What we do and who we are
Richmond Legal Advice Service (RLAS) aim is to provide clients with initial and basic legal advice and assistance where the legal advice is provided by volunteers who are qualified lawyers (see below on what is meant by a “qualified lawyer”). RLAS provides the advice and assistance without charge to clients.
RLAS has been operating for more than 60 years.
This web site provides information about who we are and what we do. In addition, we have prepared an information leaflet for clients which can be downloaded.
There is a continuing need for our service, especially with the restriction on the availability of legal aid (as well as its withdrawal in some areas of law)) making it harder and harder for clients to have access to qualified lawyers without paying substantial hourly rates.
RLAS declares its intention not to discriminate against anyone on the grounds of race, gender, class, disability, sexual orientation, caring responsibilities, age, political or religious belief or lack of it or trade union activity.
RLAS is a registered charity (charity number is 1094365). For details about RLAS on the Charity Commission website. Type our full name or charity number in the “Charity search box”
RLAS is also registered with the Information Commissioner for data protection purposes (registration number Z1633133). To carry out a search for RLAS on the Information Commissioner’s website.
How is RLAS funded?
RLAS receives no income from clients. RLAS neither asks for, or accepts, any payments, donations, gifts or fees from clients.
RLAS can only operate because of grants received from local charities. Our principal funder is Richmond Parish Land Charity.
Their grants pay RLAS’ running expenses, including paying for the use of the Holy Trinity Church premises in Richmond, professional indemnity insurance, registration with the Information Commissioner, the fee for registration of our domain name and the hosting of this web site, stationary.
For 2010 to 2012 Mortlake Community Association allowed RLAS to use their premises without charge to enable RLAS to run additional advice sessions. Please note that from January 2013 we no longer run sessions in Mortlake.
Who provides the advice and assistance at RLAS?
All advice and assistance obtained by clients from RLAS is provided by volunteers who are qualified lawyers. RLAS’ volunteers do not receive, and will not accept, any payment for the advice they give. RLAS’ volunteers will also not accept referrals from clients (i.e. RLAS does permit one of its volunteers to take on as a paying client someone s/he has seen at a RLAS advice session).
What is a meant by a volunteer being a qualified lawyer?
When RLAS states that advice and assistance is given by a qualified lawyer, we mean that only the following will do so:
- a solicitor (who has completed their training contract and has been admitted as a solicitor)
- a trainee solicitor
- a barrister (who has been called to the bar and has completed their pupillage)
- a pupil barrister
Comments and criticisms
If you have any comments, criticisms please feel free to tell the adviser you see or contact the secretary on the 020 8891 2105 or by email.
Last updated: 28 October 2015