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Relocated residents get legal help to protect rights
( 2003-09-22 15:27) (eastday.com)

The nation's first team of lawyers providing legal consultation and service to people being relocated from their homes due to urban construction projects was set up in Shanghai over the weekend.

The 152 experienced lawyers working under the Shanghai Bar Association will help the relocated families protect their legal rights against real estate developers and removal companies, officials said.

The lawyers also promised to provide free legal aid to residents who can't afford to pay them.

"With development of the city's urban construction, disputes on removal and relocation have been increasing quickly," said Liu Fuyuan, an association official.

Liu says most city residents don't know how to fight developers if they aren't satisfied with the compensation they are offered when they are forced to leave their homes.

The association selected 152 lawyers from 80 local law firms to give appropriate guidance to residents on how to handle such disputes.

"Compared with real estate developers and removal companies, residents are in inferior position. Many of them are in need of a professional aid from lawyers," said Lu Hongbin, an association spokesman.

"However, many of the relocated people don't know how and where to find a proper attorney. The lawyer team aims to give them a hand in a quick and convenient way," Lu added

The association publicized the names and contact information of the 152 lawyers in local newspapers and on two Websites (www.lawyers.com.cn and law.eastday.com).

"The compensation provided by the removal company is too low to be accepted, I plan to negotiate for a more reasonable price.

I hope to find a good lawyer to represent me through the team," said Helen Ma, who is being forced out of her home on Ruijin Road to make way for a new real estate project.

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