In-house lawyers, “bashed up” by justice secretary Michael Gove over the issue of pro bono, should have an “open debate” about making it compulsory, the chair of the GC100 Group has said. He was speaking during a panel debate to mark the start of National Pro Bono Week.
An influential think tank has called for the introduction of compulsory pro bono for lawyers, set at 10% of their “work output”. It said that for many lawyers, the law had become “no more than a revenue-generating business”.
CourtNav, an online tool designed to help litigants in person fill out court forms, could be offered not only by an advice service based at the High Court but by advice agencies around the country, it has emerged. It won the access to justice through IT award at this week’s Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year awards.
The grant of licences to alternative business structures (ABSs) should be contingent on firms agreeing to undertake pro bono work, a Liberal Democrat peer suggested last night.
Many of the regulations underpinning the regulatory regime for legal services – including those designating the Solicitors Regulation Authority and Council for Licensed Conveyancers as ABS licensing authorities – are under the microscope as part of the government’s Red Tape Challenge, it has emerged.
Would-be lawyers in New York will have to undertake 50 hours of pro bono work before they can qualify, the profession’s regulator has decided in a landmark move. It comes as 6,000 lawyers walked around London yesterday to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for legal charities.
The government is to consider tightening up the ban on referral fees in personal injury and also introducing statutory regulation of third-party litigation funding, it confirmed yesterday. It also clarified whether payments can be made for solicitor-to-solicitor referrals under the ban.
It is essential for law firms to offer better public legal education – including getting into schools, according to the Master of the Rolls – while alternative business structures could help pro bono provision, it was claimed at the launch of National Pro Bono Week on Monday.
The Law Society is set to examine the future direction of pro bono work in the wake of legal aid cuts, Legal Futures can reveal. It will also look at the role of pro bono in helping distinguish solicitors from post-Legal Services Act competitors and how corporate clients can better understand their legal advisers’ pro bono activity.