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Lawyer shortage hits Tower Hamlets families seeking help, survey finds

PUBLISHED: 13:00 10 July 2018

Thames Magistrates Court... shortage of lawyers in Tower Hamlets? Picture source: Google

Thames Magistrates Court... shortage of lawyers in Tower Hamlets? Picture source: Google

Google

Families needing legal help are facing a shortage of local law firms with only one solicitor for every 1,160 people in Tower Hamlets, new research has revealed.

The figures are worse for urgent issues such as child custody and divorce with just one specialist lawyer for every 1,600 people, or 159 for the 254,000 population, according to a legal services website

“Finding legal support can be daunting,” the website’s Alex Boothman said. “You need the best legal support at the most stressful times.

“This scarcity may mean people are forced to take the nearest solicitor who is available regardless of their service quality and experience and may end up overcharged or paying for inadequate advice.”

The ‘My Legal Adviser’ website has started an online tool to find neighbourhood law firms to cut search times and listing fees up-front. Users post a job and it matches them with specialist firms, with lawyers compete for business rather than clients going direct.

Tower Hamlets ranked ninth of the 33 London boroughs for ratio of solicitors to people, with neighbouring City of London ranked top.

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