Tag Archive | "the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx)"

Contingent Legal Aid Fund


The Bar Council, the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) and the Law Society of England and Wales have joined forces to set up a joint working group to examine the viability of a contingent legal aid fund (CLAF).

The aim is to see whether a CLAF is a worthwhile option to complement existing forms of litigation funding, with the objective of providing access to justice at lower cost and/or in ways not yet provided for by other means.

Preliminary investigations indicated substantial confusion over the nature and purpose of a CLAF with mixed views as to its utility and/or viability. The working party formed an early view that in order to be self-sustaining, a CLAF will need either substantial initial seed funding or, with limited seed funding, would need to start with a relatively small pool of cases.

It also became clear to the working party that to be self-sustaining, cases would need to be selected on the basis of a rigorous merits test and confidence that the claims would be of sufficient value and with good prospects of recoverability of any award of damages and costs.

The working party also formed a preliminary conclusion that, at least at the outset, it would not be possible to support either low-value cases or cases with less-good prospects of success, although in future the CLAF might be able to fund a small proportion of deserving cases or test cases which would otherwise not be viable.

The overall conclusion was that, without government funding or substantial voluntary donations, the CLAF would need to generate consistent surpluses to build up a long term fund and would not be able to look for further funding except on the back of a successful record of achievement. It was likely that, in the absence of very substantial initial funding, a CLAF would need to obtain support from an established organisation or litigation funder to avoid the costs of establishing the necessary infrastructure to access and manage a suitable volume of viable cases.

In the light of these views and uncertainty as to the perceived attractiveness of a CLAF, both to the profession and to prospective litigants, it was decided that a survey of the profession should be launched in order to obtain the widest possible set of views in relation to a CLAF.

This survey is an important step in the development of the assessment of the viability of a CLAF and proposals for progressing its implementation if sufficient support exists.

This survey will take approximately 10 minutes. It will close at 12:00 pm on 9 January 2017 and all responses will be treated confidentially and only reported on at an aggregate level.

Please email legalaid@lawsociety.org.uk if you have any questions about the survey.

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