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10,000 people have received one-to-one legal support as result of Litigants in Person Grant

A new report from the Ministry of Justice provides an interim update on progress made by the Legal Support for Litigants in Person Grant.

In April 2020, the Access to Justice Foundation and Ministry of Justice (MOJ) launched the Legal Support for Litigants in Person (LSLIP) Grant, a 2-year programme funding a range of earlier intervention services for litigants in person. LSLIP is funding 11 grant projects across England and Wales that deliver advice on a national, regional and local scale, to litigants in person at different stages of their problem within several areas of civil and family law. Partnership working and earlier intervention is at the core of all these activities, to achieve improved outcomes for clients.

This interim report draws together the data and evidence collected so far. Its key findings are:

• LSLIP grantees have provided a range of legal advice, practical support and procedural information to thousands of people across England and Wales with civil and family problems. The grants have enabled around 10,000 people to receive one-to-one personalised support on their civil and family problems, and significantly higher volumes to access public legal information and guidance.

• Most advice provided by local and regional grantees has been initial generalist advice (68 per cent of advice) on family, employment and housing problems (nearly 75 per cent of problems). However substantial volumes of casework and pre-court advice has been provided.

• Broadly speaking, local and regional grantees appear to be reaching a similar cohort of users to other advice services. Most clients are female (62 per cent), between 25 and 55 (65 per cent), and white (91 per cent). At least a quarter of clients have a disability, but there is evidence to suggest this is an underestimation and that a high volume of clients have poor physical and mental health alongside other indicators of vulnerability.

• Partnership working has been key to LSLIP and the enhanced support available for litigants in person. Formalising referral pathways between services and sharing specialist resources have enabled organisations to expand advice across wider geographical areas and areas of law, to provide a more holistic service that can address the entirety of a client's problem.

• Early evidence suggests that the advice and support provided is improving client outcomes, including increasing client understanding of how to resolve their problem and increasing client confidence to take action promptly. This is helping to resolve problems at an earlier stage, before they reach court or tribunal.

Further data will be collected throughout the lifetime of LSLIP and these trends will be reported on in the final evaluation.

For the interim report, click here.