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A solicitor is a qualified legal professional who practises law by advising and representing clients. All solicitors must be registered to practise with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

A solicitor will give support and advice, to explain a client’s options. They will help the client deal with letters and papers from children’s services or the court. They will represent their clients in court. In more complex cases, the solicitor may instruct a barrister to appear in court on behalf of the clients. A barrister is a different type of lawyer who specialises in court work.

If parents are involved in care proceedings, their solicitors’ fees are paid for by legal aid. This means parents get legal advice and representation free of charge.

Most solicitors specialise in particular areas of the law. If children’s services go to court to seek a court order for a child, it is a good idea for a parent to choose a specialist children law solicitor. It is helpful if they have the Law Society’s children’s law accreditation, or work for a firm with supervising solicitors that have this accreditation. This is a quality mark from the Law Society. It means the solicitor has special expertise in children law, in particular when children’s services become involved with a family.

The Law Society’s database has a list of solicitors who specialist in children law.

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