About CLAO

The Civil Legal Assistance Office - helping to address unmet legal need

The Civil Legal Assistance Office operates from four offices in parts of Scotland where people have had difficulty obtaining legal advice and assistance under legal aid.

Each CLAO office employs solicitors and administrative staff to deal with the work of the office.

We help clients with civil legal problems and we do not deal with criminal law. Each of the offices in Highland & Islands Edinburgh and the LothiansAberdeen & Aberdeenshire and Argyll & Bute works in partnership with other local solicitors and agencies in the area to provide legal services to clients who are eligible for legal aid.

The partnership arrangement that each CLAO has with other local service providers involves the CLAO working as a referral office.

Each CLAO holds details of what work local solicitors and advice agencies undertake, and where there is a local solicitor or agency able and willing to take a case, refers the matter to them.

Where no other solicitor or agency can be found, the CLAO may be able to take the case if the work is in one of the types of legal work covered by the local CLAO.

For details of the types of legal work each office does, go to Our Offices for further information.

To find out about how to apply to a CLAO for help, if there is a CLAO in your local area, go to Using a CLAO