Over 12,000 people, most of them lawyers, are expected to turn out on Monday to raise funds for free legal advice services in London and the south east. This year’s London Legal Walk is expected to raise over £750,000 to promote access to justice for the most vulnerable. The 10-kilometre walk (or run) starts in Carey Street behind the Royal Courts of Justice and ends there with a street party. The Law Society’s common room will be jumping to the sounds of jazz band Permission to Appeal.
Members of senior judiciary, politicians and heads of the legal professions are expected to take part. Joe Egan, president of the Law Society said: ’Each year thousands of solicitors and barristers across the UK take to the streets to raise money for charity. The London Legal Walk is a highpoint in the calendar and it is vital for raising money for organisations that provide free legal advice. This fundraising effort means a hugely diverse range of people get vital advice helping them face frightening legal situations.
’Those benefiting from the advice are vulnerable and would be unable to afford this assistance – and remember those least able to afford legal advice often can be in the most urgent need of it! Solicitors and the wider legal profession are committed to helping them.’
Organiser the London Legal Support Trust points out that this year’s walk comes at a crucial time for access to justice. ’Cuts in civil legal aid and council grants have made access to free legal advice in the capital much scarcer. Legal aid firms in the high street have diminished rapidly, some advice centres have closed and most others have had to severely reduce casework staff.
’Lawyers from all parts of the profession recognise the need for legal help for the vulnerable and come together to raise funds. The most senior judges walk side by side with law students; corporate lawyers and QCs with high street solicitors and caseworkers working in front-line advice centres. Many in-house lawyers from multinational companies will be walking.’
The Gazette is official media partner to the event, which is sponsored by the Law Society and Lexis Nexis.
For more information, visit www.llst.org.uk