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The Attorney General’s Pro Bono Committee has launched the inaugural Pro Bono Recognition List of England & Wales, designed to recognise the pro bono commitment of the legal profession. The Recognition List is supported by its patron The Lady Chief Justice of England & Wales, Baroness Sue Carr of Walton-on-the-Hill.

Solicitors and barristers in England and Wales are invited to submit their names to join The Recognition List and be recognised for the valuable contribution they make in providing pro bono legal help to those in need. Submissions can be made up to the deadline of 24th May 2024. 

The Pro Bono Recognition List, published annually, is open to solicitors and barristers who have dedicated 25 or more hours of pro bono legal assistance in the previous calendar year.

The Lady Chief Justice of England and Wales, The Baroness Carr of Walton-on-the-Hill (pictured), said:

“I am delighted to announce the launch of the Pro Bono Recognition List of England & Wales as its Patron. Solicitors and barristers have a long history of volunteering their time to provide free legal advice and representation to individuals and charities who cannot otherwise pay for help. I am keen through this new initiative to recognise all those lawyers who give their time pro bono to help others and make a difference in their community.”

Private practice and in-house lawyers are invited to submit their names via the website before the 24 May 2024 deadline and law firms and organisations wishing to submit multiple lawyers are welcome to do so. Solicitors and barristers are eligible if they appear on the Solicitor’s Register and Barrister’s Register.

Set up under the sponsorship of the Attorney General’s Pro Bono Committee, with the support of the Law Society, Bar Council and all major pro bono legal organisations, the Recognition List aims to shine a light on the individual lawyers at firms and organisations of all sizes who are at the heart of providing pro bono across the jurisdiction.

On behalf of the Attorney General’s Committee, Chair of the Steering Group, Toby Brown explained:

“The initiative was developed with cross-sector collaboration, with the support of the professional bodies and the national pro bono organisations, reflecting a shared goal that lawyers from all sizes of organisation should be recognised for their pro bono commitment.”

Nick Emmerson, President of the Law Society, added his support, and said:

“The Law Society supports the Pro Bono Recognition List and we urge all solicitors and barristers who have given 25 or more hours of legal pro bono support in the previous year to submit their name. It is a unique opportunity to recognise all those lawyers who give their time to provide legal assistance to those who cannot afford it. Pro bono work is just one way of bridging the gap between needs and legal representation by empowering individuals who would otherwise be left vulnerable and voiceless to access justice.

“Pro bono has a profound impact on the lives of countless people and communities. This initiative emphasises the commitment of the legal profession to the values of fairness and equality.”

Bar Council Chair, Sam Townend KC also endorsed the Recognition List. He said:

“Almost half of all barristers had undertaken pro bono work in the last year, according to our 2023 survey of the Bar. This and other legal professionals’ often unacknowledged work should be celebrated. While no replacement for a fully funded legal aid system, pro bono work is a necessary part of our system and says something important about the legal community’s commitment to seeking to ensure access to legal advice and representation. Our thanks should be given to all of those who volunteer their professional time in this worthy endeavour.”

The list of organisations supporting the initiative includes the Access to Justice Foundation, Advocate, Advocates for International Development, the Law Officers, the Bar Council, the Clinical Legal Education Organisation, the In-House Pro Bono Group, the Law Society, LawWorks, the National Pro Bono Centre and TrustLaw.

Make your submission to the Pro Bono Recognition List

For more details and to make a submission, click here.