Four years on, and with Windrush survivors still experiencing barriers to compensation, more legal support is available.

On 22 June, to mark the annual Windrush Day, we are raising awareness of the free legal support available to help more than 11,000 survivors of the Windrush scandal. The programme aims to encourage more survivors, who were unlawfully detained, deported or denied their legal rights by the UK Government, and who are still to apply for compensation.

Following the launch of the Windrush Compensation Scheme in April 2019, only 7% of Windrush survivors have been compensated for the hardships and discrimination they unlawfully suffered.

Around £40 million has been reportedly paid to 1037 of the 3878 Windrush generation applicants. The Home Office estimated that around 15,000 were due compensation. Recent reports on the scheme by the Home Affairs Select Committee, JUSTICE and the Windrush Justice Clinic all concluded that the lack of government funded legal advice was a barrier to claimants bringing claims.

In April 2021 the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) in partnership with eight leading law firms (Taylor Wessing, Latham & Watkins, Charles Russell Speechlys, Dechert, Linklaters, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, Debevoise and White & Case) set up the Windrush Legal Initiative to provide legal advice and support for people to apply to the Windrush Compensation Scheme. In January 2022, the Windrush Legal Initiative transferred from JCWI to GMIAU. Over the last year it has assisted 29 people with their claims.

Over the coming year the programme aims to support more Windrush survivors. GMIAU have recently been awarded funding from the Access to Justice Foundation to provide outreach sessions to ensure work is targeted to those who most need it. 

Supervising Solicitor of GMIAU, Nicola Burgess said: “The initiative provides vital access to justice for those who have experienced decades of disbelief. An inability to prove lawful status denies a person their rights and prevents access to key services we take for granted. The human impact of this is immeasurable. Many survivors we work with have lost employment, been detained, threatened with deportation, made homeless, experienced the breakdown of relationships and have been unable to visit loved ones.  Working with our teams of lawyers they at last feel supported and listened to.” 

Survivors of the Windrush generation can contact Nicola Burgess at GMIAU ( to access further information and for legal support.