As a firm, we occasionally find ourselves noting (with regret) – the (apparent) position that certain prospective clients feel that they do not have the financial resources to afford our legal advice and assistance input in relation to “problems” that they are seeking to deal with.
It rather surprises us that people contact highly experienced and expert legal advisors – expecting that we are some sort of “free” format of Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) – available to help them at a price point of “Zero / Nil”.
We can only speculate what response they receive from (say) a plumber / vehicle mechanic in relation to their services . . .
As a firm, we are not able to assist with matters which are envisaged to be funded by civil legal aid – the availability of which has almost completely disappeared over the circa last quarter of a century (~25 years) – but which many prospective clients appear unawar eof (perhaps fed an unrealistic TV diet of idealistic “free law”?)
However, prospective clients may wish to assess their eligibility, using:- https://www.gov.uk/check-legal-aid
Prospective clients should also be aware, that even if they feel they may be eligible – they then need a firm of Solicitors who will accept that funding (the levels of which being so “modest” – they can be very difficult to find).
Please also remember that civil legal aid is (generally) only (effectively) a loan from H.M. Govt. and will need to be repaid from amounts recovered (or preserved) in a legal matter
The problem that we often perceive is that prospective clients (with a “contentious issue”) may perceive that they are suffering “cash flow issues”(or not “wanting to spend”) – while (seemingly) being asset rich = living at what appears to be (relatively) expensive privately owned property etc.
The third party in dispute with a prospective client – will be likely to have undertaken an assessment of the prospective client’s ability to pay (and may well believe – with justification – that the prospective client can pay) – hence why the third party is continuing to pursue the prospective client.
Conversely, if prospective clients can provide genuine evidence to the third party of being unable to settle claimed liabilities, such that the third parties would be wasting their resources bringing a claim (since it would merely result in an unsatisfied court judgement and/or bankruptcy) – bringing that situation to the third party’s attention that might be the prospective client’s best approach to take.
We are always genuinely sorry when it appears that we will be unable to assist prospective clients – since this often reflects a situation > where a problem caused by prospective clients not taking legal advice (originally or early enough), is then likely to be exacerbated – by not being able to take legal advice “now” with regard to the issues arising therefrom.
However, if prospective clients (upon reflection) are able to fund our legal advice and assistance – we would (generally) be fully prepared to advance matters – upon a “what our advice and assistance is worth” basis .
Please feel free to discuss any aspects / issues arising from the above with the writer:-
Founding Principal – and – Business Law Solicitor
+44 (0) 3333 90 3525 : Global Roaming Voicemail
www.EquitableLaw.com – Solicitors For Business