Top City law firms back pro-bono initiative for non-legal staff

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By William Holmes on


Fifth Day encourages business professionals working in the legal sector to donate their time and skills

A raft of UK law firms have signed up to become members of Fifth Day, a non-profit organisation that promotes pro bono opportunities for law firms’ business operations teams.

The programme was launched in June by the former head of corporate communications at Pinsent Masons, Fred Banning, with the aim of extending pro-bono opportunities to those working in non-lawyer roles, including IT, business development, marketing and finance.

Over 10 leading UK law firms have now signed a letter committing to promoting pro-bono opportunities to their 10,000 plus business ops staff.

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Amongst the signatories are Burness Paull, Clyde & Co, Dentons, Eversheds Sutherland, Fieldfisher, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Gateley, Kennedys, Mills & Reeve, Pinsent Masons, Reed Smith and Watson Farley & Williams.

Commenting on the support, Fifth Day founder Banner said:

“It is really heartening that so many of the leading law firms have embraced the concept of non-legal pro bono. The great thing is that none of the conversations I have had with firms has revolved around ‘this is why pro bono is a good idea’. They know the benefits for their lawyers, and so making the case for extending a culture of pro bono to their business services teams is not a massive leap. It’s a win for the firms, their employees and the third sector organisations we’re trying to help.”

“It’s no secret that we’re in for a tough winter in the UK, and the work of third sector organisations has arguably never been more important. This is a really tangible way for individuals to get involved and help, with the support of their employers. I hope that as time goes on more firms will see fit to join in with us,” he added.

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