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The Arc Legal team regularly provides media comment on relevant issues. Below is an extract from an article published in the insurance trade publication, Insurance Times, covering the potential opportunities for the legal expenses market following government plans to extend legal aid to criminal cases.
Five Crown Courts, including Blackfriars, Bradford and Swansea are to pilot means testing of defendants for legal aid in January next year, and if successful, the scheme could eventually be rolled out nationally. It follows a similar move introduced two years ago that required a defendant to pay their own legal costs in magistrates’ courts after means testing.
Arc Legal already provides cover for Police Federation members for magistrates’ court cases concerning off-duty incidents and police-on-police matters.
Director, Richard Finan said: “….We do provide cover for West Midlands, but only for the magistrates’ court. We are talking to the Federation about extending this scheme. It is a possibility for us to offer legal insurance to people other than police officers, as we do have the expertise built up.”
A Ministry of Justice spokesman said those with a disposable income of more than Â£3,395 will need to contribute towards their own legal representation. They will also need capital assets and equity of Â£30,000. If the defendant is found not guilty, some or all of the costs will be recouped.
View the full article at www.insurancetimes.co.uk