Clifford Chance plans pro bono boost

<a class=Clifford Chance plans pro bono boost” />Clifford Chance aims to increase the number of lawyers doing pro bono work by 10 per cent in the next year.

The move comes as the firm marks national pro bono week with the launch of a legal advice centre in Isle of Dogs in London. The firm now runs five legal advice centres every week, more than any other firm.

Clifford Chance pro bono partner Tom Dunn (pictured) said the aim now was to expand the firm’s pro bono service further.

“All the advice centres have seen an increase in demand for debt advice, which has coincided with the economic downturn and we are looking to expand our services,” he said. “One centre has indicated a need for extra money handling advice so we are looking in opening an extra session there.”

Currently 54 per cent of Clifford Chance’s lawyers dedicated time to pro bono work- that is more than 700 lawyers out of 1,400 in London. Dunn said the aim was to increase that by 10 per cent.

“One way of being able to do that is by opening another advice session,” he said. “We have a strong financial capability and it is obvious work for us to do.”

The firm already runs four weekly free evening advice sessions in Canning Town, Stratford, Tooting and Bethnal Green in London.

Dunn said “At an institutional level we see it as right for a large corporate firm to be doing pro bono work. It puts our lawyers back in touch with the community they are working in.”