Three people in ten seek legal advice

In 2002 some 30 percent of the population aged over 18 stated they sought legal advice. In 1992 this was 24 percent. The figures refer to legal assistance within an eighteen month period. Notaries were consulted most frequently with 17 percent, followed by lawyers (6 percent) and legal aid centres (5 percent).

Types of legal aid

There are many types of legal aid that can be obtained in the Netherlands. The aid can be supplied by lawyers, notaries, a whole range of legal aid centres and other semi-private organisations such as trade unions, consumer organisations, rents commssions and aid provided on the basis of legal costs and expenses insurance.

Notaries consulted most often

Dutch people consult the notaries most often: about 17 percent use their services. This is mainly because people must see a notary when they buy a home or get a mortgage. Over 10 percent sought legal advice from a semi-private organisation, and 6 percent from a lawyer. Over 5 percent sought advice from a legal aid centre.

Demand for legal assistance, 2002

Home ownership often the reason to seek legal assistance

The most frequent reason for seeking legal assistance is the purchase of a new home or getting a mortgage. This was true for 10 percent of the inhabitants of the Netherlands.

Family matters such as divorce, testament and inheritance provide other major reasons. About 6 percent of the population went to the notary lawyer or other type of legal aid provider for them.

Reason for seeking legal assistance, 2002

Other reasons for seeking legal assistance

About 4 percent seek legal aid pertaining to their work. This may involve problems about a new job, dismissal or pension. Other reasons for seeking legal assistance have to do with social benefits, rent increases or rent subsidies, crimes suffered or contracts. The latter include the purchase of durable goods and car or health insurances.

Miranda de Vree