The success rate for asylum seekers with legal assistance is four times that of those without it, says a group providing free legal help to claimants. The Hong Kong Refugee Advice Centre, established in June last year, is the only organisation in the city to provide advice on refugee-status applications submitted to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Brian Barbour, executive director of the centre, said its success rate was 46 per cent, compared with 10 per cent for applicants overall. As a non-profit organisation, the centre provides full representation and advisory services to people filling in asylum applications to the UNHCR. 'We screen the case first, then decide whether to provide legal assistance or not,' Mr Barbour said. 'Currently, the centre is providing full representation for five cases each month, and various kinds of legal advice to at least 50 people each month. Lawyers from the centre provide legal advice on the process of filling in the application form for refugee status. 'Some cases take a few weeks, but some take about six months.' The centre is supported by five law firms that volunteer their services free of charge. About 100 lawyers and 15 interpreters are trained to provide legal assistance.