City lawyers offer guidance on benefits and support funds as energy prices soar
International firm Hogan Lovells has launched a free advisory clinic in response to the increasing cost of living.
The pro bono project will see the firm’s lawyers, including trainees, assist members of the public with welfare benefits forms, evaluate eligibility for household support funds available from local authorities and provide guidance on rising energy bills.
With the lifting of the energy price cap this month, experts predict 6.32 million households will be plunged into fuel poverty — more than double the official estimate in 2020. For the nearly 5 million people on prepayment meters, the price of energy has reportedly risen from around £700 to over £2,000 a year.
The new service is launched in partnership with Westway Trust and St Luke’s Community Trust, charities based in North Kensington and Islington respectively.
Commenting on the new pro bono project, Hogan Lovells international insurance and reinsurance partner Victor Fornasier told Legal Cheek:
“We hear more and more from our pro bono clients about the increasing struggle that they are facing with fuel cost increases and basic cost of living inflation with all the mounting economic pressure that these individuals and families face. Hogan Lovells will be financially supporting the service by contributing to the funding of a qualified solicitor at the Westway Trust to oversee the work of the volunteers. We are hopeful that we can help many of these individuals and families through this challenging economic period.”
The move comes just months after Hogan Lovells joined six elite law firms in launching the Domestic Abuse Response Alliance to provide support and representation to survivors of domestic abuse.