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Over 3,500 solicitors and barristers across England & Wales celebrated in inaugural Pro Bono Recognition List endorsed by Lady Chief Justice

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Over 3,500 solicitors and barristers across England & Wales celebrated in inaugural Pro Bono Recognition List endorsed by Lady Chief Justice

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The Pro Bono Recognition List honors 3,760 lawyers for their pro bono work, endorsed by Lady Chief Justice

The Attorney General’s Pro Bono Committee is proud to announce the publication of the inaugural Pro Bono Recognition List of England & Wales, recognizing over 3,500 solicitors and barristers for their dedication to providing pro bono services. This list acknowledges the contributions of lawyers who have given 25 or more hours of pro bono legal assistance over the previous calendar year.

This year's inaugural Recognition List features 3,760 lawyers, with 3,284 solicitors and 476 barristers being celebrated for their commitment to pro bono work. The list highlights the crucial role of these individual lawyers and their efforts to provide legal assistance to those who might not otherwise receive it. It is supported by its patron, The Lady Chief Justice of England & Wales, The Baroness Carr of Walton-on-the-Hill.

The Lady Chief Justice commented: “I welcome the inaugural publication of the Pro Bono Recognition List of England & Wales. The judiciary sees first-hand the importance of pro bono advice and representation in assisting those who might not otherwise receive legal help. I am pleased to recognize and thank all those solicitors and barristers who have undertaken 25 hours or more of pro bono work over the last year. I hope that recognition on the List encourages the legal profession to continue its commitment to providing pro bono help to those in need.”

Nick Emmerson, President of the Law Society, stated: “The Pro Bono Recognition List highlights the incredible dedication of the lawyers who volunteered their time and expertise to help people who cannot afford legal representation. The generosity of these lawyers ensures justice is not just for the privileged. They offer a lifeline to people with legal issues but without the financial means to address them. This list reminds us of the crucial role pro bono plays in our society, filling the gaps left by an overburdened and underfunded legal aid system.”

Sam Townend KC, Chair of the Bar Council, also celebrated the launch: “We are delighted that almost 500 barristers have been named on the first Pro Bono Recognition List in England and Wales. It is great that 476 barristers, together with the other legal professionals named, are celebrated for volunteering to help ensure access to justice and towards plugging the gap in legal aid funding. The 40% real-term reduction in government spending on legal aid for barristers over the past 14 years means that this work is the only means that thousands have of obtaining professional advice and representation. Congratulations to all those named - thank you for championing justice.”

Toby Brown, Chair of the Attorney General’s Committee Steering Group, added: “Based on the really positive response to this cross-profession collaborative initiative, we are looking forward early next year to announcing how lawyers can submit their names for pro bono work completed during 2024.”

The initiative is supported by several organizations, including 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.

The Pro Bono Recognition List celebrates the significant contributions of solicitors and barristers who have dedicated their time to providing free legal assistance, highlighting the importance of pro bono work in ensuring access to justice for all.

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