Croydon legal aid centre wins Solicitor Journal national award

The immigration team from a legal charity based in Davis House was this week named as Legal Aid Team of the Year at the Solicitor Journal Awards.

South West London Law Centres beat stiff competition from large law firms, as the judges saw the dedication of the team at an under-resourced charity during a time when the state is becoming ever more hostile towards migrants and refugees.

The law centre has seen its funding reduced by 40 per cent in recent years, though SWLLC’s immigration team remain committed to their work. With successes in asylum applications for victims of trafficking, unaccompanied minors and Article 8 applications, they fight for clients who have often been turned away elsewhere.

“We are immensely proud of this achievement,” Mark Housby, the immigration team leader, said.

“Like all Legal Aid practitioners, we are operating in an increasingly challenging funding environment but striving to deliver good outcomes for what are often vulnerable people with complex cases must remain central to our work.

“To be recognised for our work at this time therefore means a lot to us. It is particularly apt that it is a team nomination as it is only through collective effort that we can hope to continue delivering those positive results.”

South West London Law Centres is a community-based law centre and registered charity that was established in 1974. It works across six boroughs – Croydon, Kingston, Richmond, Merton, Sutton and Wandsworth – helping people to understand and enforce their legal rights.

In doing so, we address the root causes of social injustice – poverty, family breakdown, unemployment and exploitation. They co-ordinate volunteer lawyers at 15 pro bono clinics across south-west London every week, providing free advice to people who would otherwise not have access to justice.

Every year, SWLLC caseworkers and hundreds of volunteers help 9,000 people from all walks of life who would otherwise be unable to afford the services of a lawyer.

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