Corporate Social Responsibility
As a Chambers, Five Paper has a commitment to CSR and Pro Bono work. Following years of restrictions on the availability of legal aid and the increased expense of bringing cases to court, we recognise that the availability of free legal advice and representation to the most vulnerable and least fortunate in society is fundamental. We also want to play a key role in increasing diversity at the Bar as a whole, and believe that it is vital to educate students as early as possible about their potential for a career as a barrister.
Members of Chambers carry out a wide range of CSR activities, including:
- Speaking at a wide range of events, including those hosted by schools or universities, and as part of programmes such as the Inner Temple Schools Project and Urban Lawyers.
- Acting as mentors for students.
- Attending law fairs.
- Raising money or collecting donations for charity.
Recent examples of our CSR work include:
- Annual participation in The Bar Council’s Bar Placement Week, which links up a student from a non-traditional background with a barristers’ chambers for a week of work experience.
- Collecting donations for local charities Suited and Booted, Smartworks and Hackney Foodbank.
- Working with Resurgo Spear to help young people find employment.
- Raising money for the London Legal Support Trust by running a gruelling 10K assault course.
- Talks with children from disadvantaged backgrounds, most recently at the Mulberry School for Girls in Tower Hamlets, and with a broad range of potential applicants to the Bar at Inner Temple’s annual Question and Answer Day.
“Pro bono” work means providing the legal knowledge and expertise of our members at no fee to:
- Individuals who can demonstrate a need for legal assistance.
- Individuals or organisations whose matter raises an issue of public interest which would not otherwise be pursued.
- Charities or other not for profit organisations which work on behalf of low income or disadvantaged members of the community or for the public good.
Five Paper has an aspirational target of a minimum of 1,000 hours of pro bono work provided by Chambers each year. That equates to about 30 hours of pro bono work per member per year.
We accept instructions through the following organisations:
The Bar Pro Bono Unit
The Bar Pro Bono Unit is dedicated to finding barristers to assist applicants with meritorious cases who cannot afford to pay for legal services or obtain public funding.
Five Paper’s members provide advice, advocacy and drafting skills to applicants of the Unit in all areas of law carried out by our members.
The Chancery Bar Litigant in Person Scheme (CLIPS) is run by the Royal Courts of Justice Advice Bureau and the Bar Pro Bono Unit. The scheme is supported by the Bar Pro Bono Unit, the Personal Support Unit in the RCJ and by LawWorks, the solicitors’ voluntary service to assist litigants in person.
Barrister volunteers make themselves available on applications day within Central London County Court and the Rolls Building to assist litigants in person with applications as when such assistance is required.
Chambers supports and encourages barristers who undertake relevant work to donate a day of their time to the CLIPS scheme.
The Free Representation Unit
Most of our more junior members of Chambers have provided assistance to applicants of the Free Representation Unit in the early stages of their careers and many of our pupils actively work with FRU providing advice and advocacy in the areas of employment law and social security.
FRU has been providing representation in social security and employment tribunals since 1972 and invites applications for legal assistance from people who are not eligible for legal aid and cannot afford lawyers.
Purpose of pro bono assistance
Our members carry out pro bono work as part of a long-standing tradition at the Bar of offering our expertise at no cost to deserving members of the public and organisations and as part of what we consider to be our social responsibility.
It is Chambers belief that pro bono legal services is not a substitute for the proper funding by government of Legal Aid agencies, Community Legal Centres and other government funded legal services and that the promotion of pro bono legal services should not lead to a reduction of legal aid or to a failure by government properly to fund Legal Aid, Community Legal Centres and other government funded legal services.
If you would like further information
Our friendly and knowledgeable clerks will be pleased to direct you to the person best able to help. Email them or telephone: +44 (0)20 7815 3200.
We look forward to working with you.