What Law-Match offers
Law-Match offers a fantastic free personal consultation service giving you exclusive access to advice from award winning legal teams across the UK.
How do you arrange your free consultation? Simply conduct a search on this site for a suitably qualified solicitor, then call or complete and submit an enquiry form online which they will then assess. Your chosen solicitor will call you within the following working hour to discuss your case.
For all disputes, you will get a free opinion on whether your case has merit and whether it is worth pursuing and to what cost. For non disputed matters you will receive expert advice and excellent customer service.
Although the initial consultation is free, if you instruct a solicitor to take on your case, there will be costs for any subsequent work they do on your behalf. Your solicitor must and will disclose their costs to you when you agree to use them and, they must specify how their costs will be charged and when they will be payable. Law firms typically charge an hourly rate and may offer a capped or fixed fee. Some may also be prepared to offer deferred payment so ask at your free consultation. All our expert law firms will offer a discount to Law-Match members.
- Hourly rate: The most common form of solicitor compensation, which can range anywhere from £100 to £300 or more per hour.
- Fixed fee: Solicitors may agree to carry out work for a fixed fee, or agree to cap their costs at a certain level.
- No win, no fee: For many types of claims, not including family or criminal matters, you may be able to use a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), commonly known as 'no win, no fee'. Basically, in this situation, a solicitor agrees to wait for the payment of his fee until the case has been settled in court. At which point, providing he wins the case, his costs, plus an addition bonus or success fee, will be paid by the other side. If he loses the case, you will not be expected to pay your own solicitor's fees, but you will be expected to pay the legal expenses of the winning party. This is why, before instructing a solicitor to take your case on this basis, you will be advised to take out after-the-event (ATE) insurance to cover these potential costs.
The Small Claims Court
You can represent yourself at minimal cost in the Small Claims Court. This is not actually a court, it is the process reserved for smaller value, less complex civil claims, which may be defended or undefended. Usually, the case must be for claims of up to £5,000, although in Scotland and Northern Ireland, the upper limit is £3,000.
That said, the rules are different for personal injury and landlord-tenant repairs claims where the maximum claim allowed in a Small Claims Court is £1,000. However, if the claim is complex, even though it is for a small value, it may be referred to the normal court system.
The most common types of small claims are; consumer or small business disputes regarding compensation for faulty goods or unsatisfactory services; disputes between landlords and tenants over repairs or rent arrears; and minor disputes between employers and employees such as claims for payment of outstanding entitlements.
Although a solicitor can represent you in all these types of matters, the Small Claims Courts will not order costs to be awarded against the losing party, so you will have to pay all legal costs yourself - whether you lose or win the case.
For this reason, if you are considering taking this course of action, you may choose to take free, initial legal advice from a Lawmatch recommended solicitor and then represent yourself in court to limit your legal costs.
Legal expenses insurance (LEI) also known as before-the-event (BTE) insurance is usually sold as an add-on to car or household insurance, generally for a small extra premium or as a free incentive to choose/stay with a particular insurance provider.
Although this can be a legitimate way to fund a claim, it’s worth bearing in mind the restriction on your freedom of choice imposed by such policies. The majority of which have only a small, approved panel of solicitors from which you must choose. Before going down this route, consider the following:
- The relationship between panel solicitors and insurers provides little incentive for them to offer you a high level of service.
- You may feel forced to use a panel solicitor who may lack the required specialist knowledge and experience for your case.
- The panel can be risk-averse often cherry-picking only the strongest of cases.
- Even though your case has merit, if it’s considered high risk by a panel solicitor, insurers, on their advice may still turn it down.
- Claims may be under-settled as a result of insurers concentrating on settling claims swiftly, out-of-court and at an acceptable level.
If you are still considering making a claim through a legal expenses insurance policy, why not take advantage of your right to a free, no obligation consultation with a Lawmatch solicitor? Have your insurance policy at hand at the consultation, so your chosen solicitor can offer advice on this matter.
Public Funding/Legal Help
Public Funding and Community Legal Service Funding (previously called Legal Aid) is a system of government funding for non-criminal (civil) cases for those who can’t afford to pay for legal advice and representation. To qualify for free legal advice and assistance your case will have to be one covered by this scheme and you will need to meet certain financial eligibility criteria. If you do not meet these criteria you may be asked to pay a contribution towards your legal advice.
For those facing criminal charges or police investigation, the Criminal Defence Service offers free legal advice and representation. Under this scheme, legal advice and representation at the police station is free to everyone. In the magistrates’ court advice and representation is free if the case is judged to be serious; other assistance is means tested. You may be asked to pay a contribution to your legal advice cost if your case progresses to the Crown Court.
For more information on these legal aid schemes and on how to apply for funding visit http://www.legalservices.gov.uk or check on the Government's Community Legal Advice website https://www.gov.uk/civil-legal-advice
This service also has a legal aid calculator which can give you an idea whether you are eligible.
You can also take advantage of a free, no obligation consultation with a Lawmatch solicitor, who will be only too pleased to assess your situation and advise you on whether you are eligible for legal aid.
The Solicitors' Pro Bono Group
If you can’t get public funding, free advice may be available from the Solicitors' Pro Bono Group which is run by LawWorks. This group of solicitors provides advice for deserving cases at no cost. Last year it helped provide free legal advice for over 40,000 people and 350 voluntary sector organisations. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The Citizens Advice Bureau
The CAB is a good, first port of call for initial free legal advice on a range of matters and has offices throughout the country. Check for your local office at www.citizensadvice.co.uk
These centres offer free legal advice for financially disadvantaged people. They are staffed by solicitors and barristers who specialise in areas of civil law including employment, housing, discrimination, welfare benefits, education and immigration. Visit www.lawcentres.org.uk to find out more.
If you are a member of a trade union, you can usually get free legal advice on employment issues or accidents at work from a trade union solicitor.
A Personal Loan
You can finance legal action through a personal loan and many Lawmatch recommended solicitors will allow you to pay their bills in installments, although you will need to arrange this at the beginning of your case.
*Should your case require a face to face meeting, the majority of searches on Law-Match will return Solicitors situated within 1 hour travelling distance of your search criteria. We have tried to ensure that this is always the case but in some locations and niche areas of law this may not be possible.