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Legal support for matters which occurred outside RCN membership

This guide for RCN members outlines our position on legal support for matters which occurred before joining.

Unfortunately we cannot offer legal support or representation for issues which arose outside of RCN membership, or recommend an external solicitor.

If you were a member of another trade union at the time of the incident, ask if they will represent you. 

It's worth checking whether your insurance policies (such as house or car insurance) include legal expenses cover.   

Your local Citizens Advice can offer free initial advice.

The Bar Pro Bono Unit can help you find pro bono (free) legal assistance from volunteer barristers. To receive support from the Bar Pro Bono Unit you will need to be referred by an advice agency - Citizens Advice may be able to arrange a referral for you - or a lawyer.  

If you live in England or Wales, the Law Society's directory provides contact details of solicitors/firms in your local area. In Northern Ireland you can contact the Law Society of Northern Ireland and in Scotland the Law Society of Scotland.

The Law Centres Federation provide free legal advice and representation to disadvantaged people living in England, Wales or Northern Ireland.

If you live in Scotland, the Scottish Legal Aid Board's online calculator can help you assess whether you qualify for advice and financial assistance in a civil, criminal or children's case.

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RCN support

Although we cannot provide legal representation if you were not in membership at the time of the incident, we can help you in other ways.

If your financial situation changes due to your situation, an assessment from the Lamplight Support Service could help you maximise your income, check your eligibility for benefits and provide a small one-off grant for essential items, if appropriate.

Where debt is an added concern, members can be referred on to our money and debt advisers for further advice and assistance. Our advisers are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for consumer credit regulated activities.

If you are feeling stressed, disappointed or upset at any point, contact the RCN’s Counselling Service. We offer short term, telephone based counselling as part of your membership.

Our careers resources for members include advice on applying for jobs following dismissal.

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