Pro Bono Charter
Signing the charter shows your practice is committed to improving access to justice.
Benefits of signing the charter
- Invitations to our pro bono forums where you’ll have the opportunity to help shape the pro bono agenda
- A three-month trial membership of LawWorks, including access to their online information and resources
- Use of our Pro Bono Charter logo when you submit an annual impact report
How to sign the charterYou can sign the Pro Bono Charter using the form below. You’ll need to nominate someone at your firm to be your pro bono contact.
Your organisation can sign the charter if it either:
- is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and at has least one SRA-regulated solicitor providing pro bono services, or
- employs a practising SRA-regulated solicitor who's managing your pro bono programme or services
By signing the charter, your organisation agrees it:
- is (or will be) developing a pro bono programme
- has endorsed the joint pro bono protocol, and
- will provide a contact responsible for pro bono
If you’re not sure if your organisation qualifies to join, contact our pro bono policy adviser, Valerie Robertson.
Statement of commitment to the Pro Bono Charter
We believe that a commitment to access to justice is at the heart of the legal profession and that pro bono work, as one method of achieving this, is an integral part of the working lives of solicitors.
Pro bono legal work is always only an adjunct to, and not a substitute for, a proper system of publicly funded legal services.
Pro bono acts as an adjunct to state funded services, which provides an exceptionally important contribution to society, helping many vulnerable people, families on lower incomes, charities and international communities, whose legal needs would otherwise be left unmet.
We recognise that at all stages throughout their career, solicitors have the capacity to use their professional expertise to help those with legal needs and we will strive to encourage a commitment to pro bono throughout the solicitor profession.
Accordingly, we will:
- strive to achieve best practice in our pro bono work, for individuals and organisations, who require legal advice in order to access justice but who cannot afford it
- support the development of best practice in pro bono by sharing examples of practical activities and advice, as appropriate
- work with other charter signatories to develop and adopt future protocols and best practice guidance that support the practical implementation of the aims of this Pro Bono Charter
- endeavour to contribute a biennial report on pro bono – for example, providing data and/or case studies – the content of the report and form of data to be decided following consultation with charter signatories
- take responsibility for meeting our Pro Bono Charter commitments
As a minimum sign of commitment to pro bono, we agree that we have (or are developing):
- a pro bono policy
- an identified person or committee responsible for pro bono work
- endorsed the joint pro bono protocol
Signing up to the Pro Bono Charter is easy and applications can be made using the form below. You'll need to supply details of a pro bono identified contact.
For enquiries about the charter, please contact our pro bono policy adviser, Valerie Robertson.
The signatories below believe that, by being a signatory to the Pro Bono Charter, their law firm or organisation is demonstrating its commitment to improving access to justice for those individuals and organisations who have legal needs and are ineligible for legal aid and unable to afford to pay for legal services.
Akin Gump LLP
Alison Law Solicitors LLP
Allen & Overy LLP
Amjad Malik Solicitors
Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer (UK) LLP
Bates, Wells & Braithwaite LLP
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
Charles Russell Speechlys
Clifford Chance LLP
Clyde & Co LLP
CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang
Covington & Burling LLP
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
Dentsu Aegis Network
DLA Piper LLP
East Greenwich Legal Advice Clinic
Eversheds Sutherland LLP
Farrer & Co LLP
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Government Legal Department
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Hill Dickinson LLP
Hogan Lovells LLP
Irwin Mitchell LLP
Kesar & Co Solicitors
Kingsley Napley LLP
Kirkland & Ellis
Laura Devine Solicitors
Mayer Brown International LLP
Mishcon de Reya LLP
Morrison & Foerster LLP
Natwest Group plc
Norton Rose Fulbright LLP
Pallas Partners LLP
Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP
Penningtons Manches LLP
Qazi and Co Solicitors Limited
Reed Smith LLP
Ropes & Gray LLP
Shearman & Sterling LLP
SHU Law Limited
Sidley Austin LLP
Simmons & Simmons
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP
Slaughter & May
Squire Patton Boggs (UK) LLP
Stevens & Bolton LLP
Stone King LLP
Taylor Wessing LLP
The UCL Centre for Access to Justice
Travers Smith LLP
Trowers & Hamlins LLP
University of Birmingham Law School
University of Bolton
University of Exeter's Community Law Clinic
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
White & Case LLP
Wilson Solicitors LLP
Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP
Evaluating impact of pro bono work
Each year, we ask charter signatories to complete a short, mandatory annual impact report.
The reports allow us to monitor the charter's impact, ensuring:
- signatories remain committed to pro bono, and
- there is a mechanism for us to promote the range of pro bono activities and work that members do in supporting access to justice
The deadline is Monday 18 September 2023.
New signatories who join the charter mid-year are not required (but are encouraged) to submit a report.
If you miss the deadline without an agreed extension, you’ ll be removed as a charter signatory.
How to submit your impact report
Download and complete one of our templates:
- case studies (Word 924 KB) – if you've taken part in pro bono work, share up to two case studies
- non case studies (Word 921 KB) – if your organisation does not currently provide pro bono services, tell us how you're supporting or engaging with the pro bono community
Email your submissions to Valerie Robertson.
Pro Bono Charter logo
Once you’re a signatory and have submitted an annual impact report, you can apply to use our Pro Bono Charter logo.
To request a logo, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You’ll need to reapply each year.