Guidelines for Lawyers dealing with Litigants in person
4 June 2015
Purpose: To guide
lawyers on how they can best support those without legal
Issued by: Chartered Institute of Legal
Executives, the Bar Council, and the Law Society.
A surge in the number of people representing themselves in court
has prompted legal organisations to draft guidelines for lawyers
who come up against people who find themselves in court without
These guidelines have been developed in response to the rising
numbers of people representing themselves in court without a lawyer
as a result of cuts to legal aid, the increase in the small-claims
limit and the introduction of employment tribunal fees.
They are relevant to the civil and family courts and tribunals
where there has been an influx of people who cannot afford to
instruct a lawyer, have not been able to obtain free legal advice
and often have no alternative other than to embark on 'do it
The guidelines discuss how far lawyers can help unrepresented
people without this conflicting with their duties to their own
clients. Lawyers are advised to communicate clearly and avoid
technical language or legal jargon, or to explain jargon to the
unrepresented party where it cannot be avoided.
Guidelines and accompany notes can be accessed below:
These Guidelines are intended to offer practical advice to
lawyers on good practice that is broadly applicable across the
civil and family courts and tribunals.
These notes are to help litigants in person understand what to
expect (and what to not expect) from the lawyer for the other side
in court proceedings.
These notes explain how one's lawyer will deal with the other
side in a court case if they are representing themselves.