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Riot relief: free legal advice helpline launches

Published:  18 August, 2011

A helpline aimed at pointing businesses damaged by riots in the direction of free legal advice has been launched.

The Law Society's phone helpline aims to provide support to victims of rioting and looting, in particular the small independent retailers whose livelihoods are threatened by the impact of the recent unrest.

A full-time caseworker will be based at the National Pro Bono Centre to manage applications for legal assistance by individuals, community groups and small businesses in the affected communities. Cases will then be matched with volunteer lawyers who will offer assistance on a range of legal matters from insurance and compensation to contractual, property and employment law.

Law Society president John Wotton said: "Over the coming months, the victims will need practical help to get their businesses or personal lives back on track in these very difficult circumstances.

"The Law Society has been calling on the profession to provide pro bono assistance to help meet the demand. I have been hugely impressed by the response of solicitors so far who are demonstrating yet again their commitment to a just and stable society and urge others to join the movement."

The telephone helpline number is 020 7092 3949, or email, or visit

The cost of the helpline is being met by the Law Society, Bar Council and generosity of law firms.