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Nottingham Legal Advice Centre which serves the local community scoops Law Firm of the Year award

Nottingham Legal Advice Centre which serves the local community scoops Law Firm of the Year award

A University law firm which has recovered more than £5.5m for its clients has been named Law Firm of the Year.

Up against five private UK firms in the Lexis Nexis Legal Awards 2022, Nottingham Law School Legal Advice Centre received the top accolade for its commitment to supporting members of the local community with free and affordable legal advice.

The multi award-winning teaching law firm sees Nottingham Law School students work on cases under the supervision of a small team of experienced lawyers.

It offers support on a range of legal areas, including employment, family, business and commercial, insolvency, county court litigation, intellectual property, Special Educational Needs and Disability and welfare benefits.

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, during the last three years the Centre has expanded its services, including the launch of a new housing service; provision of online resources relating to furlough, accessed more than 380 times; the introduction of a new service for victims of crime, offering advice in relation to criminal investigations and Victim’s Right to Review Scheme; and public legal education sessions.

Head of the Legal Advice Centre, Laura Pinkney, said:

“I’m very proud of our team and the student volunteers and practitioner academics who help us to assist more than 150 clients per year.

“All our new initiatives have been introduced or developed to address an unmet legal need in the community. It is a sad fact that, even where legal aid may be available, there may not be a provider with the capacity to take on the case. We are therefore addressing the issue of legal advice deserts within the local area, helping to plug the gap left by the decimation of legal aid.”

Executive Dean of Nottingham Law School, Jenny Chapman, added:

“It is a remarkable achievement for a not-for-profit law firm to receive this accolade among such prestigious company. The team at the Centre deliver outstanding levels of client service and thoroughly deserve the recognition. Their proactive approach to tackling access to justice means they have a demonstrable positive and life-changing impact on their clients.”

As a not-for-profit teaching law firm with charitable status, the Centre was the UK’s first law firm fully integrated into a law school when it obtained an ABS (Alternative Business Structure) licence in 2015.

The Lexis Nexis Legal Awards celebrate the many achievements of the legal industry and the vital role that it plays in society. This award is the latest in a string of team and individual awards, including most recently Best Contribution by a Law School at the LawWorks and Attorney General Student Pro Bono Awards 2021; Best Contribution by a Small or Medium Firm at the LawWorks Pro Bono Awards 2021; the Contribution to the Community Award 2020 from the Nottinghamshire Law Society; and ABS of the Year in the Modern Law Awards 2020.

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