APPG on Pro Bono and Public Legal Education: Accessing Unmet Legal Need and Access to Justice in England & Wales

The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Pro Bono and Public Legal Education (for which LawWorks provide the Secretariat) met on 7th September 2022 in Portcullis House to discuss unmet legal need and access to justice issues in England and Wales.

The session began with a panel discussion chaired by Laura Farris MP, with Alex Chalk MP, Ellie Reeves MP, Rebecca Wilkinson (Chief Executive, LawWorks) and Claire Dumbill (Associate, Hogan Lovells).

The panel spoke about their experiences of the problems that members of the public bring to their MPs and to legal advice clinics, in particular the role that MPs play in helping their constituents tackle complex issues, which often have a legal dimension on which MPs are unable to advise directly.  These legal problems can often be very specialist in nature, and the panel acknowledged the need to ensure that MPs and their caseworkers are equipped to identify legal issues and provide appropriate referrals. 

The panel also discussed the forthcoming Mind the Gap research project. This is a pro bono project which is being run by Hogan Lovells, Mishcon de Reya, Eversheds Sutherland and Addleshaw Goddard in conjunction with LawWorks, to assess unmet legal need in England and Wales.  The project has been developed based on the successful experience of the 2016 London-wide survey conducted by Hogan Lovells and supported by LawWorks, which resulted in the 2017 Mind the Gap report.  In late 2022/early 2023, pro bono legal volunteers from the law firms will attend MP constituency surgeries to see what legal issues arise and record any obstacles that are encountered in referring constituents on to legal advisors.  MPs and their caseworkers will also be asked to complete an online survey.  The aim is to publish a report on their findings in 2023.

The next meeting of the APPG will be held on Wednesday 9th November 2022.  For further information, please contact:


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