Using legal services in a pandemic

Since Covid-19 took hold, many kinds of firms have moved their services online. Those offering legal services are no different. They are changing the way they work to make sure people can still access them.

We’ve taken a look at some of the changing ways you can access legal services. Most aren’t totally new. But they have become more common during the pandemic.

Staying in touch

Firms that offer legal services are now more likely to use technology to stay in touch with clients than before the pandemic.

Going online to find a legal adviser?

Good legal advice can be a lifeline in hard times. And finding the right legal adviser can make all the difference.

Weigh up your options before you choose a legal adviser.

There's a lot of information out there to help you compare legal advisers. Use it to choose one who's right for you.

Read online reviews

Check out online customer reviews to see what other people are saying about legal advisers they used.

For the full picture, make sure you read any replies to customer reviews. And think about the number of customers who have offered a rating.

Your consumer rights this Christmas 

People in the UK collectively spend billions of pounds at Christmas each year.

The average person spends about £1,000 more at Christmas than at any other time of the year. A big chunk of that goes on gifts for friends and family.

But what happens if those gifts need to go back to the shop? What if you're unhappy with the service you have received?

Whenever you buy something, you're protected by a set of rights.

Consumer Rights Act

Any product or service you buy must meet certain standards:

Mental health in the workplace

One in four people is likely to experience a mental health problem at some point.

Having a job tends to be good for your mental health. It lets you develop as a person and meet new people. Plus, it gives you an income to help you do the things you enjoy. It can also keep you busy and offer healthy challenges.

But work can trigger mental health problems, too.

Getting the balance right is important.

'Fake news' and your right to remove it

False information published to mislead people is sometimes called 'fake news'.

Fake news could be about a person, a company, an event or anything else.

It can be spread across the world within seconds on the internet.

In the early days of the coronavirus outbreak, for example, there was a lot of fake news spread about the virus including various conspiracy theories.

Fact checking websites like Full Fact can help to stop the spread of fake news.

Control of your images online 

A picture is worth a thousand words – so the saying goes.

Billions of photographs are uploaded to the internet every day. And because social media use is on the rise, so are the number of images being shared.

People like to share photos of themselves, their friends and things that they do.

But who owns the images you post? What can you do if someone posts images of you without your permission?

Copyright of images

Photos are generally protected by copyright. This means the person who took the photo usually owns it.

Buying and owning a pet

There are around 51 million pets in the UK. From dogs and cats, to parrots and rabbits, our pets prove we are a nation of animal-lovers.  Almost half of us own a pet.

Research shows that having an animal to care for can help people deal with anxiety and depression. With more people starting to work from home, many are looking for pets to keep them company.

At the start of the coronavirus lockdown, the number of people looking to buy a puppy rose by 168%.

But as the popularity of dogs rose, so did prices, along with the number of complaints about fraudulent sellers.

Clinical negligence: What you need to know

Healthcare professionals are there to help you get better. The care they give is usually very good. But sometimes things can go wrong.

Clinical negligence is when someone suffers harm because of the treatment they have been given – or not given – by a healthcare professional. It can also be called medical negligence.

Clinical negligence can result in physical harm or mental harm.

It can happen in the NHS or in a private healthcare setting. Healthcare professionals include

Your guide to defamation

Has someone said or written something false about you? Is what they said harming your reputation?

If so, you could be a victim of defamation.

There are two types of defamation: Libel and slander.

Libel is when the false statement is written – like in a newspaper or in a social media post.

Slander is when the false statement is spoken.

You do not need to be specifically named in the false statement to be a victim of defamation. But the statement must allow you to be identified.

Defamation cases are on the increase.

Know your rights on eviction

The Covid-19 pandemic has made things tough for lots of people who have rent or mortgages to pay.

Many are struggling, having lost their job or taken a pay cut.

The Government put additional rules in place at the beginning of the lockdown to make sure people were not made homeless as a result of the pandemic.

Between 23 March and 20 September 2020, no one could be evicted from their home – even if they couldn't pay their rent or mortgage.