Access to Justice
Service with a Heart
Attentiveness | Compassion | Professionalism
The Covenant Chambers Access to Justice Initiative (CAJI) aims to provide cost-effective and attentive legal services to low income individuals in Singapore on a low bono or pro bono basis. We believe that access to justice is important regardless of one’s financial means.
If you have been charged with a crime, competent legal advice can help to guide you through your legal options, giving you a peace of mind.
Our lawyers are able to advise you on the actions you can take and to represent you in court.
In addition, we volunteer under the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme as part of our support for the Law Society’s pro bono efforts.
The following family law matters are covered:
- Uncontested divorce and contested divorce
- Custody, care and control, and access
- Division of assets
- Family/intimate partner violence
Work Injury Claims
In certain industries, workers are exposed to high risk tasks in their day-to-day job. In the event of an adverse incident or even death, the coverage provided for might be minimal.
Our lawyers are able to assist individuals and/or their families in their time of need to advocate for the appropriate amount of compensation related to the type and degree of injury sustained.
Personal Injury/Accident Claim
Personal injury or accident claims may arise from traffic accidents or negligence of a third-party who owes a duty of care to you. The tort of negligence is the most common basis for such legal arguments and claims. The damages would be calculated based on the nature of claim, extent of one’s personal injuries, and level of contributory negligence (if any).
Our lawyers are able to advise you regarding your claim should you find yourself in such a situation.
Employees can face a number of employment related issues that could range from the withholding of entitled benefits to unfair termination of employment without substantiation. With the proper legal help and action, employers and employees may arrive at a common consensus on the proper remuneration and remedial action.
Legacy planning is an important part of a prudent financial plan to ensure that one’s estate will be disbursed to the selected individuals correctly. Our lawyers are able to assist you in preparing a Will so as to remove ambiguity in all estate matters and to prevent legal challenges in the future.
In the event that one loses mental capacity, a valid Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) will protect one’s interest with regard to personal welfare and property. Our lawyers can advise you in preparing an LPA.
If one loses mental capacity without having a valid LPA, our lawyers can assist you in applying for deputyship from the courts.
The following individuals are eligible for the CAJI:
- Singapore Citizens
- Singapore Permanent Residents
- Foreign Nationals (Work Permit or Special Pass)
- Foreign Nationals (Long-Term Visit Pass or Dependent’s Pass)
In addition, we will consider the merits of the case as well as the financial means of the applicant.
The merits of a case will be determined by an assessment by one of our lawyers based on the facts of the case.
The financial means of an applicant will be determined by:
- the net per capita income of the applicant’s household averaged over six (6) months;
- the annual value of the applicant’s place of residence (if applicable);
- the applicant’s personal savings and investments; and
- the amount of financial debt and/or support the applicant has.
The following table serves as a guide in our assessment of an applicant’s financial means. As each applicant is in a unique financial position, we reserve the right to exercise our discretion on a case-by-case basis.
Applicants who might be eligible for legal aid under the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme (for criminal matters) or the Legal Aid Bureau (for civil/family matters) will be directed to apply to them first. This is to minimise the duplication of services offered to people who are eligible for legal aid as well as to focus on those who have just missed out on being eligible for legal aid.
In general, the fees chargeable are made up of two components:
- professional fees (cost of legal work done by our lawyers); and
- disbursements (cost of stamp fees, filling fees, search fees, courier and postage charges, and other reasonable incidental expenses incurred on the client’s behalf).
Applicants who are eligible for low bono legal services will receive a 30–70% discount in professional fees, depending on their financial means, and will have to bear the full costs of disbursements.
Applicants who are eligible for pro bono legal services will a receive a waiver for professional fees but will have to bear the full costs of disbursements.
Successful applicants will be required to place a deposit with us for us to start work, from which we will deduct for disbursements and/or professional fees.
In summary, the legal fees charged to our clients under the CAJI will be calibrated according to their financial means. A payment schedule can be discussed on a case-by-case basis.
As each case is unique, please enquire directly with us for a fee estimate or quote.