The firm has appointed Darryl Annett, an experienced criminal lawyer, to lead the charge in Melbourne and grow the firm in the state.
Salvos Legal currently provides free legal services in New South Wales, Queensland, and nationwide through a telephone service for rural and remote areas. Salvos Legal, wholly owned by the Salvation Army, uses all the profit from its commercial operations to fund Salvos Legal Humanitarian. The opening in Melbourne means the firm will now provide full coverage of the Eastern seaboard.
“Having a Melbourne headquarters for our humanitarian work will allow us to extend our reach and serve a diverse range of communities who otherwise do not have access to government funded legal services,” said Luke Geary, founder and managing partner of Salvos Legal and Salvos Legal Humanitarian.
Geary said the firm’s humanitarian practice groups already see around 200 cases each week for free.
“Once our Melbourne Salvos Legal Humanitarian service is fully operational, I anticipate we will be able to service almost 300 cases each week throughout Australia, at no cost to government or Salvation Army donors,” Geary said. “This is all thanks to the support we receive from our commercial fee-paying clients who trust us as their legal advisers, many of whom are headquartered in Melbourne.”
Annett becomes partner after working as principal solicitor for The Salvation Army in Melbourne since 2012. He was a solicitor advocate with Robert Stary & Assoc Criminal Defence Lawyers and spent 11 years with the Office of Public Prosecutions in Victoria.
Annett said that with cuts to government-funded legal aid programs, “many disadvantaged people have little prospect of accessing legal support or the expertise of someone who can represent their interests and give them sound advice.”
“The Salvos have the signature characteristic of being there to catch people as they fall between the cracks, and in the practice of law, Salvos Legal plays a critical role in supporting this group of people,” he said.
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Salvos Legal will soon be opening its doors in Victoria and establish its first humanitarian legal service in the state in the Melbourne CBD.