When taking new enquiries in the family department it is not unusual for a prospective client to say that they are in need of legal advice but simply cannot afford to pay solicitors’ fees. However, the availability of legal aid for family matters is sadly limited to certain situations and subject to a few exceptions is usually means tested.
The cost of living crisis has further exacerbated the financial pressure on those with the fewest resources and as a result many are left to make life-changing decisions without the benefit of legal advice.
This means that the work of pro bono agencies is vitally important in ensuring that those facing hardship are able to access legal support. Members of Russell-Cooke are among those who regularly volunteer their time and expertise at law centres. Despite the growing need for their services it is estimated that up to half of advice agencies are facing the threat of closure, leaving those who are vulnerable without access to justice.
As a firm, Russell-Cooke is committed to supporting advice centres and ensuring that these vital lifelines remain open to support people who cannot access justice in other ways. One of the main ways that we do this is by joining in fundraising for the London Legal Support Trust (LLST).
The LLST is a charity that provides funding and support for over 100 organisations offering free legal advice across London and the South East. The Trust’s work is helping many of these essential frontline services to remain open.
This means that on Monday 9 May 2022 a team from Russell-Cooke took part in the Guildford Legal Walk. The weather was on the group’s side as they walked 10km along the River Wey and over the back of Pewley Down in aid of South West London Law Centres. The team’s sponsorship page remains open here and any donations are greatly appreciated.
Following on from this, on Tuesday 28 June members of the family department and colleagues from across the firm will join walkers from all corners of the legal community to participate in the London Legal Walk, as we have done in previous years.
We will be raising money for the LLST and South West London Law Centres to ensure they can continue helping the community. If you would like to donate this can be done here.