to ensure that every applicant receives an appointment with a solicitor at the earliest opportunity, in law centres with a waiting time estimated more than four months, applicants on the applications record are offered a first consultation at an early date. We aspire that this appointment should take place within one month, but it should it take place no later than four months after their completed application.

After that appointment, if they require further legal services, they remain on the applications record and continue to wait until a more substantive legal service (a second consultation) can be provided.

In some law centres the total waiting time for legal services is less than four months. In such cases, and for priority cases in all law centres, substantive legal services begins with the first consultation