Everyone needs a lawyer at some time - like buying a house, writing a will and maybe help with resolving a dispute with a trader or employer.

Although we can’t tell you which lawyer in the UAE to use because we can’t possibly know about all of them, we can offer some pointers in how to narrow down the list of possibilities.

You need to think about quite a few factors when choosing a lawyer - and we can help you with that.

First, there’s some general information about finding a lawyer, then some more details about how to pick one that is right for you.

What is a lawyer?

Lawyers is a collective name for solicitors and barristers.

Solicitors tend to be the equivalent of a family doctor - they have a wide knowledge of most legal topics and tend to be the first port of call for clients looking for legal advice.

Saying that, solicitors can specialise in fields like crime, family law, which deals with divorce and children; property or estate planning, which encompasses wills and trusts.

Barristers are like medical consultants. They have specific training in one are of the law and tend to take referrals from solicitors to deliver an opinion on a case.

Solicitors will represent clients in the lower courts, while barrister tend to take cases to the higher courts, like crown courts and the high court.

Only trained and qualified lawyers can trade as solicitors or barristers.

How much does legal advice cost?

Lawyers are free to charge their own fees, so there really is no accurate answer to how much legal fees might cost in the UAE.

The cost depends on the work, the time involved and the experience and qualification of the lawyer.

Buying a home should cost around AED 10,000 to 15,000, while selling is generally half the cost of buying.

Writing a will can cost from AED 3,000 upwards, depending on the complexity of your estate and value of the assets.

Many lawyers will charge a fixed fee for regular work, like conveyancing.

If the lawyer is charging an hourly rate, this is probably linked to the amount a local court will allow when examining a bill - this is around AED 1,000 an hour.

Some firms, like claims management lawyers, charge contingent fees - more commonly known as ‘no win, no fee’.

Narrowing your search for a lawyer in the UAE

Once you have searched our database and have the contact details of some lawyers in the UAE, you can start to draw up a short list.

Start off by contacting each one on your list by telephone or email to see if they take on cases like yours.

Some may politely say they don’t but may offer a recommendation for a solicitor they know who does handles such cases.

Here are some other points to discuss:

  • Make a list of the points you want to know about and tick them off as they are answered. Have any documents relating to your case at hand in case the lawyer asks for them

  • Talk about fees and costs.

  • Lawyers should not take on cases that they believe are not in your best interest or will end up costing more to complete than you are likely to gain

Don’t forget to check out your solicitor on consumer review sites to see if they have lots of praise or complaints.

Choosing a lawyer in the UAE

Unless you are on a tight budget, try not to pick a lawyer on price alone as you may not end up with the best one for you.

You should instruct the lawyer with the best qualification and experience to handle your case.

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