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Funding legal advice and Legal Services Orders

Date:5 SEP 2019
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Head of Family Law

Section 22ZA Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (‘MCA’) gives the court the power to make on order requiring one spouse to fund the other spouse’s legal advice. This is called a Legal Services Order (‘LSO’). LSOs are interim orders made before proceedings are concluded. This is because they will provide a successful party with the funds to continue with the proceedings.

Before making an order the court must be satisfied that without the order the applicant would not be able to obtain legal help for the proceedings. In the case of Rubin v Rubin it was stated that the court will not generally consider that the applicant should give up their home or modest savings to pay for legal services but this depends on the facts of the case. The court also held that evidence of two refusals for commercial litigation loans would be adequate evidence that the applicant’s legal services cannot be paid for in this way. Further it was stated that it may be reasonable for the applicant to refuse a loan with a very high rate of interest.

How to apply?

Under the Family Procedure Rules 2010 Part 18 an...

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