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Project information

Give people hope for justice!

Truth, fairness, justice. Big words. Those facing the legal system with no means to pay feel desperately alone, angry and wronged by others or the system. Help us give hundreds of people across England and Wales access to justice through the help of volunteer barristers.

January 2019 - December 2019

Charity information: Advocate

Advocate logo
  • Need


    The increasing number of vulnerable people facing court alone because they have no way of paying for expert legal help. They might be struggling to see their children, be close to losing their home, have been defrauded or be facing an employment or immigration tribunal alone. Without proper legal advice and representation, people have much less chance of justice.


    On average, we hear from 50 new people every week facing a complicated legal problem alone. We can help someone by first assessing the merits of their case, then, if eligible for our help, matching them to a barrister who has agreed to volunteer their time and expertise. That might involve legal advice, drafting of documents or actual representation in court; saving the person for the incredible stress of trying to present their legal case to a judge alone.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To match every eligible application in need of legal help quickly to the right expert barrister


    » We will invest in our technology so that people can apply to us online, in a streamlined and accessible process
    » We will improve our website so that it is easier for people to find out how we can help them, and if not, where they can get help
    » We will engage with our volunteer barristers; to understand what motivates them to volunteer, and how we can support more volunteering
    » We will invest in online systems to make sure that barristers can give people legal help remotely, and it is simpler for the barristers to volunteer

    What success will look like

    Over 600 people matched to an expert volunteer barrister in 2019, for free legal advice, drafting or representation, in any area of law, across England and Wales.

  • Impact


    Our project will give people hope in justice. It will also have a long term impact on people's lives; where a volunteer barrister helps someone gain access to their children, be able to stay in their home, recover stolen funds, defend a claim or be given proper financial compensation after injustice, that free legal help will affect each individual and their family for the rest of their lives.


    We have a detailed risk register enabling us to spot potential risks to our work and to mitigate these. Our trustee board receive robust and regular reporting on progress.
    The difficulties faced by the family Bar could influence our ability to find barristers for people with family law cases. We are exploring creative solutions to this as part of our new long term strategy.


    Please tick 'yes' to further contact when you donate, so we can keep you up to date with the progress of our appeal and our other work in the future. We will also keep our website and social media updated with the progress of the appeal.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £660,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £415,000 Team salaries Salaries of our core casework team as well as support functions
      £65,000 IT and digital Significant improvements meaning people can apply to us online
      £180,000 Rent Rent of office space
  • Background


    We are the only national charity which can provide a volunteer barrister in any court or tribunal, on any area of law, across England and Wales.

    We receive 50 new applications every week, from people needing legal help all over England and Wales.


    Delivery of our core free legal advice and representation will help so many kinds of people. What they all share is a lack of money to pay for legal help, often they are vulnerable and sometimes from a deprived background.

    They all have legal cases with merit; deserving of legal help.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We were set up 20 years ago by barristers. That means we are uniquely placed to connect expert barristers who want to help people with applicants who come to us with all kinds of legal problems, unsure of what to do next and struggling with their case. We have a panel of around 4,000 barristers nationwide, covering all areas of law, and all levels of expertise.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Jess Campbell

    Jess is the CEO of Advocate. She will champion the appeal externally and is responsible for making the project a success.

    Mary Dobson

    Mary is the Head of Fundraising and Communications and is responsible for funding the project and communicating the work of Advocate externally.

Thank you for your help. I will never forget you gave me hope when nobody would even help.

Disabled applicant facing unjust eviction