Charities And Lawyers Join Forces For Free Legal Seminar

Specialist Lawyers Discussed Disability Issues At Event In Newcastle


By Suzanne Rutter

Charities dedicated to helping to improve the lives of disabled people and their families joined forces with law firm Irwin Mitchell to offer advice and guidance at a free legal seminar about social care law and disability rights. 

Contact a Family and Disability North worked alongside law firm Irwin Mitchell at the Legally Speaking seminar at The Dene Centre in Newcastle.

Alex Peebles, from Newcastle’s public law team, carried out a presentation and gave advice to parents and professionals about various topics affecting disabled children and young people, including how to access care and support, requesting assessments and challenging decisions regarding the provision of care.

The seminar was also brought to life with case studies and scenarios to showcase how the charities and Irwin Mitchell have helped other families.

John Davis, regional managing partner at Irwin Mitchell’s Newcastle office, said: “At Irwin Mitchell we see first-hand how difficult it can be for people to cope with a disability, whether it’s caused by an accident or injury or is something they have lived with all their lives. We are committed to helping people access the services and specialist help and rehabilitation they need to live their lives to the full.

“This legal advice seminar aimed to help disabled people to make some positive changes in their lives and we received some really positive feedback from many of the delegates who said it was full of easily understandable and practical advice which gave them hope and determination to access the services they need to improve the quality of life for their loved ones.”

Further legal advice clinics hosted by Irwin Mitchell’s Newcastle public law team and the charities will be held this year. They will offer advice on a range of disability related issues from accessing medical treatment, health and social care needs, issues surrounding mental capacity and vulnerability of family members and any potential cases people may wish to pursue. Legal problems concerning employment, transport and housing needs will also be covered.

Dianne Cowen, manager at Disability North, said: “We have been running monthly legal advice clinics with Irwin Mitchell for a year now and people said they have found it reassuring, informative and a relief to know that they can get access to the help they need through a charity and law firm partnership they trust because it gave them the opportunity to make their own informed choices.

“We decided to run the Legally Speaking seminar in addition to the legal clinics so we could discuss issues which families with disabled children and young people face in more detail. We hope to see as many people at the event as possible.”

Further monthly legal clinics will run on Thursday 11 April, Thursday 9 May and Thursday 27 June.

For more information about the Legally Speaking seminar, or the free monthly legal clinics, call Contact a Family on 0191 213 6300 or email