Legal advice

Where to get free and confidential legal services, including legal aid.

Last updated: 13 September 2023

Next review: 13 September 2024

The council does not directly provide legal advice to residents or local businesses.

However, there are many local and national organisations that provide this service, including the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Community legal advice

This is a free and confidential legal service for the general public. It is completely separate from the council and is funded nationally by the Legal Services Commission and partnerships with independent advice agencies and solicitors.

GOV.UK legal aid page explains if you are likely to be eligible for legal aid, and how to find a legal advisor in this area.

Consumer support network

The Consumer Support Networks (CSNs) initiative urges consumer advice providers to join up their services and provide consumers, wherever they live, with reliable advice.

Consumer advice needs to reflect today's complex and fast-changing marketplace. It should consider developments like the growth of internet shopping and how goods and services are sold.

We would expect advice available to cover:

  • what to look out for when buying goods and services
  • consumers' rights and duties when buying goods and services
  • what to do when things go wrong

Consumer Support Networks and the community legal service are complementary initiatives.

Community legal service (CLS) quality mark

An important part of CLS is their simple referral system; if the first organisation you contact cannot help, they should be able to refer to another one that can assist.

CLS partnerships ensure that advice providers in their area take part in a referral network and strongly encourage providers to apply for the CLS quality mark.

When you see an organisation that displays the CLS logo, you know that organisation meets certain quality standards. If a CLS provider is unable to deal with all aspects of your problem, it can refer clients to another quality marked organisation.

Resident affairs

The Resident Affairs service helps our residents by protecting the income, assets and property of those who lack the capacity to make their own financial decisions.

Applications to act on behalf of residents as "Deputy" are made via the Court of Protection and Office of the Public Guardian. In certain situations, the authorised officer of the Council can act as Deputy for Property and Affairs following a referral from either Adult Services, or the North East London NHS Foundation Trust.

For more information, please contact:

Waltham Forest Town Hall

Forest Road

E17 4JF