About Us


NCLS is a limited company and registered charity, Company Registration No 3524607 and Charity No 1069066 originally established in 1980.

Our purpose is to identify unmet legal need in Norfolk and to work with partner agencies to provide free services to meet that need. We aim to provide access to justice and equality and particularly target our services at disadvantaged & vulnerable groups e.g. offenders, migrant workers and people with mental health issues.

    Our Services

    Our current services include –

    • twice weekly free legal advice drop in service in our Norwich office -employment, family & general advice; also similar services at Cromer and Great Yarmouth

    • debt and money advice for offenders and other vulnerable clients

    • welfare benefits advice and representation at Tribunal

    • advice for victims of domestic abuse

    • advice on residency status & entitlement for EEA Nationals as well as support for welfare benefit appeals;

    • discrimination advice and representation 

    • rent arrears mediation for City Council housing tenants

    • family court support for private law child contact matters

    NCLS is the lead agency for the Norfolk Community Advice Network (NCAN)

    Our History

    We were founded in 1985 as the Norwich and District Legal Services Committee, with the aim of meeting the legal needs of people in Norfolk. A committee of unpaid volunteers worked towards meeting the gaps in legal service provision.

    In March 2005 we changed our name to Norfolk Community Law Service to reflect our commitment to the whole of Norfolk.

    We have 15 members of staff and over 100 volunteers including approximately 64 solicitors and 53 law students.

    Quality accreditation

    We have an AQS quality mark covering casework in debt and welfare benefits. We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority to give debt advice (ref. no. 620093) and authorised by the OISC to provide immigration advice and services (ref.no. N210200043).  

    Our Funders

    We are funded by a range of grants and service level agreements.   Our current funders include Norwich City Council, Broadland District Council , South Norfolk District Council , Norwich Consolidated Charities, University of East Anglia, Big Lottery Fund, Money Advice Service, Comic Relief, Eastern Legal Support Trust, Cromer Town Council, Access to Justice Foundation, Legal Education Foundation,  A B Charitable Trust and a number of local charities.

    We also raise funds through our Supporters' events and membership scheme.

    We are also supported by local law firms whose lawyers donate their time to our Legal Advice Rota:

    Our Staff and Board of Directors

    The Directors of NCLS are:

    • Ben Keane - Solicitor - Chair
    • Richard Goodall - Vice Chair 
    • John Ceybird - Treasurer and Company Secretary
    • Andrew Spencer - Solicitor
    • Annie Grant
    • Chris Cubitt
    • Ejike Ndaji - Solicitor
    • Gordon Dean - Solicitor
    • Liz Edwards - Hon Secretary
    • Mike Pendred - Trade Unionist
    • Margaret Sparrow - Solicitor
    • Paul Steward
    • Vanessa Morton - Housing and Local Government
    • Sarah Blunden

    Staff:

    • Ros Brown - Chief Executive Officer
    • Sarah Clack - Operations Manager
    • Judi Lincoln - Advice and Volunteer Manager
    • Charlie Sayer - Welfare Rights Manager
    • Rob Ireland - Welfare Rights Adviser
    • Des McKeating - Migrant Worker Advice Coordinator
    • Julie Bennett - Finance Officer and Administration Coordinator
    • Rebecca Branson - Administration Officer
    • Hana Suzuki - Migrant Worker Adviser and Administration Officer
    • Joanne Freeman - Administration Officer
    • Andy Cobb - Debt Adviser
    • Susan Craddock - Debt Caseworker 
    • Carol Gormal - Debt Caseworker 
    • Mariah Simms - Trainee Solicitor
    • Janka Rodziewicz - NCAN Strategy Manager
    • Hannah Hill - Family Court Support Coordinator and NCAN Coordinator

    Volunteers:

    We are grateful to our many volunteers who generously donate their time,
    without whom we would not be able to function effectively.

    For information on how to volunteer, click here.

    Professional Bodies

    NCLS is a member of the following organisations:

    Big Lottery Fund Norwich City Council Broadland Communities Advice Quality Standard
    Money Advice Service South Norfolk Norwich Consolidated Charities University of East Anglia