Our impact

South Westminster Legal Advice Centre provides free legal advice to those unable to afford it. The Centre is known amongst local solicitors and Judges as a provider of high quality legal advice and assistance.

It may surprise some to learn that, even in Westminster, the very heart of London, there are areas of poverty and deprivation. Over the more than 20 years that we have been operating, the majority of our clients have been resident in the SW1 postcode.

SWLAC operated from premises near Victoria Station for more than 20 years. An otherwise wholly conventional Legal Advice Centre, it stands out for being wholly staffed by volunteers, having never had an employee. Our record of operating on a tight budget has equated to a cost of around £12 per client-visit for over twenty years.

Until the impact of Covid-19, client-visits were running at more than 2,100 per year, from a service which was open for two evenings a week. Our aim is to open for a third evening per week, as there is a very definite need.

We advise clients as to their legal rights in non-contentious matters, as well at all stages of litigation, including in the preparation of their cases for the Court of Appeal. One of these – Wilson -v- First County Trust – led to the making of a “declaration of incompatibility” under the Human Rights Act 1998, and became the leading case in the House of Lords (now the Supreme Court).

Transparent and accountable

We are transparent about what we do and who we see (of course always respecting our clients’ confidentiality). Our client statistics can be downloaded below. Or, you can click on the charts below to find out more.

Our clients by London postcode

Our clients by gender

Areas of law