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Housing Solicitors

Pro Bono Week 2019: Duncan Lewis Solicitors initiatives (4 November 2019)

Date: 04/11/2019
Duncan Lewis, Housing Solicitors, Pro Bono Week 2019: Duncan Lewis Solicitors initiatives

At Duncan Lewis Solicitors we believe that everyone should be able to access legal advice and assistance and we understand that there are certain situations where financial issues prevent individuals from accessing the justice they deserve. To facilitate those who are unable to afford some of the legal services we provide, our Duncan Lewis Pro Bono Committee, places a particular importance on providing a number of services on a pro bono basis, through legal clinics, surgeries, and other initiatives and collaborations.

This week (4th- 8th November), in conjunction with Pro Bono Week, we are offering a free legal advice surgery at our offices in Harrow and Shepherd’s Bush to EEA nationals who may be worried about their immigration status. Held from 5pm until 7pm, the surgery is completely free and we can provide language assistance where needed. Appointments can be made by contacting immigration director Zofia Duszynska on zofiad@duncanlewis.com.

Our housing solicitors in our Swansea office will also be providing pro bono advice and assistance at the Swansea University pro bono clinic which launches this week. Lawyers from the housing team at Swansea will be attending the clinic every Wednesday between 1-3pm offering housing law advice and assistance on matters including landlord and tenant disputes, disrepair, and eviction. This Wednesday caseworkers Kim Griffiths and Benjamin Jenkins will be attending. The housing clinic operates on an appointment only basis and is held at Swansea Law Clinic, at Swansea University’s Singleton campus, contact details can be found on the university’s website.

The pro bono work carried out by our departments across offices in England and Wales has made a considerable positive impact on the lives of many. Recently, it was revealed that the pro bono work carried out by our wills and probate team in Harrow during Free Wills Month in March, contributed to £3,503,500 of future income raised for the selected Free Wills Month Charities. Following this success, wills and probate director Caroline Roche revealed that her team will be participating in Free Wills Month again in March 2020.

In July this year, our public law teams at Birmingham and Harrow collaborated with Waging Peace, an NGO that campaigns against genocide and systematic human rights violations in Sudan, to organise a legal surgery for members of the Sudanese community in Bradford.

Housing director Dianne Cowie and her team have been providing pro bono housing assistance in conjunction with Citizens Advice Merton and Lambeth since January 2018. Dianne helps to co-ordinate these weekly sessions where she and her team spend half of the day offering high-quality legal advice on matters that involve housing disrepair, homelessness, neighbourhood problems and possession proceedings.

Not all of the pro bono work carried out at Duncan Lewis is by means of clinics or surgeries. For the last year, child care director Ravi Kaur Mahey a child who was at risk of FGM in the first FGM case to be heard in the Court of Appeal (X (A Child) (Female Genital Mutilation Protection Order: Restrictions on Travel) [2017] EWHC 2898 (Fam)) . Shortly before the appeal hearing, the mother – who was appellant – had her legal aid withdrawn. Ravi continued to represent the parents of the child pro bono throughout the successful appeal hearing and the current re-trial.

Overall, Duncan Lewis Solicitors participate in over 70 different pro bono schemes and initiatives, ultimately ensuring that vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals receive high-quality legal advice and assistance and a gateway to justice.

For more information on the pro bono work carried out by Duncan Lewis Solicitors, contact chairperson of the Pro Bono Committee, child care director Emine Mehmet, on 02072752799 or at emineme@duncanlewis.com

To book an appointment at our immigration legal advice clinic, contact Zofia Duszynska at zofiad@duncanlewis.com.

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