Telephone lines

On government advice, we no longer have any staff in the office. If you definitely need to speak to someone, please leave a voicemail and someone will get back to you as quickly as possible, but this may take a little time. Please check the website to see if you can find your answer there first. If you are an applicant, please do not ring for an update - a caseworker will get in touch when there is any news. Thank you for bearing with us. 

Applicants

Advocate is open but with no staff currently working in the office. This means we will only be able to accept new applications if they are submitted online and we have launched a form for this. Or you can download a word version and email it to enquiries@weareadvocate.org.uk with scanned documents attached to it. This is a new system that we're currently setting up so please bear with us as we try to keep our service going.

You not longer need to be referred to us through an advice agency. You can apply directly using the online form as long as you can upload all the documents relating to your case. The more information you can give us on the form, the more likely it is we will be able to help you. 

Please tell us f your hearing is adjourned, moved online or will be dealt with on the telephone. This will help us process your application as promptly as possible.

Please keep checking the website for updates and thank you for your understanding in these challenging times.

Referral agencies

Advocate is open, albeit with no staff in the office. We have launched an online application form that applicants can use to apply to us directly, with no requirement for it to be signed off by a referral agency. It would help us if you could let applicants know by telephone that they can now do this but they will need to provide as much information as possible to us. It is a detailed form and many people may still need some guidance on how to complete it, so we hope you will still be able to help them remotely. This is a work in progress and we hope to hone it over the coming weeks and months.

With most courts being shut down and moving to a telephone service, this make accepting applications for representation difficult. However, we can still accept applications for drafting and advice. It would help us greatly if you could help applicants to understand this. We may reach the stage of not being able to accept any applications for representation and if this happens, we will update this page of our website.

Please keep checking for updates and thank you for your understanding in these challenging times. We are, like you, trying to provide the best service we can in what are incredibly difficult circumstances.

Panel members

It is still possible to offer help to those who need it.  We know that more than ever people are going to fall behind in their mortgages, their rent, lose their jobs, be unable to work, not get access to benefits and suffer family problems.  We ask that you continue to give your time and expertise to help us support them.  

Thank you to those of you who completed the Advocate State of the Panel survey. There was an overwhelming sense that people sign up to Advocate in order to make a difference. The number one reason to sign up is to support access to justice.  

How you can help:

  • Our regular case list emails are sent on Wednesday afternoons at 4.30 pm. Requests for assistance involving advice and drafting will now be available to you electronically. You can request to see copies of the papers before deciding to confirm assistance. 
  • We are aware that applications for representation will be subject to what is happening with the courts and may be subject to severe delays beyond our control. Keeping good contact with applicants is essential during this time. 
  • Please browse the website for all available cases in any area of law, especially if you are not frequently receiving a personalised pro bono case list or if there are multiple practice areas in which you can offer assistance, or are interested in helping with. If you do not have a website login, now is the time to request one.   

We are grateful to the Bar’s longstanding commitment to giving back. We are getting more sign-ups than ever and this is a wonderful show of support that we appreciate hugely 

Reviewers

Advocate continues to operate as best we can with some limitations. We can no longer accept paper applications but we have launched a new online application form and will keep you updated with progress on its use. All reviews will now be sent digitally.  

If you currently have hard copies of files, and are still able to get into Chambers, please consider scanning the papers back to us or sending the papers back to us soon as you can 

We are so grateful that you continue to offer your support. Please consider authorising barristers to provide written submissions (in lieu of attending court), we . And please keep signing up to the rota. We hope to keep cases needing drafting or advice going though our system as best we can.