A national law firm is pleased to announce it has secured the public funding contract for Devon and Cornwall, a region that was once declared a ‘Legal Aid Desert’.

It is no secret that Devon and Cornwall have a housing crisis, which has been exacerbated by the pandemic. But many people who are at their most vulnerable have had no access to justice and simply cannot afford to pay for legal advice or court representation privately.

Lawstop has already had a number of successes in challenging government decisions. In April 2021, Lawstop won a High Court case in a landmark decision where their client was initially refused accommodation by a local authority.

This has already led to a number of overturned decisions in Cornwall, where clients who were let down by the system were left to sleep on the streets.

One client was even left to fend for himself during Storm Barra and had to seek refuge in a churchyard. He has since been housed by Cornwall Housing, but only after the threat of court action.

The firm can assist clients either on a private paying basis or for those who have a little or no income, through the public funding scheme.

Assistance is not just limited to housing matters (where clients could be homeless, facing eviction, in rent arrears or have damp/condensation issues and/or issues with neighbours) but also on wider issues, such as social care and welfare issues, for example, if a client is sick or disabled and not receiving the help they need.

A representative for the firm said: ‘We recognise that not only is there a housing a problem in Devon and Cornwall, but there is a real lack of accessible services for those struggling with their mental health.

‘In many of the cases we have seen, clients are not getting the help they are entitled to from the Government and this needs to be challenged legally at a local level to make a real difference on the ground.’

Lawstop solicitors, who have offices all over the UK, now have a presence in Devon and Cornwall and are able to see client face-to-face or by telephone or video-call meetings.

Initial referrals can be made by telephoning Hannah Humphries on 01726 219677. Lawstop aims to assist all clients, no matter what they are faced with.