Call to deploy legal advisers in council offices

By Laura Sharman | 24 May 2022

Legal advisers should be deployed in council offices and other public locations to provide access to civil justice, a think-tank has argued.

The Social Market Foundation (SMF) warned that changes in Government legal aid rules had 'drastically' limited legal support for the poorest and those who remain digitally excluded.

It said legal advisers in locations such as council offices and libraries would help those in need access civil justice.

SMF chief economist Aveek Bhattacharya said: 'Most of us will experience some form of civil justice issue in the next few years - be it debt difficulties, a dispute with neighbours, a problem with housing or being mis-sold a good or service.

'These issues have a tendency to escalate so we shouldn’t expect people just to muddle along, at a cost to their health, wellbeing and financial security.

'Instead, it is critical to provide accessible and timely interventions, available to people where they are.'

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