Information for members of the public

This page contains information for members of the public seeking free legal advice

Information on your legal rights is available at , run by Law for Life who aim to help people manage their legal problems.

Are you still eligible for Legal Aid?

You may believe that legal aid is no longer available and that consequently you cannot afford a solicitor or a barrister to advise or represent you at court.  This may not be the case.

Legal aid is still available for the following areas of family law:

1.         Injunctions against a violent or abusive partner or family member. 
The definition of domestic abuse is any incident, or pattern of incidents, of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (whether psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between individuals who are associated with each other.
2.         Forced marriage protection orders
3.         Social Services involvement with your children.
4.         Where the person needing legal aid is a child under 18 who is a party to family proceedings
5.         International and domestic child abduction
To securing an order to prevent the unlawful removal of a child from the UK or securing the return of a child unlawfully removed within the jurisdiction

      Aside from the above areas of law, where legal aid remains available, as of 1 April 2013, legal aid for most children, divorce and financial matters in private family law cases was stopped.  Funding for these types of matters is however still available where someone has been the victim of domestic abuse or where there are issues of child protection.

In order to qualify for legal aid however you must be able to provide supporting evidence.
What counts as evidence?

Because the forms of evidence are prescribed by regulation there is no discretion for the Legal Aid Agency to accept other forms of evidence or for the requirement to be waived in particular cases. You will need to show that you or your children were at risk of harm from an ex-partner or had injuries or a condition caused by domestic abuse or violence.

You can obtain this evidence from:
i.          The Police
ii.         Your GP
iii.        The courts
iv.        a multi-agency risk assessment conference (MARAC)
v.         social services
vi.        a health professional, eg a doctor, nurse, midwife, psychologist or health visitor
vii        a refuge manager
viii       a domestic violence support service
How to get evidence?
If you think you may still be eligible for legal aid, you can contact a solicitor for advice.
Alternatively, you can download and print a ‘sample letter’ – see helpful links
This helps you get the proof you need, depending on whether:

You can give the letter to the person you are asking to provide evidence. They should be able to fill in the details for you.  You might have to pay a fee for this.  You should them take this evidence to a solicitor who may be able to apply for legal aid for you to be advised or represented at court.
In addition to the areas of law where legal aid is still available and those where legal aid is still available if you are eligible and have the correct proof, legal aid is also still available for:
a.         Family Mediation
To resolve disputes about children and / or finances on a relationship breakdown
b.         Exceptional Funding
You may be able to instruct a solicitor to apply for legal aid for an exceptional case, if you can show that being refused legal aid would infringe:
            i.          Your Convention rights (within the meaning of the Human Rights Act 1998), or
           ii.         Any right you may have to the provision of legal services that are enforceable EU rights, or
           iii.        If it is appropriate in the particular circumstances of your case
Useful links


List of Legal Representatives

Please note that you may be entitled to legal aid to cover representation.  If you are not entitled to legal aid, there are various other ways of funding representation.

Below is a list of Solicitors, who are prepared initially to discuss with you, your eligibility for legal aid. If you are not eligible for legal aid they will discuss other funding options.  Further, there is a list of Barristers that offer direct access to representation and they will discuss how this can be funded.

When calling please ask for the Family department:-

  1. MSB Solicitors 0151 254 2200.
  2. Hattons Solicitors 01744 744 400.
  3. Berkson Globe Partnership 0151 236 1234.
  4. Stephensons Solicitors 01942 774 386.
  5. BLJ 08444 124 348.
  6. Sparkes Solicitor 0151 625 3777.
  7. 174 Law 0151 647 7372.
  8. Barrow & Cook 01744 23271
  9. Jackson Lees 0151  282 1700
  10. BDH Solicitors 0151 666 0300
  11. Morecrofts 0151 236 8871
  12. DWF 0151 907 3372

When calling please ask for direct access clerk:-

  • Oriel Chambers 0151 236 7191.
  • Atlantic Chambers 0151 236 4421.
  • St Johns Chambers 0151 243 6040.
  • 7 Harrington Street 0151 242 0707.
  • Chavasse Chambers 0151 229 2030.
  • Exchange Chambers 0151 236 7747.



Clients do not need to book an appointment, but anyone thinking of using our service or who would simply like further information is welcome to call us in advance on 0151 231 3530/07968 422574 or email us at:  

Student volunteers will be on hand in reception in the Redmonds Building (see map below) to meet anyone attending and escort them to the waiting room before our solicitor volunteers, shadowed by students, meet them to give up to half an hour of confidential pro bono advice.

Redmonds Building location and directions can be found at:   

 University of Liverpool Law Clinic

Assists with statelessness immigration cases, family issues and community care matters.  For enquiries, please contact or call 0151 794 5782

Liverpool Law Clinic
School of Law and Social Justice,University of Liverpool
Eleanor Rathbone Building, Bedford Street South, Liverpool, L69 7ZA, United Kingdom

Other organisations to contact are:

Citizens Advice 0844 848 7700

Vauxhall Law Centre 0151 482 2540

Merseyside Law Centre  0151 709 0504

Personal Support Unit (based at Liverpool's Civil & Family Court) 0151 296 2296

Personal Support Unit (in Chester, office hours are Wed and Fri 9.30 - 4.30) 01244 404 299

Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit 0161 740 7722