David completed his undergraduate degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Portsmouth and went to University of Plymouth to undertake the GDL and LPC. After completing his studies, David joined Citizens Advice Plymouth and has worked there for the past 8 years. During this time, he worked in a number of different advice teams either in an advice or management capacity focusing primarily on debt advice receiving a professional qualification from the Institute of Money Advisers. During this time, he also worked with the generalist team on a variety of different issues. This gave him a very holistic view of what issues can affect people and the factors that can prevent equal access to legal services.
In 2019 he became involved in developing a Legal Advice Centre within Citizens Advice Plymouth working with agencies both local and from different regions to try and provide services during the coronavirus pandemic.
It was through this role he became linked with the Justice First Fellowship and applied for the position. He is very excited to be a part of the program and to help develop in house capacity for the Legal Advice Centre.
Covid 19 and the subsequent lockdowns have had a major impact on the way people are living their lives. This impact has also been felt in the legal sector. It is now being harder than ever for people to find legal advice on issues. This is particularly true for those that cannot afford legal advice with pro bono services being very limited in the South West.
One area effected has been employment tribunal claims. Ministry of Justice published quarterly statistics on 29th September showed an increase of 18% in single Employment tribunal claims.
The Employment Tribunal disposed of 6,400 claims during April to June 2020, down 31% on the same period in 2019.
The project would attempt to assist with this by providing a small legal provision designed to support people with problems they are having at work and engaging with the tribunal service. This would be a collaborative effort with supervisory support being provided by Bethnal Green Law Centre in London and helping clients from all over the South West. The goal would be to demonstrate the effectiveness of such work on a small scale with a vision to increase funding opportunities to create a more permanent and substantial provision.
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