On Tuesday 26 September 2017, Shoosmiths took part in a ‘Pro Bono in Practice’ (sharing best practice on managing and delivering pro bono).
Organised by LawWorks, in conjunction with the Birmingham Law Society Pro Bono Committee, the event was very well attended with representatives from law firms, university law schools, the voluntary sector and students coming along to find out more about pro bono.
Introducing the event, Martin Barnes, Chief Executive LawWorks, gave an overview of LawWorks and spoke about the latest developments in pro bono including the Law Society’s Pro Bono Charter and Manual. Attendees also heard from Olga Ivannikova, Membership and Fundraising Officer LawWorks, who gave a full and comprehensive account of the many aspects of pro bono work LawWorks is involved in and invited law firms to become members.
Speakers from a number of law firms gave insights on a range of topics. Katie Rothwell and Amy Tabari, job share partners from Gowling WLG, explained the work they do in coordinating the vast array of pro bono work carried out by various teams within their firm. Michael Gallimore spoke about his firm’s deep, longstanding commitment to pro bono. In 1969 Hogan Lovells established a department entirely devoted to pro bono and they now have leading pro bono practices both in the UK and internationally. Next to speak was Aaron Keene, partner at The Wilkes Partnership in Birmingham. Aaron shared the story of his career long (30 years) commitment to pro bono and how he was instrumental in setting up the ‘Birmingham Family Court Litigants in Person Advice Scheme’, together with the PSU, in Birmingham.
Ashan Khan, associate in our Recoveries Services Group Mortgage team in Northampton, shared how he coordinates our award winning pro bono clinic in Northampton which has been operating since 2011. Summing up the evening Ashan said ‘It was a great evening and I loved listening to the different pro bono stories and journeys. It’s great to see so many people getting involved’
Finally, Linden Thomas, Chair of the Birmingham Law Society Pro Bono Committee encouraged everyone to get involved in pro bono and explained that there is plenty of help and support at hand. The Law Society’s Pro Bono Manual provides practical support as does LawWorks and the Birmingham Law Society Pro Bono Committee.