London Calling: A Roundtable Discussion on Pro Bono in Today’s U.K.
PBI returns to London for the second time in two weeks on October 27, and will meet with a number of law firms and nonprofit organizations working on pro bono matters. With the U.K.’s National Pro Bono Week fast approaching, discussion of the current challenges of pro bono practice in Britain is a timely topic. It is one that a prominent group of pro bono lawyers and professionals recently discussed and debated at a roundtable convened by the Law Society Gazette, the official magazine of the Law Society of England and Wales, a roundtable participant. The roundtable’s other participants were representatives of Hogan Lovells*†, Clifford Chance, OH Parsons, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer†, TLT Solicitors, LawWorks, RCJ Advice Bureau, and the Bar Council.
The roundtable discussion touched on a variety of observations, including the fact that pro bono hour contributions over the last two decades have risen significantly among many British firms and legal departments. In addition, the Law Society has found that there is genuine enthusiasm for pro bono work in the legal profession. Finally, roundtable participants agreed that the public may not always be aware of the positive contributions lawyers make through their pro bono work because such work is not always publicized. As one roundtable participant stated, “Asked why we do pro bono work, the answer is simply that we have always done pro bono.”
London is calling, and PBI is on its way to learn more!
* denotes a Signatory to the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge®
† denotes a Member of the Law Firm Pro Bono Project