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Free legal advice earns St Hilda's a judge's praise

PUBLISHED: 19:58 25 July 2008 | UPDATED: 13:29 05 October 2010

A COMMUNITY centre in a depressed quarter of London's East End has scooped a national award for its ground-breaking free legal advice service. Two major law firms run advice sessions each week at St Hilda's centre in the famous Club Row behind Shoreditch Church

A COMMUNITY centre in a depressed quarter of London's East End has scooped a national award for its ground breaking free legal advice service.

Two major law firms run advice sessions each week at St Hilda's centre in the famous Club Row behind Shoreditch Church.

The pro bono service operated at the centre by Berwin Leighton Paisner and DLA Piper were handed the 'Law Works Best Partnership' award by The Times' Legal Editor Edward Fennell who was one of the panel of judges.

Competition for the prestigious award was stiff with other shortlisted finalists including national law firms and the Liberty civil rights organisation.

The panel, which also included Judge Sir Henry Brook and Law Society president Andrew Holroyd, decided St Hilda's itself should receive the awarded together with the law firms.

The award was accepted by St Hilda's director Rupert Williams, who said: "This represents much deserved recognition of the commitment of volunteers from these law firms who help individuals with their rights."

Legal advice has been provided at St Hilda's at 18 Club-row, off Bethnal Green-road, each Tuesday, 6-8pm, on a 'drop in' basis for general advice including money debt, welfare benefits, housing and employment. Family law advice is also available, including divorce, transfer of tenancies and overseas marriages.

A second advice service has also been running since October at St Hilda's other East End centre at Sonali Gardens at 79 Tarling Street, Shadwell, on Wednesdays, 6-8pm on a 'drop in' basis, with general advice including housing, welfare benefits and debt advice, as well as small claims.

Founded by The Incorporated Guild of Cheltenham Ladies' College in 1889

St. Hilda's East is a Company Limited by Guarantee No: 52880 and Registered Charity No: 212208 with registered offices at the above address

Grant funded by London Borough of Tower Hamlets Council

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