In September 2017, Ince & Co launched a new pro bono project in support of Tower Hamlets Law Centre.
Every other Wednesday, a team of trainees and newly qualified solicitors will head east to the site just off Commercial Road and help deliver much needed advice and guidance to local people seeking legal assistance. At the fortnightly clinic, we will offer advice on questions of immigration law – an area in desperate need of support since changes in legislation, increases in court, tribunal and Home Office fees, and further erosion of appeal rights have created new barriers between clients and specialist legal help in this area.
Our volunteers will receive preparatory training from the THLC specialists at Aldgate Tower and clinics will then take place every two weeks between 18:00 and 20:00, beginning on 27 September. It will run an appointments system and each client will be met by a team of two volunteers.
Over recent years, law centres have suffered an estimated 60 per cent loss in legal aid revenue. Against this backdrops of cuts, mounting pressure on other public funding and increasing demand for accessible legal services, local law centres have had to fight to stay open. THLC also delivers vital specialist advice services in the areas of welfare benefits, housing and homelessness. Their services range from initial diagnostic advice, complex casework and representation at courts and tribunals.
One of the key pillars of Ince & Co’s CSR policy is support of the local area, and we cannot imagine a better way to give our time, skills and financial support to our neighbours than via this much-needed Centre. In addition to the voluntary work, Ince & Co have committed to an annual donation to cover the running costs of the clinic, including support from a specialist immigration solicitor who will be on hand each week to assist.
As well as the benefit we hope to bring to those who require our support, we believe that working at this clinic will make our volunteers more knowledgeable, compassionate and confident lawyers, offering experiences that most of our day-to-day work simply cannot provide. There has been a lot of support for this project from within the firm and those of us who have organised the clinic are very grateful for it.
Tower Hamlets Law Centre is regulated by the Law Society and the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority, and is accredited to the Lexcel standard for excellence in legal practice management and client care. For immigration law, the Centre is also registered with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner. Pro bono projects at Tower Hamlets Law Centre are affiliated with LawWorks.
Tower Hamlets Law Centre is a registered charity (no. 287282) and a company limited by guarantee (no. 1720518).