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Law Society guidance aims to help solicitors meet the needs of vulnerable clients

The Law Society has published guidance for solicitors to help them meet the needs of vulnerable clients. This includes clients with a range of physical and mental health problems including learning disabilities.

The Law Society practice note on vulnerable clients has been issued in response to calls for support from law firms and other significant partners, including Mencap.

Using case scenarios, the guidance aims to help solicitors to:

The guidance uses the term 'vulnerable' to describe a range of situations which could place a client at a disadvantage in accessing legal services, and focuses on:

Law Society president Andrew Caplen said:

"Vulnerable people face particular obstacles in accessing justice, including getting help from a solicitor. We have produced this important guidance to support our members and to help their clients to get the legal advice and tailored support that they need."

Law Society research at the end of 2014 showed that nearly two-thirds of firms (59 per cent) had provided legal services to vulnerable clients in the preceding 12 months. Those solicitors working with vulnerable clients in that period described one in five (21 per cent) of their clients as vulnerable.

The guidance for solicitors is supplemented by an easy read guide for clients, supporting them to access solicitors more easily.

The guidance is here.