What is a legal expert and when should you seek one out?

By Catsup and Mustard
legal expert

In the UK, a legal expert is a legally bonded representative who must be a member of the Law Society and has passed all the relevant qualifications and holds an active membership. The Law Society is responsible for ensuring the quality of legal professionals in the UK and providing you with a body to seek assistance in the event that you fall out or have a dispute with your representative or the services you received from them.

This society is managed through a sub organisation; the legal experts registration authority which has a publicly searchable database allowing you to check if a prospective legal representative is indeed a fully licensed member.

These solicitors Portsmouth arrange themselves into a set of subspecialties; it is not the case that a particular legal expert is capable of providing certain services, only that they have become particularly proficient in one area of the law. So, depending upon the sort of assistance you require, you would seek out the relevant speciality. For instance, a criminal expert in the event of being charged with a crime, or a conveyancer specialist in the event of trying to sell or purchase a particularly complicated property.

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One common confusion is the difference between legal experts and barristers. The role of a barrister is to operate within the court. A legal expert can represent you during court proceedings; it is more common for them to be used in advisory roles outside of court. The fees related to a barrister are significantly higher than that of a legal representative, leading to most people attempting to use legal experts where possible. Legal experts also provide assistance when dealing with tax compliance and general business regulatory compliance, often specializing in two particular industries, like the legislation around drug transactions for pharmacies or food safety standards for suppliers.

When seeking out the assistance of a legal expert for your business, it is important to check your business insurance. Many business insurance plans include some form of legal provision in the form of a legal expert. This may be provided by the insurance company giving you all the choice of which representative you use or it may be open to allow a representative of your choice to bill your insurance provider.

You can also find on duty legal experts operating close to police stations, where they provide the initial advice to those detained, either before or immediately after being charged. There is no reason to stick with this appointed legal expert if you are being charged and often the work is transferred to the different expert of your choice or a different legal representative.

There are comparison websites that allow you to post and read reviews about legal representatives, helping you to quickly find the type of assistance you need assuming you have little experience with legal matters. This can be particularly useful during probate, as an ambiguity or absence during an extremely stressful loss of time, can easily become overwhelming.

The Law Society has extensive guides on using the representatives in the UK and has a set of guides avoiding the use of legal terminology, if you require further information.

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