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Businesses across Lancashire are being provided with access to free legal support, thanks to an initiative delivered by the University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) Lancashire Law School (LLS).

The Business Law Clinic has been established to provide the county’s SMEs with guidance relating to matters such as contracts, intellectual property and leases.

Run by UCLan’s students and graduate legal advisers, users will be provided with six months of support, with services including written advice, casework and form filling.

The LLS has dealt with private client matters through its student led law clinic for several years, but this is the first business dedicated clinic of its kind in the North West, allowing undergraduates and graduates the invaluable experience of working with commercial clients.

Stephanie Jones, Senior Lecturer at the Lancashire Law School, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for SMEs who might not be in a position to afford to pay for a solicitor at a law firm, but who still require the same high standards of quality in relation to advice and documentation drafting.

“It’s also a valuable chance for start-ups to give themselves a secure, legal footing without incurring high costs at a time when budgets may be more limited.

“We’re keen to emphasise the fact that lawyers don’t just have to be sought when things go wrong, but can help to prevent problems before they even arise.

“Our free law clinics are always popular and we’re pleased to be widening this out to the business community.”

Dianne Tew, from Chapter 3 CIC, has used the Business Law Clinic and said: “The whole experience was smooth, efficient and informative. We were very happy with the service, speed and advice. We especially appreciated the input into our project and where we might need legal cover.”

Sabba Shah, a third year LLB student, added: “It has been phenomenal work experience which has vastly increased my commercial awareness, and employers loved hearing about it during a careers event I attended. They were very impressed and it led to me being offered placements.”

The Business Law Clinic takes place every Monday – Wednesday at UCLan’s Harris Building and is by appointment only.

For more information, or to make an appointment, contact Stephanie Jones on sljones3@uclan.ac.uk.