Monday 6th November 2017
Leading local advice charity, Citizens Advice Exeter, is highlighting the success of its specialist advice clinic scheme as part of national pro bono week which runs from 6 – 11 November 2017.
The clinic scheme enables Citizens Advice clients to access free specialist advice from local legal, and other, firms.
Citizens Advice Exeter Chief Executive Steve Barriball said: “Our specialist clinic scheme has proved very popular with our clients who are otherwise unable to afford the fees. We are very grateful to Michelmores, Veitch Penny, The Family Law Company, Cartridges Law, Haines Watts and Money Plan for their support. In the last year they have helped around 100 clients.”
Kathryn O’Reilly from Michelmores LLP said: “We have been involved in the clinic scheme with Citizens Advice Exeter for more than 10 years. Over that time we have been able to see the benefits of the scheme for many clients who otherwise would struggle to access specialist employment advice.”
Alastair Dunnett from Veitch Penny LLP said: “National pro bono week is an excellent opportunity to highlight the work that the legal, and other, sectors do on a regular basis with low income households and our partnership with Citizens Advice Exeter.”
Donna Hart from The Family Law Company, who is also a Trustee of Citizens Advice Exeter, said: “With the cuts to Legal Aid it is even more important that people living on a low income have access to specialist services and advice. As a family law specialist, we are proud to offer help via Citizens Advice, an organisation that provides crucial help to those who would otherwise have nowhere to turn.”
Faye Newbery from Cartridges Law said: “Many clients approach our firm or Citizens Advice with difficult and urgent housing problems, including people facing eviction proceedings and seeking advice on homelessness. These can be quite complex matters, and in the current climate of cuts in legal aid, it is vital that people can get affordable and accessible professional advice.”
Ben de Cruz from Haines Watts Accountants said: Many clients approach Citizens Advice with pressing and sometimes difficult tax problems, including people who are on low incomes. It is important that people can access sound professional advice without the worry of having to pay for it.”
Chris Hill from Money Plan said: “There is a percentage of the population who are too nervous to seek financial advice for fear of the costs it may entail and also those who desperately need advice but are unsure where to turn. However many queries can be answered simply without the cost of paying for an adviser. I am delighted and proud to be part of such a worthwhile cause and give back to the local community and help those by providing guidance where I can.”
National Pro Bono Week is an annual event, sponsored by the Law Society, the Bar Council and the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx). The aim of the week is to amplify the range and impact of voluntary free legal advice that legal professionals provide ‘pro bono’ for the public good.
Citizens Advice clients can access the specialist advice clinic scheme through the charity’s usual services.
From left to right: Mandy Bowater (Citizens Advice), Faye Newbery (Cartridges Law), Hannah Porter (The Family Law Company), Ben de Cruz (Haines Watts), Chris Hill (Money Plan), Fiona Wadey (The Family Law Company) and Alistair Dunnett (Veitch Penny).