Local and national advice services

Free legal advice and information is available online and from local advice agencies and national helplines.

The council provides support to a number of voluntary organisations who provide free advice services on welfare benefits, debt, housing and other matters to anyone who lives works or studies in Tower Hamlets. A number of specialist advice agencies and solicitors firms also provide legal aid services to eligible clients. 

The advice services listed below are required to meet the national Advice Quality Standard (AQS) requirements. You can also download the leaflet on advice agencies in Tower Hamlets. You can download a list of organisations that offer advice on debt problems at generalist and specialist level.

National telephone helplines and websites

Citizens Advice self-help website

Practical, reliable information to help you solve your problems.

Website: www.adviceguide.org.uk

Related services

Civil Legal Advice

Free and confidential legal advice in England and Wales for people eligible for legal aid.

Opening times:
Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm.
Saturday, 9am to 12.30pm.

Tel: 0845 345 4345
Text phone: 0845 609 6677

Website: Civil Legal Advice

National Debtline

Free debt advice helpline: 0808 808 4000 open Monday to Friday, 9am-9pm; Saturday, 9.30am to 1pm.


Free independent and impartial debt advice 0808 274 1921 (Monday to Friday 8am-9pm and Saturday 9am to 3pm). For cheaper calls if you are calling from mobile call 020 3642 5468.

Website: Payplan

Queen Mary Legal Advice Centre 

Queen Mary Legal Advice Centre (QMLAC) offers free legal advice in a range of different legal areas.

We have bi-weekly drop in clinics on a Monday evening between 5.30–7.30pm for help filling out your welfare benefits applications or undertaking a mandatory reconsideration appeal.

Please visit the website for a list of dates.

All other legal advice is given following pre-booked client appointments which take place on a Tuesday and Thursday evening during the university term time.

We are able to give advice in the following areas of law:

  • landlord and tenant matters
  • housing issues
  • criminal law
  • family law (incl. a specialist clinic for the LGBT community)
  • immigration law advice (incl. a specialist clinic for the LGBT community)
  • consumer law
  • contractual issues
  • employment law
  • intellectual property advice for those involved in the creative industries
  • company law
  • assistance with lasting power of attorney
  • special educational needs
  • disputes arising from wills and probate matters
  • assistance in fitness to practice proceedings for nurses and midwives
  • assistance for victims of Image Based Sexual Abuse (aka revenge porn). 

To book an appointment (including virtual appointments), please contact us at lac@qmul.ac.uk or call us on 020 7882 3931 (9am5pm).

Shelter Housing and Homeless Charity

Free housing advice helpline: 0808 800 4444

Website: Shelter 

Step Change Debt Charity

Free debt advice helpline: 0800 138 1111 (Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm and Saturday 8am to 4pm) Freephone including mobiles.

Website: Step Change