The Incredible Economic Value of Free Legal Advice in the UK

A new report published today highlights the immense economic benefits and cost savings that come from the provision of free legal advice:

  • New economic research shows that Treasury would save over £4bn next year alone by supporting free legal advice for the most vulnerable
  • Modelling shows that this will result in a further 235,000 people remaining in the workforce, with additional tax revenues of at least £588 million a year
  • Second surge in demand for free legal advice expected as Covid-mitigation measures withdrawn over coming weeks impacting millions of people

New research released today shows the vast savings that could be made to the public purse through increased investment in free legal advice for the most vulnerable. The primary economic research has been compiled by Pragmatix Advisory working with the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) on behalf of the Community Justice Fund (CJF).

Among other findings, this research shows that the cost to the Treasury per person experiencing a legal problem is £14,000 if specialist legal advice is not available and just £6,000 where such specialist advice is available. When multiplied across the number of people who would most benefit from such specialist advice the savings for the State are considerable.

Clare Carter, Director of the Community Justice Fund said:

“What is clear from this new research is that early intervention saves money for the taxpayer preventing future social costs from spiraling upwards and helping vulnerable people get their lives together. If nothing is done, it will ultimately cost the Treasury more.

“By properly supporting the legal advice sector in the forthcoming Spending Review, the Chancellor has a unique opportunity to help the most vulnerable in society and save the taxpayer money at the same time. If the government fails to act, economic and social costs will start to rise again impacting on an inclusive recovery and the chance to build back better post-Covid.”

To access the full publication, please visit the Access to Justice Foundation.