Tribunals Project

Z2K's fully co-ordinated scheme connects pro bono lawyers to low income Londoners who are in need of tribunal representation when they are denied their disability benefits.

At Z2K, we have a well established tribunals project, which gives us the capacity to represent around 400 people a year at tribunal.  We are delighted to partner with the following corporate law firms:

  • Allen & Overy
  • Hogan Lovells
  • Kingsley Napley
  • Mayer Brown
  • Cooley
  • Morrison & Foerster
  • Osborne Clarke
  • Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
  • Charles Russell Speechlys

And we continue to seek opportunities to partner with others.

Tribunal Representations and Disability Benefits – Why it Matters

Since 2016, we have seen an increase in the numbers of disabled and unwell Londoners coming to Z2K  for help with their disability and sickness benefits that have been stopped by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Their lives are turned upside down as the income they relied on for years is stopped, and many will fall into rent arrears and are forced to rely on foodbanks.

Like other small advice agencies and charities, we are now dedicating a huge part of our limited service to helping people at risk of poverty to challenge these unfair decisions. Our advisors and legal volunteers have represented nearly 1,000 disabled people at appeal – winning in over 90% of cases – and have supported hundreds more through the initial assessment and Mandatory Reconsideration.

Tribunal Representation – Our Approach

Z2K’s fully co-ordinated scheme connects pro bono lawyers to low income Londoners who are in need of tribunal representation when they are denied their disability benefits – Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP).  We offer a professional service both to clients and to pro bono lawyers, which comes from our passion and years of commitment to this area of work.

Our intention is to continue to increase our capacity to help more clients take their case to tribunal, and to use the evidence from this to keep pushing for change in the system. In 2020, we aim to reach around 450 people who are entitled to benefits and help them win their appeals at tribunal.

So far, in the last 12 months, we have trained over 150 lawyers and law students. We regularly receive positive feedback about this training:

“It was very helpful to go through the benefits descriptors and to go through the case studies to get a feel for what the Tribunal will be like. Hearing real-life examples was very good and engaging.”

“Excellent trainer with great pace in delivery”

We are also receiving very positive feedback from clients, who have found the opportunity to interact with a trained lawyer, both reassuring and empowering:

“I don’t think that I would cope with so much stress with so much papers work definitely not cope and it was so bad I couldn’t even open any letters.”

Z2K features in Allen & Overy’s magazine

See pages 10 to 15 - Drastic cuts to legal aid in the UK have left tens of thousands of people without access to legal advice, creating a crisis in social welfare law. It was against this backdrop that A&O joined forces with Z2K, a charity that works to solve housing and welfare issues for people in London as well as campaigning for changes to government policy.

Read the article here

 

MoFo London partners with Z2K to win much needed disability benefits for clients

Morrison & Foerster pro bono attorneys in London have joined forces with the nonprofit charity Zacchaeus 2000 Trust (Z2K) to handle disability benefit appeals and help clients navigate a broken social security and welfare benefits system in the UK.

Read the article here

 

If you'd like to discuss this project, please email

samanthaevans@z2k.org

If you work for or know of a corporate law firm that would be interested in joining the project, please register your interest here:

 

Register your interest for our Tribunals Project

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