Top in-house lawyers to ramp up pro bono efforts with new pledge

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By Rhys Duncan on

GCs from Coca-Cola, ITV, Goldman Sachs and more

A host of FTSE100 companies and large UK brands have signed a pledge to boost the number of in-house lawyers carrying out vital pro bono work.

The UK In House Pro Bono Pledge has been signed by general councils from Coca-Cola, GSK, ITV, the London Stock Exchange, Ocado, Taylor Wimpey, Goldman Sachs, United Utilities, and Whitbread. The pledge asks GCs to commit to encouraging 25% of their UK-based lawyers to complete pro bono work in the next year, with that figure rising to 35% next year, and 50% by 2026.

The signatories have also committed to asking the external firms and chambers they work with to disclose details of their own pro bono activities and be clear in their support for the work.

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Commenting on the announcement, the Lady Chief Justice, Lady Carr, said: “Lawyers working in-house in companies nationwide are an integral part of our legal profession. I warmly welcome the new In House Pro Bono Pledge. In-house lawyers can make a valuable contribution to access to justice and I congratulate the companies who have signed this pledge already.”

Chair of the Attorney General’s Pro Bono Committee, Solicitor General Robert Courts KC MP, added:

“Pro bono work benefits both those who receive it and the lawyers that selflessly donate their time to deliver it. The In House Pro Bono Pledge is a fantastic initiative, enabling Britain’s biggest businesses to show corporate and social leadership by committing their legal teams to volunteer their time and skills to people who need it most, whatever their circumstances. I thank the companies that have signed the Pledge so far and look forward to hearing who follows them.”

The pledge has also been endorsed by the solicitor’s pro bono charity, LawWorks, and the bar’s pro bono charity, Advocate.

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