Social Welfare Lawyers in the Centre of Birmingham


Business As Usual

Despite the Coronavirus lockdown, we are continuing with business as usual at CLP. Though we are not carrying out any office appointments, we are arranging telephone appointments with both existing and new clients. Please telephone our switchboard on 0121 685 8595. Please note that, during this emergency period, the switchboard will have slightly reduced hours and will be open between 9am and 5pm.


Debt and Welfare Benefits

From 1st April 2013 Legal Aid is no longer available for Debt Problems or Benefits Problems (except for a few cases involving the Upper Tribunal).

This is a decision taken by the Government. As a result we regret that we are no longer able to take on debt or benefits cases.

You may be able to get help from your local CAB. You may want to take your problem to your MP, as these changes which prevent us from helping you are a direct result of Government policy.

Housing Cases

Legal Aid for housing cases has been cut back. We can no longer help with many problems faced by tenants, for example the failure to return deposits or disputes over rent which fall short of court proceedings. However, we can still help with the following: 

  • Court proceedings for possession of your home
  • Homelessness Appeals
  • Judicial Review proceedings to challenge the decision of a public body
  • Cases where your house is in such a bad state of repair that your health and/or safety is at risk

 If you contact us we will be able to tell you whether or not we can help you. You will be asked to give us details of your case and your income, as all legal aid is means tested. We will consider your case and let you know within 48 hours whether we can help. In urgent cases we will make an immediate assessment.

Gypsy and Traveller cases

We can still help with the following: 

  • Evictions from unauthorised encampments
  • Evictions from rented sites
  • Planning cases involving court action e.g. appeals, injunctions, etc
  • Homelessness reviews and appeals
  • Judicial Review proceedings to challenge the decision of a public body
  • Possibly in disrepair cases where the disrepair is so bad that your health and/or safety is at risk.

 You should contact us on our Travellers Advice Line on 0121 685 8677. You will be asked to give us details of your case and your income, as all legal aid is means tested. We will take urgent action if necessary.

Public Law

Legal Aid is still available to challenge the decisions of public bodies, including local authorities. The rules relating to who qualifies financially have been made harsher.

Housing Contract

We are pleased to confirm that we have been offered a contract in Housing Law by the Legal Services Commission.  This contract will start from April 2013 and takes over from our current Social Welfare Law contract.  Our contracts covering Public Law and the Duty Possession Scheme continue as normal.

David Watkinson

David Watkinson of Garden Court Chambers has been one of the most outstanding Barristers fighting for housing rights and especially fighting for Gypsy and Traveller rights over the years.  He is retiring at the end of December 2012.  The Partners from CLP attended his retirement do at Garden Court Chambers.  He has been involved in some of the leading cases involving Gypsy and Traveller and Housing rights.  He will leave a big gap but we wish him all the best in his retirement.

New Arrivals

CLP were very sorry to hear that Tyndallwoods are no longer going to be doing Legal Aid work.  However, we are very glad to be joined by two former members of Tyndallwoods, Simon Foster and Samitra Balu.  Simon was formerly head of the Housing Department at Tyndallwoods and has over 25 years of experience in housing law.  Samitra has specialised in housing law since 2002.  We are very pleased to welcome both of them to the firm.