The Children’s Pro Bono Service provides free legal services to children with an entitlement to British citizenship

The Children’s Pro Bono Legal Service (CPBLS) is a collaboration between Coram Children’s Legal Centre (CCLC) and global law firms Allen and Overy and DLA Piper.

CCLC works with lawyers at the partner firms, working pro bono, in order to provide free legal services to children and young people who would otherwise be unable to access legal support due to the unavailability of legal aid. The service allows children in the UK to apply for and enjoy British citizenship. The service addresses the huge gap between the tens of thousands of children with a legal entitlement to apply for British citizenship and the number of children who apply in practice.

An award-winning project

CCLC and its partner firms developed a different model from that historically seen in the UK. Instead of providing capacity for one-off advice clinics the project takes on cases and provides end-to-end representation. Casework is carried out by volunteer lawyers from the partner firms who are trained and supervised by a specialist immigration solicitor at CCLC.

This innovation led to the CPBLS winning the prestigious Law Works award for most effective pro bono partnership in 2015.


At present, the CPBLS is taking referrals for children’s cases where the child can make an application for registration as a British citizen by entitlement. To be able to make this kind of application, a child must meet the criteria under one of the following rules:

Born in the UK, lived there for 10 years

Born in the UK, parents have subsequently become settled

If a child meets one of the rules above, then make a referral online here.

There are other types of entitlement applications that the CPBLS may be able to help with – if you have any questions or concerns please email