Centres of Excellence

The majority of LLST's grant funding (approx 80%) is directed through this project, also supported by the City Bridge Trust. It provides not only money for organisations, but also in kind help and support.

The programme is not a quality mark or simply a pass/fail assessment. It is an offer of support through an ongoing process of continuous development with some funding attached.

For a detailed explanation of the process click  here.
For thorough FAQs about the scheme click here.

The purpose

Following cuts to legal aid, there has been a huge rise in the need for funding from LLST. This scheme aims to be strategic in the distribution of funds, as well as formalising and improving upon the support LLST can offer organisations.

The aim is to provide a core grounding for the best free specialist legal advice agencies in London, to help them become stable and remain viable in this particularly difficult climate. We want to help these brilliant organisations go beyond constant fire-fighting, and be able to focus on the work they do best - helping people with their legal problems.

The scheme reflects LLST's culture of wanting to fund organisations that have a progressive attitude, are client centred, and want to continuously improve what they do.

How does the project work?

The programme is based around a diagnostic process that looks at

  • How the organisation is being run
  • A brief file review considering process and compliance
  • A review of expenditure, and whether money could be saved / effectiveness increased

Currently, to be eligible to apply to become a Centre of Excellence an organisation has to:

  1. Have been providing free specialist civil legal casework for at least one year
    (advice and/or representation in courts or tribunals)
  2. Casework has to have been provided by at least 2 F.T.E employed staff
  3. That service must be based in and provided wholly or mostly to residents of London and the Home Counties. If a service is National, you may still be eligible to take part in the scheme however the amount of funding you receive may be proportional to reflect this.

Due to our limited resources, we are unfortunately currently unable to include within the scheme organisations whose specialist legal advice/services only cover debt and/or welfare benefits unless your organisation takes cases to the Appeal Court or above. This is purely due to the number of these organisations that exist and the limited funds we have available. We will review this over time. 

If you are unsure whether you fit in, please ask by emailing ceo@llst.org.uk

Who has passed so far?

You can see which organisations are currently LLST Centres of Excellence here.

City Of London Crest Hi Res

The Centres of Excellence scheme is supported by the City of London Corporation's charitable funder, City Bridge Trust.


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