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Browne Jacobson launches new pro bono strategy in partnership with LawWorks

01 February 2024

UK and Ireland law firm Browne Jacobson has joined forces with a major industry charity to launch a new pro bono strategy that aims to increase and focus its community impact.

The firm has signed up to LawWorks’ not-for-profit programme, which brokers free legal advice from member firms to small and medium-sized not-for-profit organisations that meet certain eligibility criteria on a wide range of issues, to help it identify where its professional expertise can best be deployed on a voluntary basis for worthy causes.

It heralds a new approach from Browne Jacobson to enhance its lawyers’ pro bono activities by ensuring they are targeted, measurable and align with both its practice areas and the firm’s core values – which include being at the forefront of society’s biggest issues, and a commitment to inclusion and fairness.

Browne Jacobson employs more than 1,000 people across seven offices spanning London, Dublin, Cardiff, Nottingham, Manchester, Birmingham and Exeter. It was ranked as one of the UK’s top five employers for social mobility in the 2023 Social Mobility Employer Index.

Managing Partner Richard Medd said: “As a top 50 law firm, Browne Jacobson is full of incredibly talented people, which brings a unique opportunity – and also a responsibility – for us to make a positive impact on society.

“We have the power to use our skills and expertise to help those who need it most, and pro bono work is a fantastic way to do just that. It’s a way to bring many of our values and ambitions to life, and we encourage our colleagues to get involved and support our pro bono programme in any way they can.

“I’m thrilled that we have joined forces with LawWorks as part of our active commitment to pro bono work – a key strand of our community action plan – and together we can make a genuine difference in the lives of those who might not otherwise have access to legal services. I’m excited to see the real impact we can make in the communities we serve.”

The dedicated pro bono strategy expands its established community action programme, which raises thousands of pounds every year – matched by partners – for each office’s local charity partner.

It also encompasses the Browne Jacobson Charitable Trust, which awards £25,000 in grants each year to a wide range of small community projects, and a partnership with the National Literacy Trust. 

Beth Dowson, Legal Director in the corporate tax team who sits on the firm’s pro bono steering group, said: “We’ve always had a great culture of pro bono activities at Browne Jacobson but a lot of this work previously came from ad hoc approaches to individuals or from personal attachments.

“By forming a dedicated pro bono strategy, and having access to voluntary opportunities via LawWorks where we can have the most impact, we can ensure the great work our lawyers are doing reflects our practice expertise and core values.

“As our community action journey evolves, we will continue to seek opportunities to maximise our expertise and contribution by exploring partnerships with other organisations, including clients, on supporting worthy causes and expanding our pro bono work to the wide array of talent in our firm.”

LawWorks, which is supported by the Law Society, is the largest solicitors’ pro bono group in England and Wales, with a membership network of more than 150 law firms and in-house legal teams. 

Rebecca Wilkinson, Chief Executive at LawWorks, said: “We are pleased to welcome Browne Jacobson as a members of LawWorks and look forward to working with them as they launch and develop their new pro bono strategy.

“Each year, pro bono lawyers help thousands of people and organisations across the UK in need of crucial legal advice, giving meaningful support to communities and having a real impact on individuals’ lives.”

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