The Civil Legal Assistance Office (CLAO) is a network of three offices in Scotland that helps clients with civil legal problems. We cover four geographical areas. We do not deal with criminal law.
We are solicitors and business support staff employed by the Scottish Legal Aid Board. Our team of solicitors includes five covering Highland and Islands, three covering Aberdeen, one covering Argyll and Bute, five covering Edinburgh, as well as two network trainee solicitors.
You can read about the work our solicitors do and their varied roles and locations on the Scottish Legal Aid Board’s website.
We aim to get better outcomes for people and contribute to wider objectives of the Scottish Government through:
We offer a different mix of casework in each area we cover in response to local conditions and other advice and legal providers in the geographical area. Our work is guided by our Business Plan, which is approved by the Scottish Legal Aid Board and agreed with the Scottish Government.
The Our Offices section gives details of the types of legal work done in each area.
We can only provide assistance to people who areeligible for civil legal assistance.
We only work in four areas of Scotland and cover specific legal problems in each area.
What if we can’t take your case? Please see information on what happens if we can’t take your case.
The Civil Legal Assistance Office (CLAO) was set up in 2008.
CLAO solicitors and support staff are employed by the Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB) as framed by Part V provisions of the Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986.
The commencement of Part V of the Legal Aid (Scotland) Act in 2001 paved the way for the provision of civil legal assistance by solicitors directly employed by SLAB. Before then, civil legal assistance was available generally only through solicitors in private practice and law centres.
The Part V service became known as the Civil Legal Assistance Office in 2009.