Sobel Case Study

LCN SHARING BEST PRACTICE, IMPROVING SUSTAINABILITY: maintaining services for vulnerable Londoners

LASPO changes to civil legal aid, particularly reductions in scope and eligibility to social welfare law, were implemented on 1April 2013. These changes particularly impacted heavily on Law Centres who on average generated at least half their funds through legal aid contracts. However it would be a further 6 months before funds received reduced in real terms. This allowed LCN time to identify practices within Law Centres that could be shared with all Law Centres in an effort to maintain sustainable income levels.

Stuart Hearne, solicitor at Cambridge House Law Centre, is particularly successful at maximising the number of people helped through legal aid. Stuart was enthusiastic to share his insights and skills with other Law Centres and LCN organised a series of training courses across London. After the initial workshops with Law Centres, Stuart is also extending this training to other legal advice agencies.

The impact is that Law Centres and other advice agencies are, as a direct result of Stuart’s training, developing a new means of generating income and maintaining the number of people helped. The more important impact is the continued provision of legal advice and assistance to vulnerable people across London particularly at a time of major change and hardship.

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