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Legal assistance

There are legal advisory offices in every major Army HQ in the UK and in the British Army and NATO HQs around the world. Advisory officers assist the chain of command with all legal aspects of their work.

For soldiers in the UK

Soldiers serving in the UK make their own arrangements and will contact a high street solicitor in the same way as any other British citizen. Solicitors can provide legal advice or representation to soldiers facing a civil prosecution, prosecution before a service court and on any other legal issues. If soldiers have any issues of this nature they should consider first talking to someone in their own unit such as the unit welfare officer, Padre, adjutant or admin officer.
Court room

If a soldier is arrested by the civilian police or could be facing a civil prosecution they must inform their unit chain of command immediately.

A soldier who does not wish to discuss a legal problem with a member of their unit may instead contact the following:

  • Confidential Support Line on 0800 731 4880 or at www.ssafa.org.uk
  • Army Welfare Service by calling  01980 615975
    (It should be noted that these organisations can give general advice but do not give specific legal advice)
  • Citizens Advice Bureau at www.citizensadvice.org.uk

Advertisements for solicitors can be found in such publications as Soldier magazine or Yellow Pages; alternatively, they can contact the Law Society or visit a solicitors' office. Soldiers should be aware that the Army does not endorse any firms advertised in military publications and they should make their own choice of solicitor.

Soldiers serving abroad

When soldiers and their families are serving overseas it is recognised that it may be difficult to have contact with a solicitor in the UK.

Army Legal Assistance based in Bielefeld, Germany, provide legal assistance worldwide including in operational theatres. It can be contacted on 0049 521 9254 3196.

Court Martial Centre Sennelager

Soldiers facing trial at Court-Martial and the Summary Appeal Court

Soldiers facing trial may be provided with legal representation authorised by the Army Criminal Legal Aid Authority, some or all of which may be at public expense.

Soldiers can receive guidance on this from their unit chain of command.