“Even today a person of moderate means may be outside the
legal aid scheme,and not be able to take his case higher:
especially with the risk of failure attaching to it.”
—Lord Denning, Master of the Rolls (House of Lords decision; note 1)—
The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 sets out the areas of law covered by legal aid.
If the area of law is covered, eligibility is determined by means testing. To qualify, a litigant and his/her partner must have a combined income lower than £31,884 p.a., and combined savings of under £8,000. This makes quite a broad provision for single people, but is heavily biased against a litigant who happens to have a partner, in that their average income must be lower than £15,942 each, and their average savings less than £4,000 each.
Housing cases—Although there is provision for legal aid, the means testing applies. This makes legal aid provision problematic if, for example, a working couple faces a possession notice or eviction.
Employment cases—In the employment scenario, there is no provision for legal aid (unless in a discrimination case, for example) and many people will have no representation from a union.
Unable to fund a law firm, today’s legal aid provision leaves a great many people out in the cold. However, Lifeline Legal™ could be your answer.
Note 1: The case of Davis v Johnson  AC 264 HL