The 2 to 6 November is Pro Bono Week in the UK. The awareness event, sponsored by the Law Society, the Bar Council and the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx), recognises and supports the voluntary contribution made by lawyers in the UK in giving free legal help to those in need.
Themed ‘Pro bono: Through the pandemic and beyond’, the event this year acknowledges how access to justice and equality given the unprecedented challenges of the coronavirus pandemic is even more important than ever before.
Hatch Brenner Solicitors is proud to have a long history of supporting pro bono organisations in Norfolk, with many of our Solicitors and legal experts providing their time for free through organisations including the Citizens Advice Bureau, and the Norfolk Community Law Service (‘NCLS’). We are also a long term supporter of MAP Young People, offering legal advice to their team of youth support advisors.
Chartered Legal Executive and Hatch Brenner Personal Injury expert Simon Bransby volunteers for both the Citizens Advice Bureau and NCLS. He commented: “It is great to spend the time through Pro Bono Week acknowledging the efforts of the entire legal community in providing access to justice for those in need. I am personally very proud to be part of this system where so many legal professionals volunteer their time to give free, independent and confidential legal advice to individuals or groups who otherwise may not be able to afford adequate representation. This can include those with long term physical or mental ill-health, physical and sensory disabilities and/or learning difficulties, offenders, ex-offenders, migrant workers and others who are disadvantaged.
“The efforts of organisations including NCLS through the pandemic have been incredible – their ‘justice bus’ has been operational since the first lockdown, and the free drop in legal sessions have successfully continued remotely using telephone calls and emails. The legal issues that individuals can experience throughout their lives have not gone away through the pandemic and in many cases, coronavirus has exacerbated problems. It is important that those who need to are able to access practical legal advice.”
According to figures released by the NCLS to mark Pro Bono Week, Norfolk Solicitors and UEA volunteers contributed around 1,000 hours of free legal advice during 2019/20. The financial value of this free advice benefitting clients with no means to pay to access justice is in excess of £150,000. The Norfolk region has more legal professionals giving their time for free than anywhere else in the East of England.
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