Accessibility Skip to content

Will I have to repay the cost of any Legal Aid I receive?

You may have to contribute to some of the costs of your Legal Aid (either 20%,40%,60% or 80%) if you are financially assessed to be on a contribution. In civil matters your Advocate will collect this contribution from you. In criminal matters you will be invoiced by us at the conclusion of the case.

In some cases you will be required to repay all or part of the costs of your Legal Aid. These are referred to as recovery and/or preservation. A recovery can be made against any assets you receive or secure through the assistance provided by the Advocate under the Legal Aid certificate and any "Green Form". Preservation is when you preserve an asset that was either in your name or joint names already. For example, if you are awarded any sum of money in matrimonial proceedings or compensation for a personal injury you have suffered, you will have to repay the full costs of your Legal Aid from the money you have received at the end of the case. Your Advocate will be able to advise you about this. 

If in matrimonial proceedings you are awarded full or part ownership of the house that you and your ex-spouse own, then you will have to repay your Legal Aid costs from the value of that house. Full repayment may be required immediately or may be deferred and a bond may be taken out by the Legal Aid Administrator on the house at your expense. The purpose of the bond is to ensure that when the house is sold the Administrator will be automatically repaid from the proceeds of the sale. This works in the same way as when any mortgage is repaid when a house is sold. 

If the Administrator exceptionally agrees to defer the repayment in full of your costs to the Guernsey Legal Aid Service, then you will be expected to come to an arrangement to start paying off the costs by way of manageable regular payments. 

For further information and examples of recover and preserve situations, please see Guide to Repaying your Legal Aid.

You may also be required to pay interest on money that you owe the Guernsey Legal Aid Service. Please see Circular 5: Interest Payable under the Legal Aid Schemes.

How will I know that I have to repay any Legal Aid costs? 

When Legal Aid is granted you will have to sign an agreement with the Legal Aid Administrator and your Advocate. The agreement sets out the situation when Legal Aid costs must be repaid and will also confirm if any contribution is required.

When your case is concluded, if relevant, the Administrator will tell you how much you owe to reimburse the States, whether interest will be payable and will the Administrator will arrange with you how you will repay the debt. Depending on your circumstances, the Administrator may allow you to pay by way of reasonable instalments. 

Are there any other situations when I will have to repay any Legal Aid costs? 

Yes, if you are shown to have made a false or incomplete disclosure about your income, savings and assets or fail to co-operate with your Advocate.  For example, if you keep missing appointments with your Advocate without good reason, or do not give him or her instructions about how to proceed, or fail to follow the advice or instructions your Advocate gives you, the Administrator can withdraw your Legal Aid certificate and demand that you repay all or part of the costs of Legal Aid. 

Failure to provide correct and complete information can also amount to a fraud.


Share this page

Unsure of your next steps? Ask us a question.