Linklaters in full-time pro bono move

Linklaters & Paines is considering following Lovell White Durrant by employing a full-time administrator to co-ordinate its pro bono work.

Linklaters' partnership secretary, John Ledley, said the firm had appointed a pro bono group, consisting of himself and three or four partners, chaired by property partner Christopher Coombe, six months ago.

The group was set up after an internal report also recommended that a full-time administrator be appointed.

Ledley said: “We have decided that we do need one to help us run the pro bono group. It takes time to consider these pro bono arrangements. How many people have we got? What are the financial arrangements? What are the procedures we use?”

He said the firm needed someone who, if not a lawyer, was familiar with legal matters. The post would “probably” be full-time.

Linklaters lawyers already do pro bono work with several inner city law centres. The firm is also a member of the Professional Firms Group, part of the nationwide Business in the Community Initiative.

Under this eight-year-old scheme firms agree to provide between 50 and 100 hours of professional advice a year to projects working for the social and economic regeneration of their local area. The group filters appropriate projects and assigns them to the firms on its panel.

Tony Willis, Clifford Chance partner and chair of the Solicitors' Pro Bono Group, praised both Lovells, which appointed a pro bono officer last month, and Linklaters. “It's an idea whose time has come,” he said.