Hon John Quigley LLB JP MLA

Hon John Quigley LLB JP MLA

Attorney General; Minister for Electoral Affairs

    Funding certainty to help Law Access meet pro bono demand

    27/08/2021 7:00 AM
     
    • ​Government provides four years of funding for pro bono service Law Access 
    • Arrangement supports surging demand for legal services from vulnerable clients  

    Attorney General John Quigley has provided certainty for Law Access to meet increasing demand for its pro bono referral service with a four-year funding arrangement worth up to $1 million.  

     

    Law Access matches applications for legal help from vulnerable and financially disadvantaged members of the community to lawyers and legal firms willing to provide their services free of charge.

     

    The service is available for cases with legal merit where all other efforts to obtain funding, including from Legal Aid WA, the Aboriginal Legal Service of WA and community legal centres, have been exhausted.

     

    The new four-year arrangement for Law Access is worth up to $250,000 a year, plus indexation.

     

    It follows the Government providing $100,000 for each of the past three financial years to help meet shortfalls, as well as $150,000 funding in 2020-21 for the WA Pro Bono Model that is delivered by Law Access.

     

    Law Access reported a 30 per cent surge in demand for its services in 2020-21, which is projected to grow further in the current financial year.

     

    Under the new arrangement the Government will provide $100,000 indexed from 2021-22 until 2024-25. That comes on top of existing funding of $150,000 a year over two years for the Pro Bono Model which has now been extended for the following two years, subject to a review in 2023.

     

    The WA Pro Bono Model was established on 1 July 2020 to maximise the pro bono impact of all law firms that undertake legal services for Government departments and agencies. The model included the funding for Law Access to offer a single, efficient way of assessing requests for pro bono assistance.

     

    Comments attributed to Attorney General John Quigley:

     

    "The McGowan Government's prudent financial management has allowed us to provide continuity of funding for Law Access' vital services, ensuring the most vulnerable can get access to legal help.

     

    "We are proud to support this service of last resort. It exists because of the generosity of Western Australian legal practitioners and firms and we want to ensure that generosity is targeted as efficiently and effectively as possible to support those who have no other way of getting legal assistance.

     

    "Law Access continues to support fairer and more equitable access to the justice system for the least advantaged people in our community."

     

    Attorney General's office - 6552 6800