We have a contract with the Legal Aid Agency for criminal defence work.

This means that we can provide many of our criminal defence services without charge to those who are eligible. If you do not qualify for legal aid, or you do not want to be legally aided, we can represent you on as a private-paying basis.

We will always discuss with you how much the appeal is likely to cost and whenever possible, we will agree to fix our costs for each stage of the appeal process. To begin with, this may include agreeing a fee with you to look at your case to provide a preliminary opinion on the merits of an appeal.

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Legal aid

At the police station

Free Legal Advice is available for anyone interviewed by the police under caution regardless of their income and capital. This applies to those who have been arrested and taken to the police station and to individuals attending the police station voluntarily (usually by prior appointment with the police).

Although Legal Advice will cover the costs of advice and representation at the police station, it does not cover the cost of work done away from the police station. This means that any work carried out in preparation for a voluntary interview or in readiness for a ‘return date’ (if you have been released on police bail), will not be covered by legal aid and will need to be paid for privately.


Legal aid is available in some appeal cases, but this depends on individual circumstances. We can discuss whether you are likely to be eligible for legal aid. If you are not eligible for legal aid for your appeal, we can discuss how to fund your appeal on a private-paying basis.

It is important to remember that strict time limits apply to appeals from both the Magistrates’ Court and Crown Court. You may be able to appeal a decision outside these time limits but there is no automatic right to do so. It is vital that you obtain advice from a criminal defence specialist at the earliest opportunity. Further information is available on our Appeals page.

In the Crown Court

Most cases heard in the Crown Court automatically pass the interests of justice test as they are more serious. Defendants in these cases will only need to pass a means test to be eligible for a Representation Order. This is based on an assessment of disposable income:

  • If your disposable income is below the lower limit, you will be eligible for legal aid.
  • If your disposable income is above the upper limit, you will not be eligible for legal aid and you will have to pay for the services of a solicitor and/or barrister privately.
  • If your disposable income is between the upper and lower limits, you will be eligible for a Representation Order, but you will have to pay contributions towards your legal aid costs. If you receive certain benefits or are under 18 years of age when you apply, you will not have to pay any contribution towards legal aid.


If you are found not guilty, any contributions you have paid towards your legal aid will be refunded.

Defendants who are found guilty may be ordered to pay towards the costs of their legal aid from their capital.


In the Magistrates’ Court

All criminal proceedings start in the Magistrates’ Court. More serious cases are passed from the Magistrates’ Court to the Crown Court.

Individuals who have been charged with an offence or summoned to attend the Magistrates’ Court can apply for a Representation Order (previously referred to as a Legal Aid Certificate) to cover their legal costs. The application is subject to two tests: an interests of justice test and a means test.

The interests of justice test is based on the seriousness of the offence. Generally speaking, non-imprisonable offences such as minor traffic and public order offences will not pass the interests of justice test.

The means test is based on income and capital.

Only those who pass both bests will be eligible for a Representation Order. If you are not eligible for a Representation Order, you can pay for your legal costs privately.

Private client work

For those who are not eligible for legal aid, or who wish to pay privately for our services, we can provide an estimate of our likely costs. In many cases, we can agree a fixed fee or a staged payment arrangement to help manage costs. We will always be transparent about the likely cost of the work to be done and any other expenses involved (such as the cost of an expert’s report).

Further information about our fixed fees for some motoring and traffic offences is available on our Motoring Offences page.

Contact us now on 0121 605 6000 or at for more information about funding your case.

For more information on our criminal defence services, or to arrange a confidential, no obligation, telephone call with one of our lawyers, please contact us.

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