After nearly 40 years serving communities in south London, Lambeth Law Centre is closing down due to funding problems.
The trustees from the Law Centre’s board announced that the centre was shutting with ‘immediate effect’ in a statement on its website
published yesterday. They blamed ‘financial pressures caused by legal aid cuts and increased operating costs’ for the closure.
The Law Centre was first established in 1981 and was then known as North Lambeth. In 1997, after the closure of other centres in the borough, it changed its name.
According to annual accounts for the last financial year (2017/18) the Law Centre employed 19 staff and had a turnover of £819.8k with cash reserves of just over £40k. Its funding was drawn from a dozen sources and in their statement the trustees paid tribute to the ‘generous support from our charitable funders, who have understood the need in the community and helped us address it’.
LAG understands that the Law Centre was hit with a financial crisis over the last 12 months. The trustees refer to a ‘funding shortfall’ in their statement, ‘together with issues with VAT calculations’ and say that they were unable to secure extra cash to keep the centre running.
Nimrod Ben-Cnaan, head of policy and profile at the Law Centres Network, said that the Law Centre ‘had a proud record of service to south Londoners priced out of justice. We are all very sad at its closure, which the Law Centres Network has worked hard to help it avoid’.
According to the website statement, it is working to transfer client files to other providers.