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.
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.
Date: 11 November 2015
Time: 4pm - 6pm
Venue: Law Society of Ireland
The current refugee crisis constitutes a great challenge for the European Union that we cannot ignore. Europe is witnessing very different responses from individual Member States but there is a need for a common response, for co-operation and policy coordination. How is Europe dealing with this humanitarian crisis? How should we share responsibility? What are the long term solutions? What now for Europe?
The International Affairs Talk is an annual event organised by the EU & International Affairs Committee of the Law Society which brings together high profile national and international speakers to discuss current international issues.
The VI Annual International Affairs Talk will bring together three experts in the field that would address the refugee crisis from three different perspectives: European, National and Non-Governmental. This event will be of interest to any professionals working in the area of migration and refugee law.
Edouard Schmidt, Policy Officer, European Commission, DG Migration and Home Affairs.
Commander Patrick Burke, Legal Officer, Naval Service.
Maria Hennessy, Legal Office, Irish Refugee Council Law Centre.
Prof. Siobhan Mullally, Professor of Law and Director of the Centre for Criminal Justice and Human Rights, UCC.
Click here for more information and to register.
The 2014 Index, compiled with data from over 100 firms, representing 36,000 lawyers in 69 countries, showed that respondent firms donated 1.55 million hours of free legal support in 2013 worth 8 million. Click here to read the 2014 findings.
TrustLaw is again inviting law firms to share information on their pro bono programmes for the 2015 Index. The Index is an invaluable tool to spread the practice of pro bono by highlighting successful pro bono programmes, providing benchmarks on engagement levels in different jurisdictions and demonstrating the amount of pro bono being done globally. In many countries, pro bono is an emerging area, and showing different ways of supporting pro bono initiatives, such as setting up a pro bono committee, incentivising pro bono and setting pro bono targets, can help lawyers the world over decide what is best for their firm.
For law firms that would like to participate, the survey must be completed here by Monday 6 April 2015. Before completing the survey, please read the TrustLaw Index of Pro Bono Definition of Qualifying Pro Bono and Survey Questions. These tools explain the information to be collected before answering the 31 survey questions.
Date: 11-13 November 2015
Location: Rome, Italy
The essential event for pro bono lawyers, NGO leaders, and others who are dedicated to using law to achieve social justice. PILnet’s 9th Annual European Pro Bono Forum will be held 11-13 November in Rome.
The Forum has played a major role in building support for pro bono across the continent and around the globe. By bringing together a growing community that recognises the urgent need for pro bono—leading figures from law firms, corporations, bar organizations, NGOs, and law schools—the event offers a setting where participants can explore how they can most effectively collaborate to address critical issues of social justice. Through interactive workshops, engaging social events, and structured networking opportunities, attendees gain insight into the pro bono community and forge alliances that can help deliver justice and protect rights around the world.
The 2015 Forum will feature issue-based workshops, including refugee rights, combating violence against women, climate change and human trafficking related workshops.
Click here to register and for full details on registration fee. Early bird rate is available until 9 October.
Click here for the full programme.
Date: Friday 7 March 2014
Time: 11:00 am with registration from 10:30 am
Venue: Buswells Hotel, 23 -27 Molesworth Street, Dublin 2
The report authors, Paul Joyce, FLAC's Senior Policy Analyst and Dr Stuart Stamp, Research Associate, NUI Maynooth, will present the report and its findings as well as a set of recommendations around consumer-proofing our legislative framework into the future.
REDRESSING THE IMBALANCE critically examines the legal protections available for consumers of credit and other financial services in Ireland. It identifies not only a number of serious deficiencies and gaps in such protections, but more fundamentally and worryingly, a systemic approach that has consistently served to prioritise the interests of financial service institutions over those of consumers. The report provides a detailed account of how European-level developments, piecemeal national legislation and conservative consumer regulation have combined to leave certain Irish financial service consumers –and in particular consumers of credit and distressed mortgage borrowers - particularly exposed.
Drawing on the experiences of consumers and their advocates, the study further highlights how such exposure can be compounded by difficulties accessing and using processes ostensibly designed to facilitate the resolution of complaints against providers. The report concludes with a series of recommendations as to how the imbalance in the Irish legal apparatus might be redressed from a financial service user perspective.
As space is limited pre-registration is essential. Please RSVP to email@example.com or phone 01 887 3600 and ask for Amy Heffron.