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Legal Aid vs Private Defence

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Adam Rasul

April 23, 2021


Holborn Adams only accepts instructions from privately funded clients. We do not hold a government Legal Aid contract and have no desire to become involved in publicly funded defence, due to the low levels of fees and the limited service generally involved. Regrettably, that means that we cannot assist clients who are unable or unwilling to fund their own defence.
Many clients ask us:
"What is the difference between Legal Aid and Private Defence?"
The simple truth is that the two forms of service are worlds apart. Although most Legal Aid firms will do their best with what they have, their fee levels are so low that it is impossible to offer the service levels of a high-quality private practice like Holborn Adams. In particular, there is virtually no legal aid funding for proactive pre-charge defence to seek to avoid charge. Legal aid defence lawyers only really make money if the client is charged so there is no financial incentive to seek to end the investigation early.
The key differences in service, which Holborn Adams can offer and legal aid firms usually cannot, are these:
  • Direct, personal access to a named, qualified solicitor from start to finish - you will not be "palmed off" with a paralegal or clerk after the initial contact with a lawyer
  • High level and reassuring professional support when your home or office is searched or you are arrested and interviewed under caution
  • Immediate action to overcome the feeling of "treading water" which often comes with a Legal Aid defence
  • Guaranteed instruction of a senior barrister or QC, subject to funding levels, including urgent conferences from the day of your call to Holborn Adams
  • Conferences, emails and telephone calls with your legal team at your convenience - 24 hours a day / 7 days a week and at a location or venue which suits you or using any form of video (FaceTime / Skype / WhatsApp) or telephone conferencing
  • Intensive case analysis and preparation from the moment we take on your case, including taking all relevant instructions, witness statements and documentary evidence
  • Comprehensive engagement with the police and prosecution authorities before charge, to seek to avoid charges altogether if possible
  • Deployment of necessary expert witnesses from the very beginning to fight your case; from medical experts to forensic accountants to full DNA analysis
  • Engagement of lawyers or investigators to secure key evidence before it disappears, including CCTV and digital evidence
  • Urgent and comprehensive bail, restraint and other legal applications, prepared and presented to the highest possible standard
  • For those clients with a sufficient case budget, our Top Tier Defence option, offers personal conduct of your case by Holborn Adams' Senior Partner, Adam Rasul, and Chris Daw QC, one of the country's leading specialist criminal and fraud barristers.
Holborn Adams offers both hourly rate retainers and "fixed fees" for all stages of a case, from long before charge right through to appeals at the highest level. Fee levels are based on the amount of time needed to do the case properly, its complexity and the seniority of the legal team instructed. Do not hesitate to call Adam Rasul personally on 07967 015 655, and he will discuss the right legal team for you, whatever your budget.

Fee levels begin at £500 plus VAT, for an emergency initial case conference with a qualified Holborn Adams solicitor, with options at every level of lawyer and for every kind of case.

Whether you or someone you know is facing the worry and uncertainty of a criminal, fraud or regulatory investigation, speak to Holborn Adams about a private defence, for immediate peace of mind and the optimum chance of a successful outcome. From the first call you will find that the focus is on you as a client, not the convenience of the lawyers working for you. You will have a team of highly specialised lawyers working relentlessly to win your case from the moment Holborn Adams is instructed.

Adam Rasul

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