It is inevitable that everyone will need a solicitor at some stage in their life. Here, you will find a directory of UK solicitors as well as a guide on how to find the right solicitor for you and your specific needs.
Choosing a Solicitor
Most of us don’t have a regular solicitor and choosing the right one can be a daunting task. That’s where we can help.
How to find a solicitor.
Need a Solicitor contains a directory of solicitors broken down into various areas of law. The first thing you need to do is establish the correct area of law for your particular case. This way you know you will choose a solicitor who has the knowledge and competence to deal with your case efficiently. For even more information and clarity about your individual case you may also want to use our legal dictionary which explains the different areas of law, legal terms, and who you may come into contact with throughout your case.
A selection of solicitors may be available to you, so how do you decide which one to choose and what if I can’t afford a solicitor?
Often, solicitor’s fees will have a big influence in the solicitor you choose, and all solicitor firms have their own individual price structure. If you are on a low income or receiving benefits, you may be eligible for Legal Aid. To find out if you are eligible, you will need to contact your nearest Citizens Advice Bureau. Not all solicitors do legal aid work, so you need to check this first. Legal Aid is currently being reformed in England and Wales. Click here for the latest information.
What is No Win No Fee?
In some cases, especially personal injury, solicitor’s work on a conditional fee basis, more commonly known as a No Win No Fee agreement. You can find out more about these agreements in Need A Solicitors’ No Win No Fee section.
Should I get quotes from more than one solicitor?
In all other situations, you may want to ‘shop around’. Charges do vary between solicitors, and will also be determined on the experience of the individual solicitor, and how complicated your case is. Some will charge an hourly rate and others a fixed fee. If you are quoted an hourly rate, you may want to agree a maximum spending limit. Most solicitors will charge very little, or even nothing for an initial interview. Although price is often important, it is also essential that you feel comfortable with the solicitor, and are happy that they have the expertise for your case. It is advisable to establish a solicitors’ fee structure prior to your first meeting, over the telephone if possible. Of course this may only be an estimate, as the solicitor at this stage won’t know the full details of your case, but it may help narrow down your search, and save time when you have your first meeting.
What do I do at the first meeting?
Whilst making your appointment, ask if they need you to bring anything with you, such as proof of identity or income, and then make sure you are prepared in advance, as time is precious. Make a list of all the main points of your case, and also any questions you need to ask. Take with you any paperwork related to your case and keep it organised, so you can lay your hands on anything you need with ease. This will help your solicitor understand your case and advise you effectively, as well as save time. The first thing you should confirm is the length of time you have. It may be that you have just half an hour free of charge, and from there after the hourly rate starts ticking. You need to allow yourself time to address all of your points, as well as ask any additional questions you may have. Having hopefully already established their fee structure, some other questions you may want to ask are:
- Will a solicitor carry out all work on my case, or will some work be delegated to a junior to keep costs down?
- What experience do they have in dealing with similar cases?
- Do you think my case is likely to succeed?
- How long do you think my case will take to conclude?
- Could I be liable for my opponent’s legal costs?
- Knowing the details of my case, how much is it likely to cost?
At the end of your meeting ask the solicitor to write to you to summarise the advice you have been given, and in particular, they need to confirm in writing to you:
- that they have taken on your case
- the person dealing with your case
- an estimate of costs and/or an agreed spending limit
- any other paperwork you are required to supply
- the length of time they are likely to need to see your case through to the end
What happens next? Your solicitor should keep in touch with you regularly, and consult you at every important step, to ask you how you wish to proceed. You are also obliged to consult your solicitor should any of your personal circumstances change, including changes to income, or marital status and place of residence.
Solicitors Code of Conduct
Regulation in England & Wales
- Established in January 2007, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) was previously called the Law Society Regulation Board. It changed its name to emphasise it’s independence and to make it absolutely clear what they do. The SRA regulates more than 120,000 solicitors in England and Wales, and also registered European lawyers and registered foreign lawyers. The SRA is the independent regulatory body of the Law Society of England and Wales.The principle aim of the SRA is to protect the public by ensuring that solicitors meet high standards, and by acting when risks are identified.The solicitors’ profession includes single-solicitor practices as well as large firms with a global presence and thousands of lawyers. Solicitors also work in the justice system, within government departments and within companies. All solicitors, no matter which group they fall into, follow the same professional principles and code of conduct, and the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) provides advice to help them do so.
Regulation in Scotland
- The governing body for Scottish Solicitors is The Law Society of Scotland. It promotes the interests of the solicitors’ profession and those of the public in relation to the profession.
Regulation in Northern Ireland
- The Law Society of Northern Ireland regulates the solicitors’ profession in Northern Ireland with the aim of protecting the public. It also provides services to members of the solicitors’ profession.
Regulation in the Isle of Man
- The Isle of Man Law Society is the educational, representative and regulatory body of the Manx Bar.
- Information on legislation in Jersey may be found in the Jersey Law Society website.
- Information on legislation in Guernsey may be found in the Guernsey Legal Resources website.
SOLICITORS SHOULD VISIT THE SOLICITORS REGULATION AUTHORITY WEBSITE FOR UP TO DATE LEGISLATION REGARDING REGULATIONS AND THE SOLICITORS CODE OF CONDUCT
England and Wales
It is the role of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) to regulate solicitors and solicitors firms in the interest of the public.
Those regulated include:
- registered European lawyers
- registered foreign lawyers
- recognised bodies
- managers, owners and employees of recognised bodies
- employees of recognised sole practitioners
However, it is inevitable that on rare occasions it may be necessary to make a complaint.
If you are the client of a solicitor and unhappy about the service provided to you, you should initially contact your solicitor or the person in the firm who deals with complaints. If you do not receive a satisfactory response, contact the Legal Ombudsman who will advise you on what to do next.
The Legal Ombudsman deals with issues like lack of communication, delays and problems with your bill. The Ombudsman can ask the solicitor or firm to apologise to you, return any documents you may need, refund or reduce your legal fees, or pay compensation of up to £30,000.
If your concern relates to the conduct of a solicitor, or any other individual or firm regulated by the SRA, the Legal Ombudsman may refer your complaint to back to the SRA, or may suggest you contact them direct. The SRA investigates solicitors, firms and others they regulate where they do not meet the required standards of professional behaviour. They can discipline firms or individuals, fine them, restrict or limit the way they work, and in rare cases even close down a firm or refer them to the independent Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, which has the power to remove them from the roll of solicitors so they cannot practise. Even if it is decided that your concern does not, on its own, justify an investigation, the information will be retained on file, and may used later if further concerns about the solicitor, individual, or firm are received.
The SRA cannot award compensation or refund or reduce your legal fees.
If you have a concern about a solicitor or solicitor firm in Scotland please visit
The Law Society of Scotland for details on how to make a complaint.
If you have a concern about a solicitor or solicitor firm in Northern Ireland please visit
The Law Society of Northern Ireland for details on how to make a complaint.
Isle of Man
If you have a concern about a solicitor or solicitor firm in the Isle of Man please visit
The Isle of Man Law Society for details on how to make a complaint.
If you have a concern about a solicitor or solicitor firm in Jersey please visit
The Law Society of Jersey for details on how to make a complaint.
If you have a concern about a solicitor or solicitor firm in Guernsey please visit
The Guernsey Bar for details on how to make a complaint.
THE PUBLIC SHOULD VISIT THE SOLICITORS REGULATION AUTHORITY WEBSITE FOR UP TO DATE INFORMATION