Lanarkshire Law Practice was borne out of a merger of two long established and well respected legal practices; Crawford Mason & Company in Blantyre and T.G. Bradshaw & Company in Bellshill. Cumulatively our solicitors have over 52 years experience.
Although based in Bellshill, we provide legal services throughout Lanarkshire and beyond. We primarily practice in Hamilton, Airdrie and Lanark Sheriff Courts but have no difficulty travelling elsewhere in Scotland.
There is no legal problem too minor for us nor too challenging. All of our solicitors are respected in their fields of practice. We pride ourselves on being approachable, sympathetic but tenacious when necessary. Your legal problem is our problem.
We are committed to continuing professional development and our solicitors ensure they keep abreast of changes in the law. We are members of professional associations including the Family Law Association and The Law Society of Scotland.
We are registered with the Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB) in order to provide legal services with the assistance of Legal Aid. If you don’t qualify for Legal Aid and need to pay for our services on a private basis, we are able to tailor a payment arrangement to meet your financial circumstances.
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There are two types of Legal Aid; Legal Advice and Assistance and Civil Legal Aid.
Legal Advice and Assistance is the type of Legal Aid which you may get when you first see a solicitor. It covers meetings, telephone calls, correspondence and the preparation of non Court documents. It is means tested having regard to your income in the seven days prior to your initial meeting with a solicitor. The solicitor makes the assessment of eligibility. Regard is had only to your net weekly income and fixed allowances are given for a partner living with you and any dependents you may have. If you are in receipt of benefits many of these are disregarded for the purposes of assessing eligibility for Legal Advice and Assistance. Presently if you have income of £245 per week after the fixed allowances have been deducted then you will be eligible for Legal Advice and Assistance. Depending on your disposable income, you might have to pay a one off contribution ranging from £7 to £142 which is paid to your solicitor. You should bear in mind that the Legal Advice and Assistance regulations provide that if you recover any money or property as a result of the work which your solicitor does for you, then you will be expected to meet your legal expenses from that money or property.
Civil Legal Aid is the type of Legal Aid that you may get in order to raise or defend a Court action. There is a two pronged test to the grant of Civil Legal Aid; not only do you have to be financially eligible but you also need to satisfy the Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB) that you have a reasonable chance of being successful in the court action in which you are involved. The assessment is made by SLAB and not your solicitor. You will have to complete a financial application form and provide documents to vouch the figures you have inserted in the form. This is given to your solicitor who lodges it on your behalf with SLAB. Unlike Legal Advice and Assistance, the financial assessment is not based on weekly income alone. The Board will look at net annual income and in addition to set allowances for a partner and dependent children, will take account of mortgage payments, council tax, childcare costs and debt repayments. If you have annual disposable income of less than £26,239 then you may be eligible for Civil Legal Aid. You may have a contribution to pay and if this is the case, an offer of Legal Aid would be made to you subject to that contribution and it is for you to decide if you wish to accept the offer. You will be given time to pay by instalments any contribution that is determined as being due. The contribution is paid directly to SLAB. To enable SLAB to decide if you meet the test in relation to probable success, your solicitor has to lodge a solicitor’s application together with a statement from you and another person who can support what you say are the circumstances surrounding your case. It can take SLAB around 32 working days to determine your application. It may be possible in some cases to secure special urgency cover to raise or defend proceedings whilst your application is pending.