PILI is pleased to announce that the first European Pro Bono Award was bestowed upon Lord Andrew Phillips of Sudbury, a leader in advancing pro bono work in the UK and throughout Europe, at the fourth annual European Pro Bono Forum on 19 November. Solicitor, Life Peer and member of the upper house of parliament, Phillips seized the opportunity in accepting the award to motivate lawyers attending the Paris Forum to take on more pro bono work as part of their privileged position in society.
PILI created the European Pro Bono Award to recognize extraordinary contributions to advancing pro bono culture throughout Europe in the pursuit of justice for all. Lord Phillips founded the law firm Bates, Wells & Braithwaite, has been at the forefront in helping to ensure that more firms take on volunteer legal work to improve the lives of the less fortunate and established three national charities, including the Solicitors Pro Bono Group (now LawWorks), which provides free legal help to individuals and organizations.
For more coverage of the award ceremony and Phillips' remarks, please click here.
The Public Interest Law Institute looks forward to presenting the next European Pro Bono Award at the 2011 European Pro Bono Forum, which will be held in Berlin. For more coverage and photos from the Forum in Paris, visit PILI's Facebook page here.
The National Pro Bono Centre is to open late this summer at Chancery Lane in London. This key resource will be home to England and Wales' national clearing houses for legal pro bono work, and will provide a fundamental centre for those seeking pro bono legal advice and representation. This unique connection between the three bodies - the Bar Pro Bono Unit, the ILEX Pro Bono Forum and LawWorks (the Solicitors' Pro Bono Group) will be crucial to improving collaboration and co-ordination in the pro bono sector.
For further information on the National Pro Bono Centre, please click here.
Three UK pro bono organisations representing the three branches of the legal profession (Bar Pro Bono Unit, LawWorks, ILEX Pro Bono Forum) have combined to establish the National Pro Bono Centre. This is intended to provide a central resource for individuals and organisations seeking pro bono legal assistance. Its formal launch took place on 19th October 2010.
Please click here to see the press release.
David Hobart, Chief Executive of the Bar Council said "...the significance of the National Pro Bono Centre is the facility for all three arms of the legal profession to come together in their work in the public interest...".
The UK Attorney General Dominic Grieve QC MP welcomed the centre, saying "...the work done in the name of pro bono is indispensable. It makes a real difference to people who need legal help but cannot afford to pay for it...". Robin Knowles CBE QC said "...pro bono is part of being a lawyer".
This centre is not intended to replace legal aid but facilitates access to a range of legal expertise. Sponsors include companies, barristers chambers and law firms big and small.
A pro bono group, "New Beginning" has been set up. The group, made up of lawyers, business people and concerned citizens, was launched on 31 October 2010 with the intention of representing defendants in repossession cases as well as mounting test cases ito establish whether lending institutions owe a duty of care to borrowers, and if so whether such a duty was breached.
Co-founder of the pro bono group, Ross Martin SC wrote a piece in the Irish Times days before the group was launched, exploring the potential tort of reckless lending. He referred to the Consumer Protection Code issued by the Financial Regulator in 2006, which outlines that lenders must ensure that in all its customer dealings, "it acts honestly, fairly and professionally in the best interests of its customers and the integrity of the market; and acts with due skill, care and diligence in the best interests of its customers". This movement towards a relationship "akin to that between professional advisers and their clients" results in the question as to whether the law of negligence can be applied and whether a duty of care is owed to the borrower.
This pro bono group aims to explore such issues, with the hope that the test cases may result in the banks taking their share of the blame.
Those involved in "New Beginning" are working on a voluntary basis and call for mortgage holders in difficulty to submit their files for review. New Beginning is also calling for any professional volunteers who are willing to give time and advice to contact them.
For more information on the group please click here, or phone 01 871 9499.
Please click here to see a FLAC press release calling for homeowners' needs to be prioritised.
Since its founding at Columbia Law School in 1997, the Public Interest Law Institute (PILI) has matured into an organisation with offices in four countries and programming that extends around the world. To better reflect their strategy of bringing together networks of a global nature, they are crafting a new organisational identity. From 1 January 2011, PILI will become PILnet: The Global Network for Public Interest Law.
To view more about PILI, please click here.
One of PILA's ongoing objectives is to develop pro bono initiatives to match legal expertise with the legal needs of NGOs working with marginalised and disadvantaged people. Through their lawyers' register PILA involves practitioners in public interest law through e.g. legal education, legal advice, legal research, law reform submissions, case-work.
We would be delighted to hear from practitioners in all areas of work and in particular those with expertise in any of the following: charities; corporate governance; employment; equality; family; housing; human rights; immigration and asylum; landlord and tenant; mental health; public law; and social welfare.
If you practise within a law firm or in-house we would be delighted to discuss pro bono opportunities of interest to your firm or company.
If you are interested in this opportunity to apply your legal skills in a new context, please contact PILA's Legal Officer, Jo Kenny, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The information contained on this website is for information purposes only, it is not to be construed as legal advice. FLAC accepts no responsibility for actions taken on foot of this website or for the content of external websites or information sources referred to within it.