Michael Mansfield will also open The University of Manchester’s second free legal advice clinic in east Manchester this week ( Nov 18 ).
The pro bono clinic on Ashton Old Road, Openshaw, is a collaboration with New East Manchester and the charities LawWorks North and Manchester Settlement in association with The College of Law.
Mansfield famously represented four people wrongly convicted of the Guildford and Birmingham pub bombings carried out by the IRA.
He has represented Stephen Lawrences family; Michael Barrymore at the Stuart Lubbock inquest and Barry George at the inquest into the death of Jill Dando.
He also represented Mohamed al-Fayed at the inquest into the deaths of his son Dodi al-Fayed and Diana, Princess of Wales.
His book, The Memoirs of a Radical Lawyer, was published last month.
The clinic will be staffed by students from the university’s School of Law under the supervision of legal practitioners and coordinated by an administrator funded by New East Manchester and employed by the ‘Manchester Settlement’.
The Centre is sponsored by Clifford Chance LLP and Barlow Lyde and Gilbert LLP.
Manchester Settlement was founded by the University in 1895 though strong links continue today.
The new clinic is an addition to School of Law’s existing free legal advice work: The Legal Advice Centre has been giving legal advice to the public since it opened in November 2000.
Director and solicitor at the Legal Advice Centre Dinah Crystal OBE has been involved in setting up the new centre.
She said: Were delighted to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the legal advice centre by paying host to the distinguished barrister and supporter of pro bono Michael Mansfield.
“We are also delighted to launch this venture in East Manchester which will allow our staff and students and local lawyers another opportunity to participate in clinical education and more importantly to put something back into the local community.
Eddie Smith, Chief Executive of New East Manchester, said: “We are pleased to support this new service in an area that still has significant numbers of residents who require affordable access to high quality legal advice.
“The advice service from The University of Manchester is a welcome addition to the services that are being added to Openshaw to transform it into a vibrant and sustainable neighbourhood.
“The Settlement’s new premises complement other improvements in the Openshaw neighbourhood, including the new health centre a short distance away, new homes and a new district centre with a Morrisons supermarket which is soon to be built.”
Maria Gardiner, General Manager of Manchester Settlement said: We are delighted to be working in partnership with both the University and New East Manchester to bring such a valuable service to the residents of east Manchester.”
Rebecca Hilsenrath, Chief Executive of LawWorks – which is a national pro Bono charity, commented: “This is a wonderful example of building access to justice through partnerships between students, lawyers and local communities.
“I am particularly excited that we are working with stakeholders in Manchester in this way. I am really grateful to all our partners in this venture and look forward to hearing about the progress of the clinic.”
Paul Roebuck, pro bono co-ordinator at The College of Law, Manchester, said: “The College of Law recognises the importance of outreach work within the local area and is proud to be involved with the launch of the new centre in east Manchester.
“Our students will be providing an advisory service, with supervision from professionals in the field, which will not only develop their skills as practitioners but will strengthen our relationship with Manchester University, local partners and the wider community.”
Notes for editors
New East Manchester is a regeneration partnership initiative between Manchester City Council, English Partnerships, the North West Development Agency and the communities of east Manchester.
The New Roundhouse is a partnership with The Manchester College, New Deal for Communities and Mosscare Housing.
The College of Law is the leading provider of professional legal education and training in Europe with centres in London, Birmingham, Chester, Guildford, Manchester and York. A new centre will be opening in Bristol in September 2010.
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Source: Media Newswire