Getting free or low-cost legal advice
There are several situations in which you may be able to get a solicitor to represent and give you legal advice for free.
If you face criminal charges: For details of solicitors undertaking legal aid, visit the Criminal Defence Service website www.legalservices.gov.uk/criminal.asp or call their helpline on 0845 345 345.
If you qualify for Legal Aid: If you can't afford a solicitor, you may qualify for Legal Aid. Legal aid solicitors are government-funded solicitors who represent people with low incomes in a variety of legal situations, including eviction cases, immigration issues, denial of unemployment compensation or other benefits, and consumer credit problems.
You can find out if you qualify for Legal Aid and a free legal opinion by visiting the Community Legal service website:
Pro Bono work: If your claim involves an issue of social justice or if your dispute has wide implications beyond your individual situation, a solicitor or law firm with an interest in that issue might agree to represent you on a "pro bono" (no fee or reduced fee) basis. For example, if your claim involves sexual harassment by an employer, abuse by a spouse or partner, discrimination in housing or employment, freedom of speech or religion, environmental pollution, or access to medical treatment, you may find a barrister or solicitor willing to represent you pro bono and give you free legal advice.
You might have legal expenses insurance: You should inspect your existing home insurance policies. Legal expenses insurance is included as standard in many policies, or you may have taken out insurance against specific risks which would cover the proposed litigation. If you have any doubt about this, you should review your insurance cover and/or contact your insurance broker.
For low cost advice:
"No-win, no-fee" representation: Provided your matter is not a family law matter or a criminal one, a solicitor may agree to represent you on a "no-win, no-fee" basis. In this instance call us and we will be able to find you a lawyer. However, even in this case you may not receive free legal advice as you could remain responsible for some costs.
The solicitor may charge you for an initial consultation and for the time spent looking into the merits of your case, and even if they do agree to take the case on no-win, no-fee you may need to pay for 'after the event insurance' to protect you in case your claim fails.
- Last Updated on 13/05/2013