Funding Options for Divorce

Legal Aid is no longer available for the family law work that we do at SME Solicitors. However it was always a misunderstanding that Legal Aid was free. The government usually required some sort of financial contribution during a legally aided case and in the majority of divorce cases the “statutory charge” used to apply meaning that eventually the costs were repaid to the Legal Aid authority. In other words, for a very large number of people Legal Aid was a loan.

These days our fees have to be met either from existing financial resources or by loan. Not much has changed although the sources of the loans have evolved. Many people have always found that loans provided by family members have always been an effective method. Commercial loans are often available from banks or other lenders although a drawback is the need usually to repay capital and interest at the same time. This can place strain on an individual’s financial position.

A more recent commercial entrant to the market is the litigation funding loan. The great advantage of such a loan is that usually only interest is payable during the case and until other assets are able to be realised ie a house is sold. So the main capital repayment can be deferred until the asset becomes available.

Several years ago Barclays Client Credit was the first well known matrimonial fee funding facility to be introduced in the UK.  The team behind that has now set up Iceberg client credit funding which is part of Wesleyan Assurance Society the UK's largest provider of short term loans to clients of law firms.

In 2014, the main specialist solicitors’ family law organisation Resolution announced that they had selected Iceberg as their partner to offer matrimonial fee finance via their members. Resolution is a group of over 6,500 family lawyers and other professionals in England and Wales. It promotes a non-confrontational, constructive approach to resolving family disputes.


The family lawyers at SME Solicitors are members of Resolution. To find out more, visit or


SME Solicitors is not able to give a recommendation about any specific financial product but we have heard good reports about how Iceberg funding works and now have clients using the facility.

We have a dedicated microsite for these matters, meet the team who would be assisting you and watch our latest videos >


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