Nearly a fifth of British adults with legal problems do not seek professional advice, a government study has revealed.
However, when they did use a solicitor or barrister, almost all said they were satisfied with the advice provided.
The Legal Problem Resolution Survey, conducted by the Ministry of Justice, was designed to provide robust data on legal problems and how they are resolved. More than 10,000 people were surveyed between November 2014 and March 2015.
The study found that lone parents, unemployed adults, those in receipt of means tested state benefits and adults with a long-standing limiting disability were particularly likely to experience legal problems.
Those most likely to seek help were aged between 45 and 64, in employment and home owners.
The survey also looked at the quality of advice and found that solicitors and barristers far outperformed other providers, such as Citizens Advice and insurance companies. More than two thirds of those questioned said their lawyer had helped to resolve or reduce the problem, while nine in ten said they were very or quite satisfied with the advice provided.
“Being able to access and understand information about possible options is an important influence in how people try to resolve their legal problems,” the report said.
It added that individual capability and confidence were key factors, “with some people able to fully understand the available resolution options, and therefore able to either handle their problems using only self-help sources or know what kind of professional help would be suitable and know when and how to access it”.
Others, the researchers said, had much lower levels of understanding of legal issues and were therefore “discouraged from trying to resolve their problem”.
How can Gotelee help?
If you are facing a legal problem of any kind, it’s crucial you don’t bury your head in the sand. It’s also important to remember that a swift resolution to the issue is usually cost-effective and reduces any stress or anxiety.
The law touches us all – problems at work, buying property, making Wills, divorce, injuries or accidents. When it does, you may well need the services of someone who is qualified to help and who understands, listens, gives sound advice and acts quickly on your behalf.