LEGAL AID

The Legal Aid Commission of Western Australia is there to assist people who are disadvantaged economically or socially and are unable to fund their case on a private basis. People facing criminal charges who are in need of legal aid should enquire directly with the Legal Aid Commission about whether or not they are eligible for legal aid and what is required in the application process.

An application to Legal Aid WA is means tested and matters that are taken into account by the Legal Aid Commission in deciding the merits of an application include but are not limited to the applicant’s financial position, their assets, their weekly living expenses, the level of seriousness of the charges, the legal and factual merits of the case, and ultimately whether the circumstances of the particular case create a public interest for the allocation of public funds.

The Legal Aid Commission of Western Australia recognises that not everyone can afford to engage a lawyer on a private basis and that all people deserve representation in a court of law, regardless of whether they are in a position to afford or acquire it. The Legal Aid Commission of WA has in house lawyers to help people to resolve their legal problems and be guided through the court system. However Legal Aid WA also frequently fund a client’s criminal law case on a brief out to private legal practitioners who are on the Legal Aid criminal law panel. Andrew Williams is a member of the panel of practitioners for Legal Aid WA and frequently provides criminal law advice and representation to applicants on a grant of legal aid.

Things you should know

It is an offence to provide false information in an application to Legal Aid. Legal Aid WA will often request proof of the applicant’s current financial situation by asking the applicant to supply documentation such as bank statements. Legal Aid WA may also enquire as to whether there is anything else that may affect the applicant’s eligibility and entitlement.

In the event that you are represented by Andrew Williams on a grant of legal aid the continuation of the grant is conditional upon you informing us of any change in your financial position such as new employment, informing us of any change in your residential address and whether there are any other changes to your personal situation that may affect your entitlement to have your case financially assisted by Legal Aid.

Eligibility for legal aid is strictly means tested and entitlement will depend upon the matters mentioned above. However Andrew Williams offers competitive private client rates to clients who are not eligible for Legal Aid assistance.

Engaging a Private Lawyer for a legal aided case

It is possible to engage a private lawyer to work on a legally aided case. Enquiries should be directed to the Legal Aid Commission of WA.

Andrew Williams is a member of Legal Aid WA’s panel of practitioners and frequently provides criminal law services in Perth and the regional areas of WA to clients who are found eligible for a grant of aid by Legal Aid WA. However if the Legal Aid Commission of WA finds that you are not eligible for public funding of your case, Andrew Williams can offer private client rates that are highly competitive and reasonable.

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