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UK business leaders commit to support pro bono legal cases

UK business leaders commit to support pro bono legal cases


This marks a significant stride towards corporate responsibility and enhanced access to justice

The UK In House Pro Bono Pledge, a ground-breaking commitment spearheaded by General Counsels at FTSE 100 companies and other major UK employers, including:

  1. Airtel Africa plc
  2. Coca-Cola Europacific Partners plc
  3. GSK plc
  4. ITV plc
  5. London Stock Exchange Group plc
  6. Ocado Group plc
  7. Taylor Wimpey plc
  8. The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
  9. United Utilities PLC
  10. Whitbread PLC

This collective endeavour is poised to reshape the landscape of pro bono legal services, aligning corporate responsibility with Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) goals. The initiative, born out of collaboration between the In-House Pro Bono Group, the National Pro Bono Centre, and GC100, aims to leverage the legal expertise within these organisations to address societal challenges and advance equitable access to justice.

Central to the pledge are ambitious targets, set to be achieved by 2026, wherein 50% of UK-based in-house lawyers are committed to undertaking pro bono work. This forward-looking goal underscores a shared commitment among business leaders to utilise their legal resources for the greater good, reflecting a dedication to social justice and community empowerment.

Moreover, the pledge emphasises transparency and accountability within the legal sector. Signatories have pledged to seek additional disclosure from panel firms and barristers' chambers regarding their pro bono activities. This commitment to transparency underscores a broader commitment to ethical practice and social impact within the legal profession.

Pro bono legal services hold profound significance, particularly amidst the current socioeconomic climate characterised by a cost-of-living crisis and heightened financial vulnerabilities. As individuals and community groups grapple with legal challenges, the demand for accessible legal assistance has never been more acute. Pro bono services serve as a lifeline, offering crucial legal support to those who cannot afford representation, thereby promoting equity and justice for all.

The In-House Pro Bono Pledge reaffirms the commitment of these organisations to social responsibility and community engagement. By encouraging their legal teams to engage in pro bono work, these companies are not only providing vital support to underserved communities but also fostering a culture of giving back and making a tangible difference in people's lives.

The initiative has garnered widespread acclaim from key figures within the legal community, including Lady Chief Justice Lady Carr and Solicitor General Robert Courts KC MP, who commend its potential to enhance access to justice and promote social cohesion. Furthermore, the endorsement of organisations such as LawWorks, Advocate, BACFI, and TrustLaw underscores the broad support for this transformative initiative within the legal sector.

As more companies join this movement and embrace the In-House Pro Bono Pledge, the impact of pro bono work will continue to expand, driving positive change and empowering individuals and communities across the UK. This collective commitment represents not only a significant step towards a more inclusive and equitable legal system but also a testament to the power of collaboration in advancing social justice and corporate responsibility.

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