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A Legal Aid Agency (LAA) contract has been awarded to Forbes Solicitors to provide family law services throughout Blackpool from September 1, 2023.

The firm’s Blackpool office was appointed by the LAA following a competitive tender process and will support people who are eligible for publicly-funded civil law advice and assistance.

The contract will see Forbes provide a full range of family law services, covering matters such as divorce, family disputes, agreeing the arrangements for children and children’s services involvement. LAA support can be made available for parents, other family members and those involved in family court proceedings.

Forbes, which has offices across Lancashire and the North of England, has extensive experience covering both private and publicly-funded family law cases.

The firm has a long history of representing separating couples, parents and children in public law proceedings issued by local authorities. Forbes’s family law team has held publicly-funded contracts in civil and crime categories since the LAA, then the Legal Aid Board, introduced contracting in January 2000 (civil) and 2001 (crime).

Helen Shirbon, partner at Forbes Solicitors and head of the family law team, said: “The LAA plays a crucial role in making legal aid services available to the general public. In terms of family law matters, this can provide separating couples, parents and children facing complex issues with much needed access to legal expertise.

“Acting on behalf of the LAA, we’ll be able to provide support to eligible families throughout Blackpool, helping to protect their interests during matters which can be emotionally fraught, worrying, and challenging. Knowing expert legal assistance is available can help provide reassurance and peace of mind.”

She added: “Our Blackpool office supports a wide range of clients and provides organisations and people throughout the town with convenient access to a full breadth of legal services, without them having to travel further afield.”

Pauline Rigby, managing partner of Forbes Solicitors, said: “The family law team has extensive experience handling legally-aided cases which are highly sensitive, life threatening and often extraordinary in their circumstances. This knowledge and understanding helped us to secure the LAA contract and we believe it’ll prove beneficial to families across Blackpool when they need such legal support.”

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