Legal Aid and Access to Justice

Since its foundation in 2002, Turpin Miller has remained committed to Legal Aid and to access to justice for some of the most vulnerable members of our community.

In 2012 we were winners of the Legal Aid Law Firm of the year. In 2015 Jo Renshaw, one of our Partners, won Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year in the Social Welfare category

In 2014 we represented the Appellant in the ground breaking Court of Appeal case of Gudanaviciene R v the Director of Legal Aid Casework & the Lord Chancellor (British Red Cross Society intervening) [2014] EWCA Civ 1622 which resulted in a dramatic increase in the availability of legal aid through Exceptional Case Funding.

Despite the savage cuts, Legal Aid is still available for some matters.  We have a contract with the Legal Aid Agency which enables us to provide free legal advice and assistance in some immigration and housing cases if you have a low income. 

Legal Aid is generally available for immigration cases involving asylum, detention & bail, domestic violence and for victims of trafficking or forced labour. 

Legal Aid is available in housing cases where tenants are facing possession proceedings or eviction; for assistance with challenging decisions of the Council in relation to homeless applications or where the Council is refusing to accept a homeless application.  Legal Aid is also available for some disrepair cases and sometimes to help defend injunction proceedings.

You can check whether legal aid is available for your type of problem here. You can check whether your income is low enough for you to qualify for legal aid here

If legal aid is available to help you with your problem and you think you meet the income requirements, we will still have to check your financial situation before we take you on and so you must bring to the first appointment proof of your income and savings (including that of your partner) over the last month (or three months depending on what is requested for you). We will need:

  • recent payslips (if you’re working) and bank statements for all the accounts you hold
  • details of any savings and investments you have
  • details of any benefits you receive
  • tenancy agreement, or mortgage statements if you own a property

If you have no income and you are receiving support from friends or relatives, we will need them to complete and sign the third party support form.

If legal aid is not normally available but your case is of great importance, is complex, and you are unable to present your case effectively without a lawyer, it is possible to apply for Exceptional Case Funding.

We also have a Housing Possession Court Duty Scheme (HPCDS) contract with the Legal Aid Agency and attend Oxford County Court every Tuesday to provide emergency advice and assistance to anyone facing possession proceedings, regardless of financial circumstances.