Law firm backing charity’s legal advice team

Jane Hodge, Director, Biscoes Law in Hampshire.

Jane Hodge, Director, Biscoes Law in Hampshire.

A national armed forces charity is developing closer links with an independent legal network backed by a Hampshire law firm.

SSAFA – the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association – is being helped through advice and training by Forces Law.

Jane Hodge, Solicitor and Director at Biscoes in Portsmouth, is this year’s Forces Law Chairwoman and is working to increase awareness of the organisation.

She said: “We have been working closely with SSAFA for around 18 months, especially supporting their legal helpline.

“They forward to Forces Law clients who need specialist professional advice and who they are unable to advise themselves due to legal restrictions.”

SSAFA, the world’s oldest national tri-service military charity, was founded 130 years ago and today supports 55,000 veterans, service personnel and families each year – or 150 cases a day.

Forces Law is also training members of SSAFA’s 7,000-strong team of volunteers who man the charity’s helpline, especially referencing where they can direct callers for specialist help.

And Jane was invited to address the recent 150-delegate SSAFA Caseworking Conference in Northamptonshire about Forces Law.

She said: “By raising the profile of Forces Law we are finding we can help more people, and events like this certainly increase awareness.”

Forces Law, a network of independent firms of solicitors throughout the UK offering a comprehensive legal service for armed forces members, is now finding more firms wanting to join.

Jane said: “We are hoping to plug gaps in our UK coverage, especially Scotland and north west England, but we can always help clients, wherever they may be.”

Biscoes was a founder member of Forces Law due in no small way to the strong military presence in Portsmouth.

The firm is staging a training day for Forces Law solicitors and support staff on October 18 at its North End headquarters in the city.

Biscoes, which has 100 staff and was awarded Hampshire Law Society Firm of the Year (Small) 2016 in May, is headquartered in Portsmouth and also has offices in Portchester, Wickham, Waterlooville and Petersfield.

Biscoes, which traces its roots back 162 years, merged with highly-regarded commercial specialist Graeme Quar & Co in April as the firm continues to expand.

The firm is a member of a number of professional associations, including the Law Society, Hampshire Law Society, The Notaries Society, the Charity Law Association, Portsmouth Property Association and Hampshire Chamber of Commerce.

 

Notes to Editors:

Biscoes Law, Kingston Place, Kingston Crescent, North End, Portsmouth, Hampshire PO2 8AQ.  023 9266 0261 www.biscoes-law.co.uk
Fax: 023 9266 2970, email: info@biscoes-law.co.uk

Biscoes Law, which traces its roots back 162 years and is led by managing director Alison Lee, is headquartered in Portsmouth and has five other offices in Gosport, Portchester, Wickham, Waterlooville and Petersfield. Staff number more than 100, including 28 fee-earners.

Biscoes Law is a member of a number of professional associations, including the Law Society, Hampshire Law Society, Notary Services, the Charity Law Association, Portsmouth Property Association and Hampshire Chamber of Commerce. The practice is also part of LawNet, the UK and Ireland’s leading network of independent law firms promoting excellence and providing a range of benefits for members.

Biscoes Law has the Law Society’s legal practice quality mark Lexcel, for excellence in legal practice management and client care, and is accredited with the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme. The firm is among 900 or so practising notaries in England and Wales – duties include authenticating legal documents for use abroad, including for people intending to marry or work overseas.

Historically, the long established Portsmouth based firms of Biscoe Smith, Heather and Bellinger, Cousins Burbidge & Connor and Lyndhurst Groves merged in 1994 to form Biscoes Cousins Groves. In 2004 in the Firm’s 150th year, Biscoes absorbed Wilkinson & Co and merged with King and Franckeiss, both well respected local firms.

Subsequently in 2005 a merger with Covers added a Petersfield office to an already impressive list of locations, which was closely followed by the opening of an office in Gosport. In 2006 a Portchester branch was created following the link up with the long established practice of Barry Swanton & Co. In 2016 commercial specialist Graeme Quar & Co also came under the Biscoes Law banner

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