The first law centres in south-west London were founded in 1974, by local people with a shared vision that everyone should have access to legal advice and justice – regardless of income.

In 2004, four law centres in Battersea, Croydon, Kingston and Tooting joined together to create South West London Law Centres. Since then our team has given vital legal advice to many 1000s of residents. Our current office spaces exist in Croydon, Merton and Wandsworth, but we continue to provide services across all six south-west London boroughs of Croydon, Merton, Kingston, Sutton, Richmond and Wandsworth.

Sadly during the last decade, it’s become more difficult for people on low incomes to access legal advice when they need it most.

The impact of The Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 means that, since 2013, legal aid is no longer available in a number of areas of law – and even then is restricted to people on the very lowest incomes.

Without law centres like ours, these changes leave many people in our communities at risk of being locked out of legal advice and justice, simply because they can’t afford a lawyer.

We’re incredibly grateful to our supporters, volunteers, funders and sponsors whose generosity means we’re able to help local people get justice at some of the most difficult times in life. Thank you.

Who we are

We are now one of the largest Law Centres in the UK and a registered charity. For the last 50 years we have been providing advice and legal representation to local people who are without the means to pay for it. With the support of a network of over 400 pro bono lawyer volunteers and 40 members of staff, we work in the communities we serve, to alleviate poverty, speak for the most vulnerable and create a fairer society for all.

More than ever, families and individuals need our help. Problems are complex, often not confined to a single area of law. Civil legal aid fees have not been increased for 28 years. Providers of legal aid have decreased by 59% over the last 10 years, drastically reducing access to justice for the poorest members of society. Law Centres all over the country have been closing due to lack of funding, but they have never been so needed.

Our values

Social justice: raising awareness of equal human and legal rights, pursuing test cases and influencing social policy through campaigning
Dignity and respect for all
Independence: free to champion the rights of the most disadvantaged

Our vision and mission

Our vision

Our vision is to see a future where people who cannot afford a lawyer:

  • Have equal access to law in order to assert and enforce their rights
  • Are empowered to engage and benefit from everything that a healthy society has to offer
  • Are treated equally and with dignity and respect

Our mission

  • Fight injustice, inequality and poverty 
  • Stand up for the most vulnerable and marginalised who would otherwise have no access to the law or legal remedies, stretching our geographical reach when needed. 
  • Help and empower people in understanding and enforcing their rights 
  • Work with and within our communities campaigning for social justice and equality.

At a glance

49

years helping local people get justice

6,663

people helped in 2021/22

£1.5m

of free legal advice given per year

Get involved

Funders & sponsors

We couldn’t do what we do without our funders and sponsors, whose generous partnership enables us to have a life-changing impact in our community.

Give now

Your gift today could help someone get the justice they need, when they need it most.

Volunteer – pro bono

Our dedicated volunteer lawyers share their time and expertise with local people, so that everyone can have equal access to justice and can defend their rights.

News

19 January 2022

Our immigration & asylum team receives a further Excellence rating

Our immigration & asylum team has received another Excellence rating in their latest independent peer review. This is the highest rating possible in Legal Aid Agency audits. The review, a…

15 December 2021

We’ve been awarded Debt Team of the Year 2021

Our Money Advice team has been named Debt Team of the Year at Debt Free London’s inaugural Debt Free Awards. The awards ceremony was held on Friday 10 December 2021…

8 October 2021

We’re Highly Commended in the Law Society Excellence Awards 2021

We have been Highly Commended in the Excellence in Access to Justice Award in the Law Society Awards 2021. The judges were particularly impressed that we continued to offer legal…

Our impact

Every year we support around 7,000 people across south-west London to understand and defend their rights.

Without the legal advice our charity provides, many local people would be locked out of getting justice because they can’t afford a lawyer.