Frequently Asked Questions
Got a question?
Here are some common questions that people have about lawyers and legal services to help you get started.
Q. What are my options for paying for a lawyer?
When you start looking for a lawyer you might find different options for paying are available. Usually it depends on the type of legal service you need.
Sometimes you might be given a fixed quote. Other times you might be told about the charges that the lawyer or law firm uses, and how these will be used to work out your bill.
You can find out about some of the different options by visiting the Legal Costs part of this website.
How do I tell if a lawyer is genuine?
If you want to check the background of someone saying they are a lawyer, you should find out from them if they are regulated.
If they are a regulated lawyer, you can ask the relevant regulator to check their identity for you. You can find out how to do this on our Types of Lawyers page.
However some legal services, like will writing, can be carried out by anyone without needing to be a regulated lawyer.
People that provide those services may still refer to themselves as a lawyer.
You should always ask the person what their status is. That will help you to work out whether they are genuine.
Q: Who regulates lawyers?
In England and Wales lawyers have to be regulated for most types of work that they can carry out for you.
The quickest and easiest way to find out who regulates a lawyer that you are thinking of using is to ask them who their regulator is.
These are several regulators that keep watch over the different types of lawyer.
You can find out all you need to know about the regulators in the ‘About Us‘ area of this website.
You can find out about the different types of lawyers in the ‘Types of Lawyers‘ area of this website.
Q. What do I do if I am not happy with a lawyer?
We don’t live in a perfect world, and unfortunately sometimes things do go wrong.
However there is action you can take if you aren’t happy with a lawyer.
This ranges from trying to work things out with them, through to reporting a lawyer to a legal regulator.
If the problem is connected to a lawyer that you are the client of, you may also be able to get help from the Legal Ombudsman.
Find out everything you need to know in the section of this website called ‘If you want to complain‘.
Where can I find a lawyer who knows about another country’s laws?
It’s a big world out there.
Sometimes people are in the market for legal advice about the law in another country.
If you’re looking for a lawyer who knows about another country’s laws then there are a few ways you can try to find one.
Some that Legal Choices recommends include:
- use a service like Find a Solicitor or Find a barrister or a legal comparison website and find the links to online registers and contact details for them
- contact the UK Embassy for the country that you want to get legal advice about by doing an internet search for their details
- contact the International Bar Association and ask for a lawyer recommendation
- use your local phone directory to find details for law firms near to you and ask some whether they can help
If you are getting married abroad and want to check the legal situation first, you could take a look at the Faculty Office website to get some information to help you move things along.