For immediate release:
Bob Mortimer, comedian, occasional fisherman and former solicitor will be making a BBC Radio 4 Appeal on behalf of the charity LawWorks. The appeal will be broadcast twice on Sunday 4th July, and repeated on Thursday 8th July.
The LawWorks appeal focuses on the story of Ann, who received free legal advice and support from a clinic in the LawWorks Clinics Network.
Ann stopped her children’s contact with their father because his severe alcohol dependency made them frightened and anxious. When she was served with court documents by her ex-husband’s solicitors she didn’t know what to do next. While her ex-husband could afford a lawyer, she could not.
By searching online, Ann managed to find Simon, a family lawyer who volunteers at a legal clinic in the LawWorks Clinics Network. Simon was able to give Ann in-depth legal advice and support, negotiating with her husband’s solicitor to come up with a solution which satisfied both parents, including regular alcohol testing for the husband and the build-up of supervised contact with the children.
The agreement was presented to the court at a telephone hearing by Simon, representing Ann on a pro bono basis and made into a court order immediately by the magistrates who heard the matter.
Bob Mortimer, on why he is supporting LawWorks, said:
“It makes me shudder to think that all those lovely clients that I used to help can no longer afford the services of a solicitor so – for that reason – for the memories of all those people we were able to help – that’s why I support LawWorks and all the wonderful work they do in providing free legal support in clinics throughout England and Wales and I hope that you’ll find a way to support them yourself.”
Martin Barnes, Chief Executive of LawWorks, said:
“As LawWorks approaches our 25th anniversary year, we are delighted to have been selected for a BBC Radio 4 Appeal and very grateful to Bob Mortimer for making this appeal for us.
As we emerge from the pandemic it is clear the pro bono work being undertaken by volunteers in clinics across the country is playing a significant role in the delivery of free advice to those in need. This appeal will not only raise funds to support that work, but is also an opportunity to highlight the profession’s commitment to pro bono and the difference free legal advice can make to individuals and communities.”
Simon Bruce, Senior Counsel at Farrer & Co and Dad’s House volunteer, said:
“Dad’s House is so grateful to LawWorks who helped us to establish our family law clinic. Since opening in May last year, we have been able to expand, open a second clinic, and grow the size of our volunteer team. The support provided by LawWorks enables us to get on with the job that we are qualified to do which is to advise clients who have needed our help more than ever during the pandemic.”
LawWorks supports the provision of pro bono by solicitors, law schools and law students, including supporting a network of over 300 independent advice clinics and connecting solicitors with smaller charities needing free legal advice.
The appeal will air at 7:54am and 9:25pm on Sunday 4th July, and 3:27pm on Thursday 8th July.
To listen in please visit the BBC Radio 4 Appeal website.
See also LawWorks BBC Radio 4 Appeal.
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Notes for editors:
- LawWorks is a charity working in England and Wales to connect volunteer lawyers both with people in need of legal advice, who are not eligible for legal aid and cannot afford to pay, and with the not-for-profit organisations that support them and their communities. LawWorks believes in the power of pro bono legal advice to improve the lives of people in need. For additional information about LawWorks, please visit: www.lawworks.org.uk
- LawWorks is supported by the Law Society of England and Wales, the independent professional body for solicitors.
- The LawWorks Clinics Network is a growing network of over 300 independent pro bono clinics. We work with lawyers, advice agencies, charities and others to establish or develop new clinics, providing on-going support, information, training and webinars and legal resources. Clinics in the LawWorks Clinics Network are independent and self-managed. In 2020 over 9,000 individuals volunteered clinics in the LawWorks Clinics Network providing legal advice and support to over 43,000 people.
- Bob Mortimer is a comedian, podcast presenter and actor. Bob qualified and worked as a solicitor before breaking into TV. Known for his work with Vic Reeves they appeared in numerous TV series together, including Vic Reeves’ Big Night Out, Shooting Stars and The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer. In a rare diversion from working with Vic – Bob accepted an invitation from fellow comedian Paul Whitehouse to get out of the house and go fishing - which led to the successful TV series, Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing. Bob’s autobiography ‘And Away…’ will be published on 16th September 2021.
- Dads House Family Law Clinic is one of the clinics registered in the LawWorks Clinics Network. It’s based at the charity Dads House in West Brompton which runs a food bank and provides other support services for single parents on low incomes. The founder of Dads House, Billy McGranaghan, wanted to offer free legal advice on family law to the people who sought help from the charity and, through LawWorks, found Simon Bruce, Senior Counsel at Farrer & Co who was prepared to help out. www.dadshouse.org.uk