In brief: LAB signs up 42 advice agencies

Forty-two non-solicitor advice agencies have signed contracts with the Legal Aid Board for phase two of the advice and assistance block contract pilot in the not-for-profit sector. The organisations are all affiliated to the Advice Services Alliance and include citizens' Advice Bureaux and specialist agencies for housing and welfare benefits. The LAB expects another 200 agencies to enter the contracting process over the next year. The controversial advice and assistance pilot for solicitors is planned to start on 1 August and the LAB is currently in discussions with about 140 firms.