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Extension of Pro Bono Costs Orders

As of 1st October 2012 the Supreme Court has been authorised to make pro bono costs orders by s.61 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012. S.61 extends s.194 of the Legal Services Act 2007, which allows judges in most civil courts to order the losing opponents of pro bono litigants to pay a sum equivalent to the costs that the pro bono litigant would have incurred had they paid for the legal representation.  A note encouraging those acting pro bono for a successful litigant to apply for a pro bono costs order can be found by clicking here. Pro bono costs must be paid to a prescribed charity, the Access to Justice Foundation, which uses the funds to make strategic grants to pro bono causes in England and Wales.  Please do remember to ask for a pro bono costs order if you win.  At a time of cuts in government spending, this is an excellent way to boost funds for the pro bono sector and improve access to justice for those with limited or no means.