Finding A Solicitor Online

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If you are ever in need of a solicitor then it can feel a bit scary. Whether it's a family issue, civil matter or even a criminal matter, you need to ensure you get professional advice and support. How can the internet help you here?

Do you think you need to find a solicitor? If you make a claim using the small claims procedure, you generally do not need to engage a solicitor. However, it's wise to get some legal advice from a solicitor to prepare you for the court case.

This article provides information about the various services once you find a solicitor, what they charge for and how to go about finding a solicitor that meets your needs.

What Do Solicitors Provide?

Solicitors offer a variety of services and packages, so you need to find out what is best for your case and how much you will be charged. Most solicitors will offer you an initial consultation free of charge, which is a good way to find out if you have a valid case and what assistance the solicitor can provide.

A solicitor will sometimes be willing to submit a claim on your behalf on a 'no win, no fee' basis, which is also called a conditional fee arrangement. This means that if you lose your case, you will not have to pay for any work the solicitor did for you. However, if your claim is successful, the solicitor will charge you at a higher rate than usual.

You should bear in mind that if your solicitor works on a 'no win, no fee' basis, you will still have to cover the cost of their expenses whether or not you win the case. You will be charged for things like court fees and experts' reports.

Small Claims - An Option?

A major advantage of using the small claims procedure is the fact that if you lose your claim, you will usually not have to cover the cost of the winning side's legal fees. But the downside of this is that if you are successful, the defendant will generally not have to cover the cost of your solicitor's fees. This is the reason why most people prefer to take their own case through the small claims procedure, even if they initially seek advice from a solicitor.

Before you decide how much you want to involve a solicitor in your case, you should find out exactly what they charge for their services. Remember that if your case is not heard under the small claims procedure, you will normally have to pay your opponent's legal fees if you lose.

Finding a Local Solicitor

To find a solicitor in your local area you can :

  • Contact the Law Society of England and Wales and ask for solicitors' details.
  • Look under 'solicitors' in Yellow Pages.
  • Speak to a member of staff in the court office and ask for a list of local solicitors.

If you are dissatisfied with a solicitor's services, you may want to complain. For more information on how to do this, read our guide to Goods and Services.

The information included in this article is based on the law applying on 1 January 2005. Please seek your own legal advice for more information regarding your rights.

Useful Links

Law Society - http://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/

Law Society of Scotland - http://www.lawscot.org.uk/find-a-solicitor/

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