Manchester-based firm Colemans-ctts and the Trafford Law Centre launched a pro bono clinic in late January to provide debt advice for the local community.
While the clinic will initially provide only debt advice, Colemans-ctts partner John Hesketh says the firm is keen to expand it into other areas, should public interest warrant it.
The clinic, run by trainees with partner supervision, provides assistance filling out forms, including court documents, and help preparing letters to creditors.
The Trafford Law Centre, an independent voluntary organisation, offers free legal advice, assistance and representation in the areas of employment, housing, immigration and mental health law.
Colemans-ctts managing partner Roger Coleman says: “As a firm, we wholeheartedly support the concept of pro bono work and are delighted to be able to assist so directly in our local community.”
The firm is also looking to provide training on employment law advice to volunteers at the local Citizens Advice Bureau. “They have volunteers who provide basic advice, so we’re going to provide the latest training to 24 of their volunteers at the end of this month so they have the latest information,” says Hesketh.
The launch of the local initiative coincides with a visit from Attorney-General Lord Goldsmith, who attended a major pro bono event on 10 February with the Solicitors Pro Bono Group (SPBG). Lord Goldsmith’s visit was to encourage local firms to join the SPBG and participate in pro bono activities.
Colemans-ctts (the curious name derives from the 2002 merger of Colemans Solicitors and Coleman Tilley Tarrant Sutton) is a national firm of solicitors based in new offices on Talbot Road, Stretford. It specialises in personal injury, insurance, commercial litigation, debt, industrial disease, employment, landlord and tenant disputes, property and private client work.