Legal Aid: Gurkhas

Justice written question – answered on 30th March 2010.

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Photo of Andrew Murrison Andrew Murrison Shadow Minister (Defence)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice

(1) how much the Legal Services Commission has paid to (a) Howe and Company and (b) each other company in respect of legal aid for ex-Gurkhas wishing to settle in the UK; [R]

(2) how many ex-Gurkhas had been granted legal aid in respect of their application to settle in the UK on the latest date for which figures are available. [R]

Photo of Henry Bellingham Henry Bellingham Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice

(1) how much legal aid has been paid to Howe and Co. for the provision of immigration advice to former Gurkha soldiers;

(2) how much on average has been paid in legal aid for each case in which Howe and Co. has represented former Gurkha soldiers.

Photo of Bridget Prentice Bridget Prentice Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Ministry of Justice

The Legal Services Commission records the number of claims from providers for immigration cases but not in greater detail. There is therefore no record of the number of ex-Gurkhas granted legal aid in respect of their application to settle in the UK or the legal aid costs involved in their application.

However immigration entry clearance applications funded through legal aid are paid at a fixed fee of £260 plus any disbursements, unless they are exceptional. In the last two years Howe and Co. have made claims for 52 cases that include applications for entry clearance. As stated above it is not possible to confirm how many of these relate to ex-Gurkhas.

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