FREEHILLS AND Perth’s Sussex Street Community Law Service (SSCLS) have been awarded for their combined efforts in providing access to legal services for socially disadvantaged people.
The 2004 Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Community Business Partnerships for WA recognises the duo’s provision of stable legal services to people who would otherwise not be able to afford it.
The 12-year partnership between Freehills and SSCLS, a not-for-profit legal practice, works to provide legal services to disadvantaged communities. Freehills seconds solicitors to SSCLS throughout the year and SSCLS provides the legal services to more than 4,020 clients.
Freehills’ financial support and pro bono legal advice to the not-for-profit firms is aimed at helping sustain SSCLS as a support organisation, but has also allowed it to expand the services it offers clients.
According to Senator Kay Patterson, Minister for Family and Community Services, the partnership has offered a “reliable, professional, compassionate, effective and stable legal service”.
“Over the years this successful partnership has grown from only a few hundred people accessing the service in 1991 to more than 4,000 people benefiting from the service in 2003,” Senator Patterson said.
According to Freehills litigation solicitor and SSCLS chairperson GiGi Visscher, who accepted the award, the award recognises a valuable partnership.
“Winning this award really is wonderful as it provides valuable recognition for the partnership between Freehills and SSCLS and the very important role SSCLS plays in the community.”
“I’m very proud of Freehills’ ongoing support of SSCLS, and I’d like to thank everyone from SSCLS and Freehills who has contributed to this achievement,” she said.