What to ask a lawyer

When using a lawyer it is important that you understand what services they can provide and how you are protected if things go wrong.

Below is a selection of questions that you can ask a potential lawyer or you can take our handy checklist with you.

 

Q. Are you regulated?

If a lawyer is regulated, they will have certain types of standards and protection in place, which you can look up in our types of lawyer section.

Q. Do you have any professional insurance in place?

Asking this will help you find out whether you would be entitled to claim compensation if something went wrong. You may also want to ask if their insurance covers you if you find a problem with the outcome of the work and the law firm is no longer open.

Q. Who do I complain to if I am unhappy with the service?

It is always good to know where to go if something goes wrong – there may be an independent Ombudsman or professional body who can look at your complaint if the lawyer doesn't resolve it.

Q. Can you give me an idea of cost and are there additional costs outside of your quote?

Lawyers should be able to give you a cost estimate. You should also check if things like VAT, expenses or insurance are included. If you want a lawyer to pay a third party on your behalf (such as the Land Registry or Companies House), check whether the payment itself is included.

Q. Have you worked with a small business or with someone in my line of work before?

It may help you decide whether or not a lawyer is right for you if you ask whether they are experienced in doing similar work.

Last reviewed: 8 January 2018