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Seven advice services to benefit from foundation grants

Goldsmith: Pro bono raises public awareness

Seven legal advice services in England and Wales have received support in the latest round of grants from the Access to Justice Foundation, which has been boosted by a major pledge from a well-known London law firm.

The foundation raised money through sponsored activities – particularly the annual legal walks – pro bono costs orders, unclaimed client accounts, and donations from law firms.

London litigation powerhouse Stewarts Law has pledged to give £250,000 a year for five years to support the foundation, on top of the £1m it has already donated in the previous four years.

The most recent recipients were:

There have also been grants for Just Right Scotland – which wants to help vulnerable EU citizens obtain evidence and make applications under the EU Settlement Scheme – Fife Law Centre, to provide legal advice and representation for criminal injuries compensation claims, and the Scottish Child Law Centre, which needs to upgrade its technology.

Writing last week in The Times, former Attorney General Lord Goldsmith, who chairs the foundation’s board, countered arguments that supporting free legal advice let the government off the hook from funding services.

He argued that the legal sector should actually increase its “culture of philanthropy and pro bono”, as this would in turn increase “public awareness about the lack of services and the impact that this has on lives”.