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Review Your SQE 1 Practice Records

Examination Timing: 00H00M37S

Mr. Thompson, a wheelchair user, has recently instructed a firm of solicitors regarding a legal matter. The firm's office is located on the first floor of a building with only one point of entry, which is via a set of very steep steps. Given Mr. Thompson's disability and the lack of accessible entry, which of the following statements best reflects the firm's legal obligations under the Equality Act 2010?

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Assuming Mr. Thompson is considered disabled for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010 ("the Act"), the firm is obligated to make reasonable adjustments in accordance with sections 20 and 21 of the Act. The duty comprises three requirements, and in this scenario, section 20(4) of the Act is pertinent because a physical feature (the steep steps) places a disabled person (Mr. Thompson) at a substantial disadvantage compared to non-disabled persons. The firm must take reasonable steps to avoid this disadvantage. The firm will be liable for failure to make such reasonable adjustments under section 21 of the Act. Importantly, Mr. Thompson does not need to be employed by the firm to make a claim, nor must he have suffered direct financial loss. 

Key Point: The Equality Act 2010 imposes a duty on service providers, including solicitors, to make reasonable adjustments for disabled individuals to prevent substantial disadvantages. This obligation is proactive and does not depend on the disabled individual making a complaint or suffering financial loss.

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