The Legal Services Commission (LSC) and the National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV) have issued guidance for practitioners on how to work with the NCDV.
NCDV is a charitable organisation that assists victims of domestic violence in obtaining emergency injunctions. Established in 2001 as the London Centre for Domestic Violence, it is now expanding nationally and is seeking more firms willing to accept referrals to provide much needed legal assistance to victims of domestic violence.
Victims of domestic violence requiring urgent legal assistance (in particular, to consider obtaining a non-molestation order) either contact the NCDV directly for assistance or are referred to it by another organisation, such as the Police, Refuge, Women's Aid, Victim Support or Citizens' Advice Bureau. The NCDV speak to the victim to ascertain the circumstances of their case and their financial position.
Where it appears that it may be appropriate for the victim to seek an injunction, the NCDV will contact local firms to find a solicitor willing and able to take on the case as a matter of urgency. Where the victim chooses not to pursue public funding, the NCDV may offer to assist them in preparing their application and provide someone to act as McKenzie Friend at the hearing.
In response to requests from LSC contracted solicitors the Guidance was written in partnership with the NCDV.
The Guidance seeks to explain how the NCDV works, and the obligations of LSC contracted firms when working with the NCDV within the terms of the LSC's Unified Contract.