Inverness Legal Services For Criminal Advocacy
Duncan Henderson

If YOU are facing criminal, sex, assault or drug charges


Inverness Legal Services
01463 22 99 81

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Legal Aid


Legal Aid is regulated by the Scottish Legal Aid Board. I am registered to provide criminal legal aid and have done so since 2002. This firm has now been audited five times by the Board and passed as satisfactory every time (being the highest assessment available). The last audit was December 2017. I have also passed all my peer review audits. I am also a peer reviewer for the Scottish Legal Aid Board since 2015. As part of the provision of legal aid I am on the local Duty Solicitor rota for Inverness and appear on the Inverness/Nairn/Aviemore/Dingwall Police Station Duty Scheme.

All solicitors are subject to the criminal quality assurance scheme. My most recent review of July 19 was described as “a very good pass”. During the review the files are assessed by other criminal solicitors and there comments on my work include “Excellent result for client”, “an outcome favourable to the client was achieved, largely thanks to the solicitors efforts on his behalf”, “very extensive preparation undertaken with all potential issues identified and dealt with” , “case proceeded to trial after very careful preparation and client acquitted” and “the matter proceeded to trial and the accused was acquitted. He would have been delighted at the disposal. It was clear from the file that there was a high level of preparation for the trial and this clearly helped the acquittal”

I would strongly urge anyone about to face a police interview to seek legal advice which is now fully covered by legal aid and free to the suspect. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SPEAK TO A SOLICITOR BEFORE A POLICE INTERVIEW.

DWP interviews can be covered by legal aid if an applicant is in receipt of benefits. Legal Aid is best applied for in advance of these interviews.

It is not possible to give a complete picture on a site such as this regarding legal aid. Details of the costs of legal aid can be found on the Scottish Legal Aid Board Website at speaking at present the limits are capital below £1716 and a free income (after removing costs such as housing, loan repayments, payments for children)of £222 per week. The situation will depend on the type of case, the personal circumstances of the applicant and the nature of the charges. In some cases legal aid will be covered by the duty scheme.

Due to the current rules to complete a full legal aid form it will be necessary to know your national insurance number, see details of income (either benefits, wages or accounts), obtain a recent bank statement and see proof of rent/mortgage payments. It may also be necessary to ask about details of your spouse/partner including their national insurance number.

The MoD have their own legal aid scheme which will cover appearances at PACE interviews. It is best to arrange for the service police to contact me before any interview. I no longer undertake Court Martial work and there are no military Courts sitting in Scotland. I have been advising at PACE interviews for over 25 years.

If in doubt it is better to complete an application and let the Scottish Legal Aid Board determine if you qualify. I do not charge for this. Generally speaking once granted legal aid will cover an applicant until the conclusion of a case (although they will seek to review this if your income changes by £750 per year). It may also be extended to cover appeal work (if required).

In terms of the Law Society of Scotland Rules I must confirm to you that I am the person who will principally carry out the work on your behalf. While this firm strives to achieve a high level of satisfaction I recognise that Alternative Dispute Resolution Regulations have implemented ADR/EDR Directive 2013/11/EU to promote alternative dispute resolution as a means of redress for consumers in relation to unsatisfactory services. I have chosen not to adopt an ADR process and if you have any concerns about the services you receive from this firm you should contact me as the Client Relations Manager in the first instance. In the unlikely event that you still wish to proceed with a formal complaint this should be made to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission The Stamp Office, 10 - 14 Waterloo Place
Edinburgh, EH1 3EG. You should note that this operates strict time limits for accepting complaints which must be made within 3 years of the service ending or the conduct occurring.

Confidentiality is the right of every client. In order to act for you I need to compile and hold personal data (which may include sensitive personal data). This will be in electronic form and as part of the paper file. I understand I may retain your personal contact information including your date of birth and national insurance number once the file is destroyed. This is order that I can contact you if required. I believe that this is in your best interests. If you do not wish me to retain this data please let me know. Where you have provided an email address I understand you are happy for the firm to correspond with you in this way. This data will not be shared for marketing purposes. A detailed copy of the firm data protection policy is available on request.