The Guardian reports that two law centres, Rochdale and Islington, are going to start charging some of their clients for legal help. To enable them to do this both are setting up separate companies.

Rochdale Law Centre is setting up a community interest company (CIC) that will operate as a solicitor’​s firm and will be regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). Islington’​s CIC on the other hand will be owned by the Law Centre and will be an alternative business structure (ABS). Although structured differently, both companies will be used as a way of charging some clients for legal services.

The intention behind the changes for both Rochdale and Islington Law Centres is to ensure that the Law Centres remain not for profit organisations that do not charge for services. The separate companies will allow both Law Centres to set up a separate funding stream which will be used to ensure those who need legal advice but cannot afford it can still access their respective Law Centre services for no charge.

A more detailed report by the Guardian can be found here


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