Help with cost of legal advice & services

by Family Law Clinic Ltd in Ascot, Windsor and Maidenhead, United Kingdom

Not quite
Unfortunately this project was not successful.

To help struggling, low to middle income-earners obtain good quality, family law legal advice & Family Court support FOR FREE

by Family Law Clinic Ltd in Ascot, Windsor and Maidenhead, United Kingdom

Who I am and what I do

In the early 2000's, I piloted the first ever low cost divorce and family law advice service in England & Wales, specifically to compete with Solicitors and Barristers, because they were far too expensive for the average householder, and their customer service was dreadful. 

Once the word spread, success was instant, because of the need for a family law specialist who was affordable, kind hearted and efficient. Although I have a law degree, I'm not a lawyer, I'm a family law specialist, and a Professional McKenzie Friend. This means that I do most tasks a solicitor and barrister does.

What's special about my company?

My company, Family Law Clinic Ltd,  is an affordable alternative to family law Solicitors and Barristers Although, my hourly fees and discounted package offers are less than half the cost of Solicitors fees, there are still thousands of people who still cannot afford my services.  

Although there are a variety of agencies and charities who offer their services free or at a low cost, there just isn't enough quality help for all of those who are really struggling.  That is where this project of mine could help. 

Who will my project help?

ABOUT 

My Crowdfunder project appeal is only for 4 weeks. It's an all-or-nothing campaign. I am seeking £30,000 to help low to middle income families with no disposable income left to pay for legal fees, obtain legal advice and court support, for free.


Your donations will exclusively be helping those who are not entitled to legal aid, and aren’t being assisted already by charities. Your donations will helps dozens of clients who choose to use my service during the next 12 months.

If I don’t receive donations for the FULL £30,000 then I do not receive a penny from Crowdfunder, and I will not be in any position to provide free legal advice and services, to those most in need of help.

To recap: Those who will be benefitting from your donations will be those who are NOT already receiving legal aid, or charity funding and help. Nor will high income earners. This is not a free-for-all.

How your donations will make a difference:

For every £1,000 received: 10 new clients will receive an hour's legal advice and help,  or 20 new clients will receive half an hour of legal advice and help.

Success:  When my donation target of £30,000 is met, it means that during the next 12 months, I estimate that between 250-500 more people can receive legal advice, information and court help.  Your donations will make a huge difference to an awful lot of people's lives.  Thank you so much for taking the time to read this.


Legal advice is so expensive

Many who cant afford a legal adviser don’t seek the advice they need because of nervousness and apprehension about prices - the often high cost of advice, and a lack of confidence about how to do it – how to be sure they pick a good legal adviser, and how to be sure it would be worth it. 

There also simply aren’t enough organisations or individuals who offer specialist, reliable family law advice in England & Wales, or in the way that I have been providing it for over 20 years. My approach with my clients, is to take the mystery out of the legal system, processes and procedures, to increase their awareness, to reassure them and to build their confidence, rather than frighten them into believing that they can't cope themselves.

Inflation is soaring

In 2014, legal aid funding was withdrawn from many family law solicitors, and that reduced the amount of clients who they could help.  However, more than 10 years before that, I was helping people with family law disputes, so the need for alternative low cost legal advisers was well established.

The last few years have been devastating for many of us, and of late, inflation has meant that the amount of disposable income available to those on a low to middle income has significantly reduced -  fuel and the cost of utilities has drastically increased.  Supermarkets have increased their food prices.  Family breadwinners have died of Covid-19.  Others cannot return to work due to the effects of Covid-19 and Long Covid, so their incomes have suffered, or they have just lost their jobs completely. Businesses have been forced to close or go bankrupt.  Universal Credits are not keeping ahead of inflation, and the State pension doesn't come anywhere near to covering the weekly grocery and household bills.

Yet, Solicitors continue to increase their fees.  For example, in some regions, Solicitors charge in excess of £500 per hour, plus VAT!

My new project is a pilot, but if it is successful will help to fund a unique, essential access to justice solution for more people.

How is this project unique and how could it help someone you know?

It's all about providing genuine access to justice.  It's unique in that I am asking for your donations to help cover the cost of advising and helping those who cannot afford to pay for their own lawyers and legal advisers, through no fault of their own.  You probably know someone who this project could help.  Imagine - I could help a close member of your family, a good friend of yours, or work colleague.

This project offers those sorting out their options and finances before,  during and after a separation or divorce, or going to court over child arrangements, a blend of helpful step-by-step guidance from Family Law Clinic Ltd, that enables users to understand and use the processes available, with no cost at all to those who qualify for help, to obtain legal advice from me or another low cost specialist, at any point in the process. 

Broadening knowledge and understanding of the legal system

With knowledge comes power and independence.  As with my company, this project is dedicated to ensuring that everyone has the knowledge, confidence and skills they need to access justice, in spite of HMCTS and family court office administration, staffing and processing systems being at breaking point.

This project will be relying solely on the good will and kindness of individuals, on public donations to support people with difficult legal problems in their lives.  It will be run as an efficient commercial enterprise, in the best interests of the public.  Please support us if you can.

This new project complements Family Law Clinic Ltd existing business, and will provide quality, affordable, high-volume effective help for people on very low to medium incomes.

What we won’t be doing:

-Getting huge funding grants from the public purse via government grants, and from the Ministry of Justice, Foundations, Trusts, Universities or legacies. 

-Using our donations to pay out huge salaries and pensions for dozens of Trustees, Directors, managers and staff

-Using our donations to pay out for huge admin costs

-Using our donations to cover the cost of renting fancy high street offices. 

-Using our donations for those already benefitting from public funding/legal aid.

-Using our donations on people with large savings accounts and healthy incomes and no debt!

-Using our donations to pay for Solicitors and Barristers.

Depending on who qualifies for help under this project, this is the objective:

  • To provide FREE services for those who have no income, or for a fixed fee of £20 where their income and/or overall state benefits/Universal Credits  is under £100 per week.
  • To screen all applications to establish need.
  • We will offer appointments remotely - via telephone, Zoom, MS Teams, Skype, WhatsApp, or Facetime, from users all over the world – to enable the service to go some way towards ameliorating problems of lack of access in remote areas or advice deserts, or indeed for people who find it hard to attend face-to-face appointments for reasons of disability. 
  • As a pilot scheme, the service, technology and how it is delivered is going to need ongoing updating and refinement, so that it gets better and quicker for all users.  The service has just been launched today – but I know it will be very much in demand.

What a potential user or referrer needs to do first:

A potential user/referrer will first be guided towards the relevant government website to obtain their initial general information.

When the potential user/referrer gets to the stage where more specialist legal advice and direction would be particularly beneficial, they will be emailed an information leaflet which explains what they would get advice on, and how much it will cost, if it’s not free. Where the services available suit their needs, then they will be asked to complete a short form about themselves and their financials. 

Once this is reviewed, the potential client will be informed as to whether they qualify for free or fixed-fee advice and help. The potential client will then be invited to propose 3 days and times that it would suit them to have a consultation by phone or video.

Clients using our services under this scheme can expect to be provided with the same high quality of attention, legal advice, court support and customer care, that our standard fee-paying clients receive.

 www.familylawclinic.co.uk  For free or low cost legal advice

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