Legal Advice, Funding and Dispute Resolution.

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Citizens Advice Bureau

  • Government funded
  • Specialises in common social problems e.g. housing, welfare, employment.
  • Volunteer staff e.g. solicitors offer advice
  • Found in most towns (over 3000 in the UK).

Advantages

  • Free and not means tested
  • Nationally and Locally available
  • Good expertise in common social problems

Disadvantages

  • Do not specialise in all areas of law
  • Unable to represent clients in court
  • High demand means it is difficult to gain appointment
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Legal Help

  • Government funded by Legal Service Comission
  • Free advice for qualified people
  • Means tested on income and capital
  • Offers specialist advice froms solicitors

      Advantages

  • Good advice from solicitors
  • Gives objective views on client's case

Disadvantages

  • Only low income earners will qualify
  • Qualification depends on chances of winning the case. 
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Solicitors

  • Legally qualified professionals
  • Available throughout the UK
  • Low cost intial interview to determine case strength

Advantages

  • Legally qualified
  • Best source of advice
  • Good relationship with client, if litigation occurs
  • Sends letters to negotiate

Disadvantages

  • Most expensive legal advice as it is not free
  • Minimal solicitors offer public funding
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Civil Legal Representation

  • Two stage test: Means tested - based on a certain level of income and capital. Public interest
  • Little of no cost to the applicant
  • More likely granted to vulnerable e.g. children/mentally ill.
  • Government funded

Advantages

  • Professional solicitor of choice represents you
  • Case would not go to court otherwise
  • Reduces stres of court payments to applicant

Disadvantages

  • High cost to taxpayer
  • Only available to those with limited income
  • Not available for most civil cases e.g. small claims and personal injury
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Conditional Fee Arrangements

  • No win No fee
  • Client and solicitor agree on costs before hand if the case is won
  • Win => Client pays agreed fee + uplift of up to 100%. Success fee + insurance cost can be recoverable,
  • Lose => Client pays other sides fees, plus court fees. Insurance policy helps to cover costs.

Advantages

  • No cost to tax payer
  • Solicitor may work harder to win case
  • Allows representationf or those who do not qualify for other schemes

Disadvantages

  • Winning at all costs may lead to unethical methods
  • Insurance premiums may expensive
  • Success fee may be out of proportion to case
  • Court costs not covered
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Private Funding and Insurance

Private Funding

Advantages

  • Choice of legal representation = more trust
  • Better quality of representation

Disadvantages

  • Very expensive
  • May lead to potential bankruptcy

Insurance   ( Before and after the event)               

        Advantages                 

  • Common for motoring                      
  • Before the event is small compared to costs of litigation            

Disadvantage - After the event is expensive

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Alternate Dispute Resolution

Alternatives to going to court, last resort.

  • Cheaper 
  • Quicker 
  • Private
  • Maintains relationships
  • More flexible than court

Negotiation

  • Resolves dispute, => Reach decision themselves, => No need for representation, => Telephone, email or face to face, => Least common type of ADR

Advantages - Quicker than court. => Protects reputations. => Flexible decisions for both parties.

Cheaper and Private.

Disadvantages - Parties may not reach an agreement. => One party may have representation, leads to imbalance. => Lack of legal knowledge to solve disputes.

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