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Press Release – 16 March 2012 'New Patrons give Hackney Community Law Centre their heavyweight backing ’

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Press Release – 16 March 2012

'New Patrons give Hackney Community

Law Centre their heavyweight backing ’

Hackney Community Law Centre (HCLC), the charity, which provides free and independent legal advice and representation to residents in Hackney, has gained its first official set of patrons.

HCLC, which faces large cuts to its budget as a result of Government changes to legal aid, has approached a number of well-known public figures in the legal, political and entertainment worlds to seek their official support for the Centre’s work and its community campaigns for better access to justice for Hackney residents.
Hackney Community Law Centre’s new patrons all have a connection to Hackney – either having lived or worked here. The new patrons have also all been actively involved in campaigning in the public arena on social issues such as housing and immigration, which are the areas of specialist legal advice provided by Hackney Community Law Centre.
On Thursday 16th March 2012, Hackney resident and high profile human rights lawyer Louise Christian (photos attached) made her first visit to the Centre as a patron.
Louise Christian said: “As a Hackney resident and long standing admirer of Hackney Community Law Centre, I am very pleased to have been asked to become a patron and support the splendid work HCLC is doing I hope to contribute to the work of the Law Centre personally myself by volunteering at HCLC’s new community legal advice sessions. The work that Hackney Community Law Centre is doing is enormously important for our community”.
Welcoming all the new Patrons, Ian Rathbone, Chair of Hackney Community Law Centre said: “I am delighted to welcome our new patrons to the Law Centre. The calibre, breath and experience of our new patrons is great recognition of the high quality service that we deliver. Our new patrons’ support is also good news for the poor and vulnerable in Hackney, trying desperately to access justice in these difficult times”.
The full list of HCLC’s new official patrons (in alphabetical order) is:
a) Diane Abbott MP – Member of Parliament for Hackney North and Stoke Newington - Read her biography here:
b) Louise Christian - Human rights solicitor who represented the families of the Potters Bar train crash victims, the Oxford Circus kettling protestors, the tortured UK Guantanamo Bay inmates and is currently representing Marina Litvinenko, the widow of the poisoned former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko – Read her biography here:
c) Nicky Gavron AM – Former Deputy Mayor of London and currently the London Assembly’s Opposition Spokeswomen for Housing – Read her biography here:
d) Meg Hillier MP – Member of Parliament for Hackney South and Shoreditch – Read her biography here:
e) Jean Lambert MEP – London wide Member of the European Parliament and long-time campaigner for refugees and asylum seekers – Read her biography here:
f) Lord Colin Low of Dalston CBE – Peer in the House of Lords and high profile disability rights activist. Read his biography here:
g) Rajiv Menon QC – Hackney resident and barrister (Queens Counsel) who represented Dwayne Brooks, victim and best friend of the murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence and also winner of the Society of Asian Lawyers award 2011. Read his biography here:
h) Declan O’Callaghan – immigration barrister and campaigner– Read his biography here:
i) Jon RobinsFormer Hackney resident, Journalist (The Guardian, The Observer, The Times) and Editor of the Justice Gap blog ( ) – Read his biography here:
j) Lord Thomas of Gresford QC - Queen’s Counsel (barrister) and Peer in the House of Lords – Read his biography here:

Notes to Editors:

  1. Hackney Community Law centre is a charity that provides free and independent legal advice and representation to people living, working or studying in the London Borough of Hackney and neighbouring boroughs.

  1. A full list of the patrons can be found at:

  1. For more information about this press release please contact Miranda on 07957 396 321 or email:

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