A FREE clinic providing commercial law advice launched this month, for small newly-established businesses and budding entrepreneurs.

Conducted by Southend law firm BTMK Solicitors, the clinic has been set up as part of a new partnership with the University of Essex.

The advice sessions are delivered by undergraduate law students working with members of BTMK Solicitors. The aim of the sessions is to offer professional advice on all matters of business law including contract law, employment law, and intellectual property rights.

Richard Owen, director of the university’s law clinic, said: “Only 50 per cent of businesses smaller businesses use lawyers, and only as a last resort. Our new service will make it much easier for small businesses to access the expert legal advice they need to thrive.”

The initiative gives Essex students the opportunity to work face-to-face with local business men and women, developing their interviewing and client care skills.

Emma Jenkins, solicitor at BTMK Solicitors, said: “It is crucial businesses and individuals alike are able to access the legal advice they require. BTMK are proud to be working in conjunction with the University of Essex in this initiative as part of their dedication to the local economy”.

For details on dates, session times and how to register, go to lawclinic@essex.ac.uk