You decide who is eligible for advice and assistance (and ABWOR) and the extent to which you provide it within the initial limit, or further authorised limits of authorised expenditure.

You have to consider whether:

  • the client is financially eligible for advice and assistance
  • the proceedings are within the scope of ABWOR
  • the client passes the interests of justice test on the basis of one or more of the factors
  • the criteria for providing ABWOR are satisfied in the particular case.

We provide guidance on how to apply the tests in the following guidance pages. If you are unsure about how to apply any of the tests, you can call us.

It is important that you apply the applicable tests correctly to avoid a situation where we are required to withhold or recover payment. Our guidance seeks to help you avoid those situations.

Most commonly, difficulties may arise where:

  • The client was not financially eligible for advice and assistance – it is important to obtain documentary evidence wherever practicable.
  • The client was not admitted to advice and assistance or ABWOR by you.
  • Work, including travel was undertaken before the client was admitted to advice and assistance or ABWOR.
  • Work was done or outlays incurred above the level of the initial limit.
  • There was no increase in authorised expenditure in place before undertaking further work and/or incurring an outlay.

You cannot give advice and assistance, and by extension ABWOR, in connection with any proceedings before a court at a time when legal aid has also been made available for those proceedings.

In this section