How we can help

POA members can count on full legal assistance and representation on any work related matter.

Full legal assistance and representation

Full legal assistance and representation

POA members can count on full legal assistance and representation on any work related matter. There is no limit on expenditure incurred in defending an innocent member. This benefit provides cover for Police Investigations, prosecutions and providing a defence at Trial.


Free initial legal advice on any work matter

Free initial legal advice on any work matter

The legal benefit is funded directly from subscriptions paid by members. It is not underwritten by any third party (i.e. insurance company), and is therefore not selective to satisfy underwriters. In this way the Association remains autonomous and in full control of the defence of its members.


Trade union representation in work matters

Trade union representation in work matters

In addition to, and often in tandem with legal cover, national and local trade union representation is available to represent members at Disciplinary Hearings, Inquiries at local and Secretary of State level, Inmate/Patient Allegations, CSAB and Nursing and Midwifery Hearings, and all pay, pension and conditions related matters with employers. 


Thompsons Solicitors

Thompsons Solicitors is the most experienced personal injury and trade union law firm in the UK. It has a long, proud history of fighting for trade union and workers’ rights. 

 Founded in 1921, Thompsons has, throughout the last 100 years, always worked and campaigned alongside the labour movement for social justice. It has an unrivalled reputation for securing the maximum amount of compensation and for taking on and succeeding in cases that others would turn away.

Thompsons has won numerous landmark legal cases, including:

  • The case that established the concept of employers’ liability
  • The first industrial disease case
  • The test cases on industrial hearing loss
  • The first work-related stress claim
  • Equal pay claims that led to the law we have today
  • Establishing that prisons are responsible for prisoners who negligently injure staff while carrying out prison work.  

 The firm has extensive experience representing prison, correctional and secure psychiatric workers in legal cases including inquests, criminal prosecutions, personal injuries, employment cases and criminal injury claims. POA members and their families benefit from first-class legal services from specialist lawyers throughout England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.



Thompsons Solicitors

Unlike most other law firms, Thompsons, as a point of principle, never acts for employers or insurance companies. That means POA members can be confident in the knowledge that their legal service is provided by a law firm genuinely committed to trade union members and fellow workers. And unlike other law firms, who will take up to 25% of any compensation, POA members using their union legal service from Thompsons get 100% compensation with no deductions for legal fees.

Start here

If you require legal support, you must first download, read and agree to the terms of the legal advice, in our Legal Aid Handbook. Please find links to the relevant handbooks for your region:

Legal Forms

To assist members who require the services of the POA Legal Aid Scheme, information pages containing full and clear instructions and advice as to the best way to use the scheme, including many of the required forms, can be accessed.

It is intended that, in the near future members will be able to complete most forms required by the POA Legal Aid scheme on line. Members will be informed when this service is available, both on this site and via a POA circular.

“I was extremely grateful for the support and guidance from the POA, both locally and nationally and Thompsons solicitors, who were first class. This proved my membership of the POA was vital.”


More words of thanks from our members

"I have received excellent service from the start of my claim to the end result. I am very happy would definitely recommend THOMPSONS Solicitors to my friends. I have dealt with different people at each stage and each one was very professional and helpful throughout."

"You have been very helpful in this situation and I thank you for keeping me updated. Stay safe in these difficult times, Regards."

"In light of the current pandemic conditions, Samantha French has been very helpful, professional and very helpful with her time and advice whilst dealing with my claim."

Representing over 30,000 Prison, Correctional and Secure Psychiatric Workers, the POA is the largest UK Union in this sector, able to trace its roots back more than 100 years.