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The Bar Pro Bono Unit (BPBU) has set up a solicitors' panel for barristers' pro bono clients who do not have a solicitor
There are 11 firms on the panel, including most of the magic circle. The BPBU is a service which matches people who need free legal assistance with barristers who volunteer to take on cases pro bono. As some BPBU pro bono clients also need a solicitor, the unit has set up the solicitors panel to put barristers in easy reach of firms willing to help.
"The panel is a great opportunity to work with counsel in a completely different context from our usual commercial disputes" Shankari Chandran, Allen & Overy
The panel firms are: Allen & Overy, Bates Wells & Braithwaite, Clifford Chance, Eversheds, Finers Stephens Innocent, Freshfields, Linklaters, Lovells and Travers Smith Braithwaite. Allen & Overy has just completed a case with the BPBU under the new system in the Court of Appeal. The firm's pro bono coordinator Shankari Chandran said: "The panel is a great opportunity to work with counsel in a completely different context from our usual commercial disputes." Cathy Jones, pro bono coordinator at Clifford Chance, said that the firm had not received any instructions from the panel as yet, but is looking to take on most cases that are referred to it.