Protecting children’s rights – law firms

Getting help from a lawyer can ensure children and young people receive what they are legally entitled to; it can challenge inaction and unwelcome decisions of public authorities (such as refusals to provide a service or delays in fulfilling duties); and lead to compensation for rights breaches.

Helping children and young people to access independent legal advice is a critical part of effective advocacy services. This is recognised in the national standards for the provision of children’s advocacy services, which is statutory guidance (see standard 2).

Please visit our rights4children website for information for children and young people about getting help from a lawyer.  


The Legal Aid Agency 

You can access a list of lawyers offering legal aid services on the Legal Aid Agency’s website. The search functionality allows you to filter results based on a postcode and legal categories, such as claims against public authorities, housing, immigration or asylum, and community care law. 

Community care law covers the legal obligations of local authorities to provide support for those entitled to and/or requiring social care assistance and services. It also includes entitlements to health services, and often overlaps with housing rights and social security rights too.


The Law Society’s Children Law Accreditation 

The Children Law Accreditation is a recognised quality standard for practitioners representing children in legal proceedings and covers all types of children law work. 

You can download the list of Children Law Accredited members on the Law Society’s website (under ‘current members’ at the bottom of the page). The list is updated monthly and includes details about languages spoken, specialist practice areas, and court areas covered.  


Legal aid providers  

Below, we list law firms that have been recognised for their work in the field of social welfare law across several areas of legal aid practice.  

This list is organised in alphabetical order and is based on publicly available information, such as the public ranking of law firms called The Legal 500 and information on the directory of legal aid providers

Bhatt Murphy Solicitors

Areas of legal aid practice: claims against public authorities, community care, crime, family, housing, immigration or asylum, mental health, prison, and public law. This law firm is based in London, though lawyers work with clients in all parts of the country.

Contact: 
Telephone: 020 7729 1115
Email: mail@bhattmurphy.co.uk (you can also send them a message using an online form).

Bindmans

Areas of legal aid practice: claims against public authorities, clinical negligence, community care, crime, debt, family, housing, immigration or asylum, mental health, and public law This law firm is based in London though lawyers work with clients in all parts of the country.

Contact: 
Telephone: 020 7833 4433 
Email: info@bindmans.com (you can also send them a message using an online form). 

Birnberg Pierce 

Areas of legal aid practice: claims against public authorities, crime, family, mental health and public law. This law firm is based in London, though lawyers work with clients in all parts of the country.

Contact: 
Telephone: 020 7911 0166
You can also visit their contact page. 

DPG – Deighton Pierce Glynn

Areas of legal aid practice: claims against public authorities, discrimination, and public law. This law firm is based in London and Bristol, though lawyers work with clients in all parts of the country.

Contact: 
Telephone: 020 7407 0007
Email: newcaseenquiries@dpglaw.co.uk (you can also send them a message using an online form). 

Duncan Lewis Solicitors

Areas of legal aid practice: claims against public authorities, clinical negligence, community care, crime, debt, family, housing, immigration or asylum, prison, modern slavery, and public law. This law firm has offices around the country, including in Birmingham, Bradford, Coventry, Derby, Dudley, Leeds, Leicester, London, Luton, Manchester, Newcastle, Northampton, Nottingham, Peterborough, and Swansea (for the full list see here), though lawyers work with clients in all parts of the country. 

Contact: 
Telephone: 033 3772 0409
Email: you can contact them using an online form. 

Hickman & Rose 

Areas of legal aid practice: claims against public authorities, crime and public law. This law firm is based in London, though lawyers work with clients in all parts of the country. 

Contact: 
Telephone: 020 7702 5331
Email: mail@hickmanandrose.co.uk (you can also send them a message using an online form).

Irwin Mitchell  

Areas of legal aid practice: claims against public authorities, clinical negligence, community care, education and public law. This law firm has offices around the country, including in Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Leeds, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and Southampton (for the full list see here), though lawyers work with clients in all parts of the country.  

Contact: 
Telephone: 0808 231 7386
Email: you can contact them using an online form.

Leigh Day

Areas of legal aid practice: claims against public authorities, clinical negligence, community care, discrimination, modern slavery and public law. This law firm has offices in Birmingham, Chesterfield, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle and Plymouth. As with the law firms above, lawyers work with clients in all parts of the country. 

Contact: 
Telephone: 020 7650 1200
Email: you can contact them using an online form.

Simpson Millar

Areas of legal aid practice: claims against public authorities, clinical negligence, community care, education, family, modern slavery and public law.  This law firm has offices in Bristol, Cardiff, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester. As with the law firms above, lawyers work with clients in all parts of the country.

Contact: 
Telephone: 0808 239 3713
Email: you can contact them using an online form.

Sinclairslaw 

Areas of legal aid practice: claims against public authorities, community care, education, modern slavery and public law. This law firm is based in Cardiff and London, though lawyers work with clients in all parts of the country. 

Contact: 
Telephone: 033 0202 0707 or 029 2038 8398 
Email: enquiries@sinclairslaw.co.uk (you can also send them a message using an online form). 

Wilsons Solicitors 

Areas of legal aid practice: claims against public authorities, community care, family, immigration or asylum, modern slavery and public law. This law firm is based in London, though lawyers work with clients in all parts of the country.

Contact: 
Telephone: 0208 808 7535 
Email: info@wilsonllp.co.uk (you can also send them a message using an online form).

Specialist services 

Below we list services where you can access specialist legal information. Please note that inclusion on this list does not imply a recommendation on our part, and Article 39 is not responsible for the actions of other organisations.  

  • Family Rights Group advice and advocacy service is for parents, grandparents, relatives, friends and kinship carers who are involved with children’s services in England or need their help. Free telephone advice line open Monday to Friday, 9:30am-3pm (not Bank Holidays): 0808 801 0366. For textphone dial 18001 followed by the advice line number. 
  • Howard League for Penal Reform free legal advice line for young people, including those in prison: 0808 801 0308 Monday and Tuesday 11am-1pm, and Thursday and Friday 10am-12pm. Please note: the number for professionals is 020 7249 7373 option 1.
  • Inquest provides free and independent advice on the inquest process and related investigations following a death in state detention or care, or where the conduct of the state or corporate bodies are in question. Complete the help and advice form or call 020 7263 1111, open for new queries on Tuesday and Thursday (10am to 1pm, 2pm to 3.30pm). 
  • Shelter offers support, advice, and legal services for housing and homelessness issues. Free helpline open Monday to Friday, 8am-8pm; weekends and Bank Holidays, 9am-5pm: 0808 800 4444

If you are in Wales: 

If you are in Scotland: 

  • CLAN Childlaw is Scotland’s law centre for children and young people. It offers legal help to children and young people, those that support them, and those seeking information about children’s rights and the law. 
  • Children’s Commissioner Scotland offers information and advice on children’s rights. 

If you are in Northern Ireland: 


IMPORTANT

Article 39 does not recommend or endorse any individual law firm or firms.

The list above is designed to make it easier for children and young people, their advocates and others who support them, to identify and contact law firms that have experience and expertise in protecting the rights of children and vulnerable adults, including by challenging the decisions and actions of public authorities.

As a children’s rights charity, Article 39 has an existing relationship with some of the law firms listed.