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The Civil Legal Services (Financial) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015

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CHAPTER 5N.I.CALCULATION OF CAPITAL – REPRESENTATION (HIGHER COURTS)

Application of regulations 45 to 57N.I.

44.  Regulations 45 to 57 apply only for the purposes of determining the client's disposable capital in relation to eligibility for representation (higher courts).

Calculation of capitalN.I.

45.  Subject to the provisions of these Regulations, in calculating the disposable capital of the person concerned, the amount or value of every resource of a capital nature belonging to them on the date on which the application is made shall be included.

Disregard of financial resources which are the subject matter of the disputeN.I.

46.  In calculating the disposable capital of the person concerned, the amount or value of the subject matter of the dispute to which the application relates shall be disregarded.

Equitable value of any interest in landN.I.

47.—(1) In calculating the disposable capital of the person concerned, the value of any interest in the main or only dwelling in which they reside shall be wholly disregarded.

(2) Where the person concerned resides in more than one dwelling in which they have an interest, the assessing authority shall decide which is the main dwelling and shall take into account in respect of the value to them of any interest in a dwelling which is not the main dwelling any sum which might be obtained by borrowing money on the security thereof.

Household furniture and effects, personal clothing, and tools and equipmentN.I.

48.  Other than in circumstances which are exceptional having regard in particular to the quantity or value of the items concerned, nothing shall be included in the disposable capital of the person concerned in respect of—

(a)the household furniture and effects of the main or only dwelling house occupied by them;

(b)articles of personal clothing; and

(c)the tools and equipment of their trade, unless they form part of the plant or equipment of a business to which the provisions of regulation 55 apply.

Disregard of certain welfare and other paymentsN.I.

49.  In calculating the disposable capital of the person concerned, there shall be disregarded—

(a)any extra-statutory job grant paid by the Department for Social Development;

(b)any payment made out of the social fund under Part 8 of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits (Northern Ireland) Act 1992 F1; and

(c)any arrears of direct payments made under regulations made under section 8(1) of the Carers and Direct Payments Act (Northern Ireland) 2002 F2.

Additional disregard where client or person concerned is of pensionable ageN.I.

50.—(1) In calculating the disposable capital of the person concerned, where—

(a)the client or any other person concerned has attained pensionable age; and

(b)the total annual disposable income (excluding any net income derived from capital) of the client and any other person concerned is less than £3,355,

the amount of capital shown in the following table shall be disregarded—

Annual disposable income (excluding net income derived from capital)Amount of capital disregarded
Up to £370£35,000
£371 – £670£30,000
£671 – £970£25,000
£971 – £1,270£20,000
£1,271 – £1,570£15,000
£1,571 – £1,870£10,000
£1,871 and above£5,000

(2) In this regulation, “pensionable age” means the age of 60.

Disregard of interim court payments etc.N.I.

51.  In calculating the disposable capital of the person concerned, any payment of capital received from any source which is made in connection with the incident in respect of which the application has been made shall be wholly disregarded.

Value of money due to the person concernedN.I.

52.  Where money is due to the person concerned—

(a)whether it is payable immediately or otherwise; and

(b)whether payment is secured or not,

its value shall be taken to be its present value.

Value of a capital resource other than moneyN.I.

53.  In so far as any resource of a capital nature does not consist of money, its value shall be taken to be—

(a)the amount which that resource would realise if sold; or

(b)the value assessed in such other manner as appears to the assessing authority to be equitable.

Resources owned jointly or in common with other personsN.I.

54.  Subject to regulation 55, in calculating the value of the interest of the person concerned in any resource of a capital nature which they own jointly or in common with any other person, the assessing authority may treat that resource as being owned—

(a)in equal shares; or

(b)in such other proportions as appear to the assessing authority to be equitable.

Value of a business or other property interestN.I.

55.—(1) Where the person concerned is the sole owner of or partner in a business, the value of the business to them shall be taken to be the greater of—

(a)such sum, or their share of such sum, as could be withdrawn from the assets of the business without substantially impairing its profits or normal development; and

(b)such sum as that person could borrow on the security of their interest in the business without substantially injuring its commercial credit.

(2) Where the person concerned stands in relation to a company in a position analogous to that of a sole owner of or partner in a business, the assessing authority may, instead of ascertaining the value of their stocks, shares, bonds or debentures in that company, treat that person as if they were a sole owner of or partner in a business and calculate the amount of their capital in respect of that resource in accordance with paragraph (1).

(3) Where the person concerned owns solely, jointly or in common with other persons, any interest on the termination of a prior estate—

(a)whether

(i)legal or equitable;

(ii)vested or contingent; or

(iii)in reversion or remainder; and

(b)whether in real or personal property or in a trust or other fund,

the value of such interest shall be calculated in such manner as appears to the assessing authority to be both equitable and practicable.

Value of any life insurance or endowment policyN.I.

56.  The value to the person concerned of any life insurance or endowment policy shall be taken to be the amount which they could readily borrow on the security of that policy.

General discretion to disregard capitalN.I.

57.  In calculating the disposable capital of the person concerned, there shall be disregarded such amount (if any) as the assessing authority considers reasonable in the circumstances of the case.

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