London university establishes free law surgery for LGBT community

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Queen Mary, University of London, is launching a specialist legal advice centre for gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans people later this week.

The Pink Law Legal Advice Centre, the first of its kind in higher education, opens on Friday.

It has been established in partnership with three top City law firms and will offer free and impartial legal advice on issue such as employment discrimination, civil partnerships and cohabitation.

From 6pm to 8.30pm, on the last Wednesday of every month, students from the Department of Law will advise clients – under the supervision of volunteer lawyers from the affiliated firms – to provide the LGBT community with a confidential, welcoming and professional service.

Legal experts from Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP, Mischon de Reya and Reed Smith are on hand to discuss each individual case and oversee the students’ progress.

A champagne reception to mark the launch of the Pink Law service on November 14th will be attended by Mr Justice Fulford, a leading High Court and International Criminal Court judge.

Sir Adrian Fulford is the country’s first opening gay judge.

“This is an exciting and innovative project that will provide much needed legal assistance to the LGBT community,” said Julie Pinborough, Queen Mary’s Legal Advice Centre Manager.

“Moreover, the project demonstrates the Law Department’s commitment to equality and diversity within pro bono and the services it offers the local community.”

Helen Ward, information officer for gay equality organisation Stonewall, said:

“Stonewall receives many calls to our information service from lesbian, gay and bisexual people who need legal advice and assistance.

“It’s encouraging that Queen Mary University is offering a free legal service to ensure that LGB people can access the help they need when dealing with discrimination.”