This year’s London Legal Walk
takes place on 21 May. According to the London Legal Support Trust (LLST), the charity that organises the walk, around 12,000 walkers raised over £800,000 for legal advice charities in London and the South East last year.
LLST believes that the 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’.
One of the main sponsors of the walk is the Law Society. In a statement, its president, Joe Egan, 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 high point in the calendar and it is vital for raising money for organisations that provide free legal advice.’
Egan, who is a partner in a high-street practice based in Bolton, believes LLST’s ‘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’.
LLST also has a new CEO, Nezahat Cihan, who commenced work with the charity in April.