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Taking legal action

Taking legal action can be stressful and expensive. It will help if you understand how the legal system works and what kind of help you can get.

These pages explain the different types of courts that make up the legal system and what they are used for.

You can find how if you are entitled to help with costs and who can give legal advice. You can also find information about how to solve your problem without going to court.

Do you need legal advice?

Your options if you think you need legal advice.

Using a legal adviser

Finding a legal adviser, information on using a solicitor, solicitors' costs and bills, and using a barrister through the public access scheme.

Help with legal costs - legal aid

Getting help with legal costs through civil and criminal legal aid including what cases you can get legal aid for, the financial conditions for getting legal aid, how to apply and paying court fees.

Help with legal costs - free or affordable help

Where to get free or low cost legal advice.

Small claims

Information on the small claims procedure including taking a case through the procedure, appeals and enforcement of court orders

Courts of law

Information on the court system covering the county court, magistrates court, Crown Court, High Court and Court of Appeal.

Complaints about legal advisers

Complaining about legal advisers including complaining to the Legal Ombudsman.

Taking a case to court without legal advice

Representing yourself in court and help you can get from a McKenzie friend and the court Personal Support Unit.

Alternatives to court

Options for resolving legal problems without going to court.