Edinburgh and the Lothians

Visiting our offices and contacting your solicitor

Please see our update for full details on how we are delivering our services.

Do you live in Edinburgh, West Lothian, Midlothian or East Lothian? Are you eligible for legal aid? Do you have a legal problem that falls within one of our case types?

If you have answered yes to these questions, we may be able to help you. Contact us to discuss your legal issue and we will assess if we are able to take your case.

Areas of work

Contact CLAO Edinburgh to find out if we can help you with cases relating to:

  • Housing and Homelessness
  • Some types of debt, money and welfare benefits issues where the input of our solicitor casework services can be most effective.

Edinburgh and the Lothians

4th Floor Thistle House 91 Haymarket Terrace Edinburgh EH12 5HE 555252 Edinburgh 30

Edinburgh and the Lothians

4th Floor Thistle House 91 Haymarket Terrace Edinburgh EH12 5HE 555252 Edinburgh 30

Office opening hours

Monday to Friday 09.00-17.00

Office accessibility

The office is accessed from street level, with four steps leading up to the front external door.


Our office is located in Edinburgh city centre and has disabled access and parking as well as a number of other accessibility features.

Parking Wheelchair Users

See more information on accessibility – making it easier to access our services

Getting here

Information if you are getting to CLAO Edinburgh by bus, train, car and bike.

Thistle House is accessible by bus, car, tram, train and bike:


By Bus
Lothian Buses services 12, 25, 26, 31 and 100 stop near to Thistle House

  • If you are travelling towards the city centre the closest bus stop is located across the road from our office outside the Apex Hotel.
  • If you are travelling away from the city centre the closest bus stop is the Haymarket tram stop located around 150 metres from our office.


By Tram
Trams heading to the airport or city centre both stop around 150 metres from Thistle House at Haymarket (as shown on the map above).


Haymarket train station is located around 175 metres from Thistle House (as shown on the map above).


By Car
We have a limited number of car parking spaces available, two of these are designated accessible parking spaces. To pre-book a car parking space contact Reception on 0131 226 7061. Our car parking spaces are located in an internal basement car park to the rear of Thistle House accessed via Devon Place. You can find directions to the car park here.

Chargeable on-street car parking is located on some side streets e.g. Magdala Terrace, Devon Place and Coates Gardens. Greenways are in operation directly outside of Thistle House.


By Bike
There are bike racks outside the Tesco Express opposite Thistle House.

When you arrive

Wheelchair Users
There is a dedicated ramp entrance next to the main entrance. At the bottom of the ramp there is a bell that will alert staff to your arrival. The entrance is 800mm wide and our reception area enables wheelchair users to manoeuvre freely.
If you have pre-booked a car parking space (see above) you can enter Thistle House directly from the basement car park. There is an automatic door with an intercom. Press the intercom button marked ‘Reception’ to alert them to your arrival. Please let Reception know if you need to use the lift before you enter the building and you will be assisted.

Otherwise, please use the stairs to report to Reception.
All visitors must report to Reception on the ground floor. There are four stairs from the street level main door to the Reception desk. The stairs have handrails at both sides.

During your visit

On reporting to Reception you will be given a visitor’s pass with fire procedures and Health & Safety information attached to it.
Fire Evacuation
If a fire alarm sounds (a continuously ringing bell) you must leave the building immediately and gather on Devon Place. Fire and evacuation information is located in all stairwells and meeting rooms.
Disabled toilet
Accessible toilets are located on the ground and second floors. They are accessed via push doors with a width of 800mm.
Accessible lifts service all floors in Thistle House. The lift doors are 800mm wide and the lift is 1000mm deep. In the event of a fire alarm you should not use the lifts. Fire evacuation chairs are available on each floor and our fire officers and Facilities staff are trained in the use of this equipment.
Guide dogs
Assistance dogs are welcome in our office. Please let us know in advance if you would like us to make any special arrangements to help accommodate them. We will have a bowl of water available for them.

Induction loops are available at Reception and in our meeting rooms for visitors on the ground and fourth floors. Portable induction loops are also available from Reception on request. Hearing aid users must turn their hearing aid to the “T” position to use the induction loops.
Please let us know in advance of your visit about support you need to visit our offices or communicate with us during your time in Thistle House.

How do I know if I can use the CLAO Edinburgh service?

If you answer yes to the following questions, you can contact CLAO Edinburgh for help:

  • I live in Edinburgh, West Lothian, Midlothian or East Lothian
  • I have a civil legal problem (a legal problem that is not to do with the criminal law)
  • I have been told I need a lawyer or I am unsure whether or not I need a lawyer
  • I have tried unsuccessfully to find a lawyer or I don’t know how to find a lawyer.

How do I contact CLAO Edinburgh?

Members of the public can use telephone or email to contact us.

  • 0131 240 1960 – please call between the hours of 10am-1pm and 2pm-4pm Monday to Friday.
  • edinburgh@clao.org.uk

Please note that CLAO Edinburgh does not offer a drop in service. You will not be able to speak to a solicitor if you appear at the office. Please contact us by phone or email and we can assess what we can do to assist you.

If you are offered an ‘emergency’ appointment, it will be because your legal issue needs urgent action. If you miss an emergency appointment that may mean that it is then too late to do the legal work needed to resolve your problem and a new appointment may not be possible.

You should have any legal paperwork which relates to your case available for the appointment. When coming to a first appointment, you should also provide a form of photographic ID such as a driving licence or passport and proof of your address (for example, bank statement, benefit award letter or utility bill dated within the last three months).

The rules of legal aid mean that we have to check your financial position at the first meeting. You must provide confirmation of any income and capital including any savings or investments. It is important that you provide the financial information as we may not be able to do any work for you until we have seen this. If you are not sure what is needed you can call the office first to check.