The problem with legal stuff for most of us is that we are usually not sure where we stand. More often than not what we actually want is advice and not legal action.
There is no question that when we decide to actually take legal action we need a legal expert. However we don’t start out at that point and generally we are afraid that the advice we are seeking will cost more than ignoring the problem.
So what’s the answer for those of us with shallow pockets? In fact there are lots of answers and most of us can afford them. Free advice can prove very expensive if you act on it but that isn’t what you should use it for. The purpose of getting free advice is to decide if you are willing to take action and only then are you at the stage to engage a professional.
So where might you get free advice? Usually its not friends and family because what you will probably get are out of context opinions. It is probably better to try somebody who might have had the same problem you have and in business there are lots of people (particularly competitors) who are very keen to talk about their own experiences.
Local Business Links, Chambers of Commerce and the IOD can generally provide limited free advice (at least initially). If you are strong on self help there are many books that can get you on the right track but this can be a slow burn solution and may become a distraction.
There seems to be a trend these days towards indirect free advice with several banks and others providing low cost access to telephone services if you buy it up front when you don’t have a problem to solve. Indeed there are some telephone only services that allow you to buy advice by the call with a very low price tag.
The point however, is that all you can expect to achieve is to reach a decision about whether to proceed with legal action or not and if you do then get professional help. Like surgery – it’s not a good idea to find out you aren’t any good at it when it really matters.