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Advice outlets and legal aid increase in Scotland
Applications for civil legal aid increased by almost 25% over the last year to 22,000, the highest number since 1999, according to statistics from the Scottish Legal Aid Board.
The increase, following on an increase of 12 per cent rise on last year, was accompanied by a 5 per cent increase in the number of civil advice and assistance cases, which rose to 95,000
The statistics show that family cases on legal aid increased by almost 3,000, or 27 per cent, to more than 13,600. Cases involving debt increased by 29 per cent, and mortgage cases by 33 per cent.
As well as the rise in case applications, the number of outlets offering legal aid help rose, with 659 such bodies in place at the end of 2008-9. The vast majority of the outlets were in private practice or law centres.
A survey of legal-aid applicants showed that 84 per cent were satisfied with the legal aid system. Only 3 per cent were dissatisfied.