Legal profession

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The page will automatically redirect to Legal profession Research Briefings produced by the Commons Library, Lords Library and POST

Content published before December 2016

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on the legal profession. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Commons Briefing Papers

08.09.2016Referral fees in personal injury cases
The Commons Library has published a briefing paper which deals with the treatment of the payment or receipt of referral fees in personal injury cases in England and Wales and in Scotland.
21.06.2016Legal aid for representation at an inquest.
Legal aid for representation at an inquest is generally only available through the 'exceptional funding' criteria of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, which came into force on 1 April 2013.
07.06.2016A new UK judge for the European Court of Human Rights
Who will be the UK's new judge for the European Court of Human Rights? This Commons Library briefing paper looks at the two-stage process, the UK candidates, and recent criticisms and reforms.
31.05.2016No win, no fee funding arrangements
This Commons Library briefing paper looks at 'no win, no fee' funding arrangements in the UK. Following the withdrawal of civil legal aid, many litigants are reliant on such arrangements for access to justice. Unable to afford lawyers' fees, they enter into agreements whereby they will not pay their lawyers should they lose but must pay an extra success fee in the event that they are successful.
12.05.2016Legal help: where to go and how to pay
This note provides information about where to seek legal help and advice
12.05.2016Changes to criminal legal aid
On 28 January 2016 the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Michael Gove, told the House of Commons that his department would no longer pursue the introduction of the 'dual contracting' scheme for the provision of criminal litigation services in England and Wales. He also announced the suspension of a second reduction in solicitors' fees. The change in policy ended the long-running dispute between the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and the legal profession over changes to criminal legal aid.
24.11.2015Complaints against solicitors and other lawyers
This note deals with the current procedure and qualifying criteria for making complaints against solicitors and other lawyers across the United Kingdom.
23.09.2015Claims management companies in the UK and their regulation
This Note describes the regulatory framework which applies to claims management companies.
20.03.2015Judicial complaints
This note provides details of the procedures to follow where an individual has a complaint about a judge's conduct or behaviour.
06.06.2013Mediation and other alternatives to court
Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is the collective term for settling civil disputes with the help of an independent third party and without the need for a formal court hearing. Alternatives to litigation include: mediation, ombudsmen schemes and arbitration. In relevant circumstances, ADR schemes may offer certain advantages over going to court in that they can be more flexible, quicker, less stressful and less expensive.

Lords Library Notes

11.07.2016Resourcing and Staffing of the Courts
This Lords Library briefing has been prepared for the debate to take place in the House of Lords on Thursday 14 July, about staffing and resourcing of the courts. It provides an overview of HM courts reform, in particular it focuses on the proposed closure of further courts but also touches upon the move to a digitised and more flexible court system and issues that have been raised in response to the proposed reform.
07.12.2015Future of Legal Aid
This Library Note has been prepared in advance of the debate in the House of Lords on 10 December 2015 on the future of legal aid.
24.05.2012Crime and Courts Bill (HL Bill 4 of 2012-13)
The Crime and Courts Bill would establish a new National Crime Agency to combat organised crime, and contains provisions for reforms of the courts system (including judicial appointments and to allow broadcasting of certain court proceedings) as well as provisions on immigration, drug driving and community sentencing. This Library Note provides background reading in advance of the Bill's second reading in the House of Lords.

Select Committee Reports

07.03.2012Constitution Select Committee (HL) twenty-fifth report on Judicial Appointments.
Constitution Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
31.01.2011Appointment of the Chair of the Judicial Appointments Commission.
Justice Select Committee report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

That this House welcomes the Fair Employment report from Citizens Advice Scotland, showing the effects of the recession on employment practices in Scotland; notes with concern the report's ...
That this House recognises the concerns of the Solicitor Sole Practitioners Group, which represents a third of the total number of law firms in England and Wales, regarding the introduction ...
That this House notes that Section 708 (g) of the Bar Standards Code states that barristers must not make statements or ask questions which are merely scandalous or intended or calculated ...
That this House questions the fairness of the Law Society and the Solicitors Regulation Authority in the way in which they intervene to close law firms under supervision; recognises ...
That this House applauds the magnificent work carried out by local citizens advice bureaux, their staff and volunteers throughout the UK who unstintingly give support and free advice ...


  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses