Co-operative Legal Services is among the 12 firms to have been awarded new telephone advice contracts by the Legal Services Commission, it was announced today.

The Co-op, together with national firm Duncan Lewis and Cardiff-based Access Legal Training, were awarded the three contracts for family advice.

Duncan Lewis, Derbyshire Housing Aid, Access Legal Training, charity Shelter and Carillion Energy Services have been awarded the contracts to provide housing and debt advice.

Three providers have been awarded contracts to provide telephone and face-to-face advice for those aspects of education law that will remain within the scope of public funding. They are The Childrens Legal Centre, National Youth Advocacy Service and Lancashire firm MG Law.

North-west firm Stephensons, regional firm Howells and Merseyside Employment Law have been given contracts to provide telephone and face-to-face advice in discrimination cases.

The contracts begin on 1 April 2013 and will implement the changes in legal aid scope introduced by the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012.