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Catch up with the latest press releases from LV=

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More people seek legal advice on employment issues as recession takes its toll

Press release: 30/05/2009

  • Calls to LV= legal helpline are up by a fifth in the first quarter of 2009 compared to Q1 2008.

  • One in four callers are seeking advice on employment issues – up a third over 2008.

  • Up to one million people have sought legal advice on employment issues in the last year [1].

  • The cost of independently consulting a private solicitor averages £708 [2].

Data from home insurer LV= reveals a sharp rise of 21% in calls to its legal helpline for advice. A quarter of all calls relate to employment issues such as redundancy – a rise of a third compared with 2008.

Further research conducted by LV= finds that consumers are increasingly seeking legal advice in the recession, with up to one million people having to take legal advice on employment issues in the last 12 months [1]. Current unemployment numbers stand at 1.92 million people in the UK [3].

Almost half of the people who have sought legal advice about an employment issue in the last year (47%) cited the recession as the cause of their problems [1]. Common complaints included being asked to work reduced hours, take a pay cut or being made redundant.

LV=’s analysis of employment related calls made to its legal advice helpline in the first quarter of 2009 shows that employers were acting illegally in one in three cases. In addition to the helpline, the legal cover that LV= offers as part of its home insurance will pay solicitors fees of up to £50,000 in the event of a case being pursued, with any payouts won being unaffected.

Almost half of the people questioned in the LV= research (48%) say that the company they work for has made redundancies since the onset of the credit crunch. A quarter (26%) also say that hours have been cut and the same number say that pay rises have been cancelled [1].

The research by LV= reveals that potentially over half of all UK adults (55%) have had to take some form of legal advice in the past, with the majority opting to speak to a private solicitor as the first port of call despite the high costs involved [1]. The average cost of such advice is £708 per case. This compares with a cost of just £18.90 a year for adding legal cover – including unlimited use of the helpline and up to £50,000 in legal fees – to a LV= home insurance policy.

John O’Roarke, managing director of LV= home insurance, commented: “The statistics from our helpline show that an increasing number of people are looking for legal help because of employment problems caused directly by the recession. The issues are far ranging, covering redundancies, a reduction in hours and pay, or changes in employment contracts.

“However, as our wider research has indicated many people still go to a private solicitor as a first port of call, which is costly. If people think they may need legal help, our advice is to ensure they opt to include it with their home insurance. Our legal cover offers free and unlimited helpline advice, plus up to £50,000 in solicitor’s fees to help fight any legal disputes, for just £18.90 a year.”

To find out more about LV= home insurance, visit

[1] According to the Opinium research, 2% of all adult respondents have taken legal advice for employment issues in the last year. UK adult population figure is 48 million, therefore total potential figure equals almost one million – 960,000 people.

[2] According to the Opinium research.

[3] National Statistics (


LV= is a trademark of Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society Limited (LVFS) and a trading style of the Liverpool Victoria group of companies. The new LV= brand identity was launched in March 2007.

LV= employs over 3,800 people, serves around 3.2 million customers and members, and manages around £7 billion on their behalf. LV= is the UK’s largest friendly society (Association of Friendly Societies key statistics 2008, total net assets) and a leading mutual financial services provider.

LVFS is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority and entered on the Financial Services Authority Register No. 110035. LVFS is a member of the ABI, AMI, AFS and ILAG. Registered address: County Gates, Bournemouth BH1 2NF.