Threat of closure for legal centres

Advice UK, an umbrella group for legal advice centres, has warned that its members are facing closure as a result of changes to the way contracts are handled.

The Legal Services Commission began to introduce contracts with fixed fees per case in October. Since then, said Advice UK, two centres had closed and a further eight were also on the brink of insolvency.

"LSC funding fails to cover the true costs of delivery," said Phil Jew, head of policy and communications at Advice UK.

Citizens Advice has also said its bureaux are facing financial difficulties (Third Sector, 23 April).

Crispin Passmore, director of the community legal service at the LSC, said it was helping the centres to work through the changes.

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