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Two schemes launched in memory to Hackney Community Law centre senior lawyer Nat Mathews


Two schemes launched in memory to Hackney Community Law centre senior lawyer Nat Mathews


Nat Mathews was a much-loved lawyer who worked at Hackney Community Law Centre (HCLC) for nearly thirty years, and who died two years ago in April 2022. As part of the Memorial to Nat Mathews, HCLC Board has agreed to two schemes:


It is two years since Nathaniel Mathews tragically died, well before his time. Since then, staff and trustees from Hackney Community Law Centre have reflected on how best to serve his memory and his work. This included consulting with his immediate family and friends.


A memorial plaque has already been installed on a bench in nearby St John’s Gardens where Nat often walked and sat, working on his cases.


1. Nathaniel Mathews Memorial Training Fund

HCLC is setting up a fund to enable staff paralegals and those in training to take and complete their legal studies training towards qualification as solicitor. It will be restricted to those students who are eligible to take the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) which will eventually replace the Legal Practice Course (LPC) route to practice.

The criteria for applicants is one of the following:

* Studying, at the same time as the SQE, on one of the following related courses: postgraduate diploma in law or LLM;

* Refugee or BME background;

* Financial hardship

Applications for financial support will be assessed at least twice a year with grant recommendation and formal approval made by the HCLC Treasurer.


2. The Nat Mathews Award for excellence or innovation in housing work in the Law Centres sector:

A cash award of £1,000 each year will be given for five years. To be judged by a small panel of LCN and HCLC.

"This award is for new or original work in the field of housing, which involves improvements in the life of tenants, the establishment of their rights, or improvements in the law regarding tenancy or benefits. To show excellence/innovation around a justice issue, getting the message across to the public, to other professionals, involving the work and importance of law centres, reflecting Nat Mathews' blog approach of 'lifting the lid' on the realities in consultation and in court."