Categories of Law Practised

For further clarification on legal specialisations, please see below. Certain specialisations are self-explanatory.

1. Business Affairs

Advice on partnerships, limited companies and commercial contracts. This category includes solicitors who may cover a wide range of business affairs, eg., banking law, insurance law, pension schemes or road haulage licensing.

2. Charity Law

Covers the establishment of new charities, defining charitable status as against political purposes, registration with the Inland Revenue and the charity commission, responsibilities of charitable trustees.

3. Consumer Problems

Legal Aid is generally not available to cover court proceedings in small disputes where the claim involved is less than £1,000. In cases like this it is possible to use the county court small claims procedure. A free booklet on making claims is available from county courts. Advice on how to make a claim is available from your solicitor, Citizens Advice Bureaux or independent advice centres.

4. Conveyancing - Residential

Buying and selling domestic freehold and leasehold properties

5. Commercial Property

Buying, selling or leasing of shops, offices warehouses, factories and factory units.

6. Crime - General, Motor and Juvenile

General and Motoring: Criminal Legal Aid is available to anyone charged with one or more serious criminal offences. It is not generally available for motoring offences. Advice about criminal charges may be obtained from a solicitor under the "Legal Advice and Assistance" part of the Legal Aid scheme.

7. Debt and Money Advice

Includes advice on bankruptcy and insolvency, mortgage payments, tax and investments.

8. Environmental Law

This includes planning law, pollution control and company environmental audits.

9. Employment

Employment law includes advice on the legality of strike action, unfair dismissal claims, race and sex discrimination and employee confidentiality. If you have suffered racial or sexual discrimination or harassment, the Equal Opportunities Commission or the Commission for Racial Equality will be able to offer advice.

10. Family

This category includes anything to do with the breakdown of a marriage or relationship, including the arrangements for the children, your income, home or other property and any orders you need to protect you from violence. It also includes legal help with adoption and paternity issues.

11. Landlord and Tenant - Residential

This category covers disputes between landlord and tenants about rent, security of tenure and disrepair.

12. Immigration and Nationality

This category covers solicitors who can assist refugees seeking asylum or individuals wishing to join their families and deportation appeals.

13. Litigation - General

This category includes all cases of litigation which involve proceedings in a civil court including criminal injury.

14. Litigation - Commercial

This category includes disputes involving the supply and the quality of goods, equipment and commercial, financial and insurance services.

15. Medical Negligence

This includes claims for damages for personal injuries against all types of medical practitioner and against hospitals, clinics and drug manufacturers.

16. Mental Health

Solicitors under this category will represent patients before a Tribunal on matters such as the admission of patients to medical or other care and the periodic review of detained persons.

17. Neighbour Disputes

This encompasses boundary disputes and other problems with neighbours, including noise, troublesome pets and overhanging trees.

18. Personal Injury

This category covers any injury sustained as a result of the negligence of any other person or company. The most common claims under personal injury result from road traffic accidents. Other claims arise from accidents at work or diseases contracted at work.

19. Welfare Benefits

20. Wills and Probate

21. Taxation

Planning for individuals including advice on inheritance tax and capital gains tax. Advising business clients and companies on the tax implication of setting up, restructuring and buying and selling assets.

22. Trusts

Advising on the type of trust best suited to the client, drafting the trust deed and administering the trust.

23. Liquor/Licensing/Gaming

Licensing applications and appeals for leisure groups and breweries for liquor, entertainment, gaming and betting. Also advise brewery tenancy arrangements

24. Intellectual Property

Copyright, design and patents advice, registration of rights and taking action against infringements

25. Insurance

This category covers firms instructed by insurance companies to defend claims, where solicitors have detailed understanding of different types of claims. Others will be able to advise on cases where liability or scope of policy cover is disputed. Also covers re-insurance and DTI regulations.

26. European Community Law

27. Financial and Investment Services

Includes investment management, lump sum investment, financial planning, savings scheme annuities, life cover, pensions, school fees planning and general insurance. Unlike many High Street financial advisers who are tried to one product provider, solicitors cannot be tied and so give wholly independent advice.

28. Administrative and Public Law

29. Agricultural Law

30. Aviation Law

31. Banking Law

32. Chancery

33. Civil Liberties and Human Rights

34. Common Law

35. Computer and IT Law

36. Construction or Civil Engineering

37. Corporate Finance

38. Education Law

39. Energy and Naturla Resources

40. Fraud

41. Insolvency and Bankruptcy

42. International Law (Non EC)

43. Libel and Defamation

44. Maritime - Shipping - Admiralty

45. Media - Entertainment Law

46. Mergers and Acquisitions

47. Planning Law

48. Professional Negligence

49. Transport - Road and Rail

50. Travel and Tourism

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