Legal professionals in civil cases
Most civil legal aid work is done by solicitors working in law centres who are employees of the Legal Aid Board. Anybody interested in a career in the Board should visit this website on a regular basis to see current recruitment opportunities.
Solicitor panels for civil legal aid work
In some cases, we refer persons who have been granted legal aid to private solicitors. We have set up three panels of solicitors who provide services on behalf of the Board in:
- divorce and judicial separation cases in the Circuit Court
- applications under the Domestic Violence Act 1996; Guardianship of Infants Act 1964; and Family Law (Maintenance of Spouses and Children) Act 1976 in the District Court
- applications under the Child Care Act 1991 (as amended) in the District Court and appeals to the Circuit Court under the Childcare scheme
- The Private Practitioners International Protection panel for advice and / or representation in relation to an application under the International Protection Act 2015 for asylum, subsidiary protection and leave to remain; and for all matters previously covered by the Private Practitioner Asylum and related issues Panel
- applications in Home Mortgage Arrears Cases under the Home Mortgage Arrears scheme and
- in certain inquests, a family member of the deceased may apply to the coroner for a request to be made to the Board for legal aid or advice to be provided for the inquest under the Coronors Scheme.
New - Solicitors panel for home mortgage arrears scheme
A Scheme was announced on 22nd January 2016 by the Minister for Justice and Equality to help people who are insolvent and in mortgage arrears on their home, to access independent financial and legal advice. This Scheme is co-ordinated by the Department of Justice and Equality and the Department of Social Protection, in co-operation with relevant agencies including the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) (which will act as the gateway for people to access advice under the Scheme), the Insolvency Service of Ireland, the Citizens Information Board and the Legal Aid Board. The Legal Aid Board is now establishing a panel of solicitors who are willing to provide services to people who are eligible under the Scheme.
How do I get on the one of the panels for civil legal aid work?
Each panel has terms and conditions which you must accept prior to signing up. You should fill out an application form (available by phoning 066 9471000 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org) and return it to the Board.
Please note that membership of any panel is in the name of the individual solicitor and not the firm. Firms in which more than one solicitor intends to join a panel should send separate application forms in respect of each solicitor. While each panel is a national one, solicitors are given the opportunity when completing the application form to indicate the counties where they are willing to provide representation.
Applications to join any of the Board's panels should be sent to:
Private Practitioner Section,
Legal Aid Board,
Co. Kerry V23 RD36
(DX 166 004 CAHIRCIVEEN)
How do applicants get referred to a solicitor on the panel?
In most cases (except the home mortgage arrears scheme), applications for legal services are made to a law centre. If a person is granted legal aid, they may be dealt with by the law centre or, if the case fits in to one of the categories above, they can be referred to a private solicitor who is on the relevant panel. It is the law centre's decision as to whether any particular person in any particular case will be referred to a private solicitor.
If a decision is made to refer the person to a private solicitor, the person will be given a legal aid certificate and a list of solicitors willing to provide representation in the county where their court venue is. It is the person's choice as to which solicitor from the panel they engage.
The Home Mortgage Arrears Scheme works differently. Individuals are referred directly to the panel by their financial advisor. For PIA reviews, they apply directly to our head office for a legal aid certificate.
How do I get paid?
When the case is over, you should return a copy of the legal aid certificate together with a completed Claim Form to the Legal Aid Board, Quay Street, Cahirciveen, Co. Kerry V23 RD36.
You can find out more about what the fees are for any particular piece of civil legal aid work by checking the schedule to the relevant terms and conditions for that Scheme.
A law centre or a solicitor who does civil legal aid work can only brief a barrister who is a member of the Board's barristers' panel. There is one barristers' panel, which covers all types of civil legal aid work. Details, including applications forms, are available here.