How to determine if you need a solicitor


There are many types of legal issues for which you might require a solicitor's advice. You might consider instructing a solicitor if you have been injured in an accident, if you think you have been wrongfully dismissed from your job, if you are considering starting up a business etc.

Solicitors can help you with legal problems after they come up, for example after a car accident, but in other instances consulting a solicitor before a legal issue arises can help you anticipate and prevent serious legal problems.

Common situations requiring a solicitor

Assistance from a solicitor may be necessary in the following situations:

  • An accident involving personal injury or property damage
  • A family problem such as divorce or a child custody dispute
  • The sale or purchase of a home, real estate, or a business
  • Discrimination or harassment at work
  • The formation or incorporation of a business
  • The drafting of a will, trust, or estate plan
  • A tax problem
  • Dealing with a compromise agreement

What will a solicitor do?

A solicitor will be able assess your matter and can tell you from the outset if it is worth your while instructing them to obtain legal advice. If the benefits of obtaining legal advice do not clearly outweigh the legal costs then the solicitor will inform you of this, and therefore you won't incur time and expense unnecessarily.

If, however, the solicitor advises you that legal action or assistance is necessary, they will evaluate each aspect of your situation with you, explain your possible options and what to expect at each step, and will take any action necessary to ensure that your rights are fully assessed and protected.

This can include researching the law, interviewing witnesses, collecting records, conferring with expert consultants, planning legal strategy, preparing and filing the necessary paperwork, and negotiating with insurers and the other side - all with a view to ensuring the best possible outcome for your legal issue.

If you think you need (or want) to litigate, here is some key information on whether you should take legal action.

What if your scenario doesn't require a solicitor?

Most legal situations (such as those identified above) do require the assistance of an experienced solicitor. There will be certain situations in which we refer your case to a legal representative, because this might be cheaper or more relevant.

But for other less serious matters, you might be able to represent yourself. For example, you may be able to resolve less serious legal disputes by writing letters or negotiating informally with the other side.

For any disputes under £10,000 the small claims system provides a "user friendly" system for claimants so that members of the public can make claims themselves in the County Court. You can even submit your claim form online. If you speak to one of our advisors it's free and they will let you know how best to proceed. Fill in the web-form or call us on 0800 1777 162.

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