What funding options are there for an inquest?
There are four main options for funding legal advice, both in the lead up to an inquest and for representation at the inquest itself.
We explain each one here in brief, but we would always advise getting in touch with one of the team so we can help to find the best option for your particular circumstances.
1 – Legal Expenses Insurance
Some Legal Expenses Insurance policies cover the costs of specialist legal advice and representation at an inquest, at no additional cost to you.
You might have Legal Expenses Insurance (LEI) as part of one of your existing insurance policies such as a home and contents insurance policy, or your bank or credit card. It is important to check all potential sources of LEI – often people do not even realise they have it!
We can help you take advantage of this cover if you have it – and we can even liaise with your insurance company on your behalf to investigate whether you have appropriate cover.
2 – Legal Aid Agency Funding – Public Funding
Funding from the Legal Aid Agency for advice and representation for Inquests is available in certain circumstances.
There are two main kinds of funding:
- Legal Help
This covers ‘advice and assistance’ from a specialist inquest solicitor to help you prepare in the lead up to an inquest. This funding is means-tested, meaning that the Legal Aid Agency will assess your financial position (including your income, outgoings and capital assets) in order to determine whether you are eligible to receive funding. However, there are certain circumstances under which it is possible to apply for this means test to be waived.
- Exceptional Case Funding
In certain case types funding can be granted for representation at the inquest hearing itself, with a specialist solicitor and/or barrister.
Typically this may apply in an Article 2 inquest where the state has a procedural duty to investigate the circumstances of a death, such as deaths involving the police, in prison or whilst a patient is under a mental health Section.
3 – Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA)
A CFA is often referred to as a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement. This basically means that if there is a successful claim for damages following the inquest then your legal costs are largely recovered from the Defendant/s. There will be some items that you’ll have to pay for out of your compensation, for instance the cost of the insurance we need to take out on your behalf, and any success fee that we charge. However, these deductions are capped at 25% of the total damages received, so you will always receive at least 75%.
In the event your claim is not successful then you do not have to pay anything for our legal fees.
4 – Private funding
If the options listed above are unavailable for your particular case then we also offer a private funding option. We would also do our utmost to provide a fee estimate tailored to your needs, and we can also offer a fixed fee service if you would prefer the certainty of that approach.
Whatever your priorities circumstances, we can help find the best funding option for you. Simply contact us to find out more.