This year national Pro Bono Week takes place from 2 - 6 November 2020 to recognise and support the voluntary contribution made by lawyers across the UK in giving free legal help to those in need.
Shoosmiths has always had an impressive track record of providing legal advice on a pro bono basis to individuals, charities and community groups – so, we want to take this opportunity to recognise and say thank you to everyone at the firm who volunteers their time and expertise to provide pro bono legal advice. This includes supporting pro bono clinic services for individual clients in Edinburgh, Leeds, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Northampton and Reading.
By way of a few recent activities underway:
- One pro bono project very close to our heart has been advising on the development of Solent Mind’s wellbeing app. Business Advisory partner, Fiona Teague led the pro bono advice along with Mark Kramer, Lauren Midgley and Heather Stark from the Commercial practice group supporting mental health charity Solent Mind with the launch of a new wellbeing app. Feedback from the charity demonstrates just how invaluable the team’s pro bono support has been.
A representative at Solent Mind said: “Thank you all again for the incredible work and effort you have put into this for us. It really will help a lot of people in what can only be described as some very difficult times ahead. The Solent Mind wellbeing app is now available to be downloaded for free from Google Play or the App Store.”
Fiona Teague said: “It has been our privilege, as a cross discipline Shoosmiths team, to support Solent Mind with the legal aspects of their wellbeing app project. To see the fantastic, interactive wellbeing app concept turned into reality when people need it most in these Covid times is most humbling. We congratulate our office charity partner, Solent Mind on this successful launch and I would urge everyone to download the app – there really is something there for everyone.”
- Karen Howard and Mark Kramer from the London office, with help from colleagues in employment and commercial, continue to advise a new charity, I Can Be as honorary counsel. I Can Be sits squarely within the firm’s commitment to social mobility. By introducing disadvantaged primary-aged girls from inner-city London schools to women in a wide variety of jobs and professions the charity seeks to instil curiosity and confidence in the girls, whilst exposing them to jobs that they may never otherwise have been exposed to or may have otherwise dismissed as being ‘male’ jobs.
A representatives at I Can Be charity said: ‘We are incredibly fortunate to have Shoosmiths as our honorary counsel – and we are reminded of this every time we work with Karen, Mark and each fantastically helpful colleague brought in for their specialism. As well as having this amazing opportunity to have access to such top legal expertise, the guidance we are given is always very clear and carefully tailored to our very specific needs – the relationship has been a huge asset to the charity.’
- Partner Michael Briggs and principal associate Natalie Aldread have been providing ongoing support to Tollerton Playgroup Parent Committee – a charity requiring employment and property litigation advice on a complex legal issue relating to the lease of their premises.
Clare Farley, the charity’s joint chair/trustee said: “Natalie, Michael and the team at Shoosmiths have been a pleasure to work with. Their service, knowledge, professionalism and attention to detail were second to none. The team worked with us to unpick the issues and offer advice on all aspects of the problem.”
- We have launched our fourth annual pro bono challenge to our first year trainees, asking them to undertake supervised pro bono work to assist charities addressing the global Sustainable Development Goals. We look forward to sharing their successes and in the meantime you can find out how our previous first year trainees got on here.
Earlier this year the firm made a commitment to stepping up its commitment to pro bono. One particular element of this commitment was to increase the number of pro bono initiatives the firm is able to support, which specifically contribute to progress on diversity and inclusion. The Diversity and Inclusion and Corporate Responsibility teams are now working together to develop a range of new pro bono opportunities for colleagues across the business to get involved in.
To read more and to download Solent Mind’s free wellbeing app, click here.