A Boythorpe-born woman has set up her own legal firm which specialises in offering support to people who cannotafford a lawyer.
Former Derbyshire police officer, Rebecca Linacre, 46, launched Chesterfield-based Affordable Assistance at the start of the year.
Rebecca’s idea for the business came from her 20 years in the police force and from her experiences while studying law at Derby University.
She said: “Throughout my time I have seen so many people being left in limbo because they could not afford the legal fees.
“I saw more and more people trying to get access to justice but couldn’t because of legal aid being cut.
“I have seen people struggle to get access to their children and people who have been stuck in abusive relationships.”
Affordable Assistance is made up of professional McKenzie Friends who are legally qualified and who offer legal and moral support to people at a reduced cost compared to typical legal fees.
The firm aims to help people prepare for court hearings beforehand such as sending off for reports and helping clients to fill out forms.
The business takes on cases from across the whole of Derbyshire and can assist including divorce, child contact, financial and crime.
“For example a person can come to us and speak to one of our advisors and we would look at their case,” Rebecca explained.
“We then offer them a telephone consultation if we think they have a claim.
“If they then want us to take on their case we afford them a designated case worker and regular weekly reviews of their case at a cost of £60.
“All our clients would be in a position to attend court and litigate themselves. However for those clients who are not confident in addressing the court; we have access to solicitors and barristers available to attend court at a fixed fee.
Rebecca added: “I am a community person and we are very much community focused. I am very much a problem solver. If I can see a model which will fit then I will run with it.
n Call Affordable Assistance on 0333 220 2456 or go to www.affordassist.co.uk.