Lady Chief Justice backs pro bono power list

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By Rhys Duncan on


Recognising efforts across the legal profession

A new ‘Pro Bono Recognition List’ has been launched to recognise the pro bono contributions made by lawyers from all corners of the profession — and its received backing from the Lady Chief Justice.

Open to registered solicitors and barristers, both in private practice and in-house, individuals are able to submit their names to join the list if they have completed 25 hours or more of pro bono within the previous calendar year.

Endorsed by LCJ, Baroness Sue Carr, the initiative aims to “shine a light on the individual lawyers at firms and organisations of all sizes who are at the heart of providing pro bono across the jurisdiction”.

The programme is supported by a range of leading legal institutions and pro bono groups. These include: the Access to Justice Foundation, Advocate, Advocates for International Development, the Law Officers, the Bar Council, the Clinical Legal Education Organisation, the In-House Pro Bono Group, the Law Society, LawWorks, the National Pro Bono Centre and TrustLaw.

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Commenting on the launch, Baroness Carr said: “I am delighted to announce the launch of the Pro Bono Recognition List of England & Wales as its Patron. Solicitors and barristers have a long history of volunteering their time to provide free legal advice and representation to individuals and charities who cannot otherwise pay for help. I am keen through this new initiative to recognise all those lawyers who give their time pro bono to help others and make a difference in their community.”

Adding his support, Nick Emmerson, president of the Law Society, said:

“The Law Society supports the Pro Bono Recognition List and we urge all solicitors and barristers who have given 25 or more hours of legal pro bono support in the previous year to submit their name. It is a unique opportunity to recognise all those lawyers who give their time to provide legal assistance to those who cannot afford it. Pro bono work is just one way of bridging the gap between needs and legal representation by empowering individuals who would otherwise be left vulnerable and voiceless to access justice.”

Bar Council Chair, Sam Townend KC also added his endorsement, noting that, “almost half of all barristers had undertaken pro bono work in the last year, according to our 2023 survey of the bar. This and other legal professionals’ often unacknowledged work should be celebrated.”

Submissions for the list close on 24 May 2024. The list will be republished annually.

1 Comment

My Own Thoughts

I am a bit concerned with this. You may call me negative or pessimistic. But the idea of creating a list to highlight the people who go out of their way to provide Pro Bono will end up with Higher Ups/Management attempting to enforce higher hours of engagement to Pro Bono, without reducing the targeted Billable Hours of the Associate or Junior. This may create a higher workload for Associates to ensure that the name of the firm is on that list at the highest possible position while not sacrificing billing.

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