Birmingham Law Centre, which provided free legal help and representation in the city, has closed.
The centre, based at Coventry Road, posted a notice on its website advising clients it had shut following cuts to its funding and informing creditors they would be contacted by the Insolvency Service.
Earlier this year, law centre patron Lord Hunt, of Kings Heath, said it would be “a tragedy” for the city if it closed. The Small Heath centre dated back more than 100 years and employed four solicitors and eight caseworkers to assist around 2,000 of the most disadvantaged people in the city each year.
The Labour peer Lord Hunt said: “People can use the Citizens Advice Bureau and legal aid but what law centres have is the ability to deal with very complex cases. They do a great job, chiefly for very vulnerable people.”
Chief executive Peter Lowen added that the problem was in part as a result of the Government’s legal aid cuts but said other sources of funding had been “eroded by gradual cutbacks”.
The centre provided legal advice and representation on social welfare law for people who could not afford to go to a solicitor. It had specialist contracts from the Legal Services Commission to provide advice on debt, welfare benefits and housing and also carried out casework in community care and employment.
Its closure will leave a gap that could cost council and government agencies in the long run, according to Mr Lowen.