Clifford Chance is looking to recruit a full-time pro bono lawyer after dedicating £10m worth of billable hours to pro bono work in the 2006-07 financial year.

Currently pro bono projects are chosen and allocated by the firm’s head of public policy Michael Smyth. However, due to a marked increase in the amount of work the magic circle firm has taken on over the past decade, Clifford Chance has created the new role, which is being advertised at the moment.

“Pro bono has become an increasingly important part of firm life and, as a measure of that, management have agreed that a budget should be provided to find a dedicated pro bono lawyer,” said Smyth.

He added that, in the 10 years he has been overseeing pro bono work at the firm, the participation rate of lawyers from all levels has more than doubled. In the last financial year Clifford Chance’s pro bono participation rate was 54 per cent. This is marginally higher than the average participation rate in England and Wales, which stands at 51 per cent, according to Law Society figures.

As part of Pro Bono Week, on Thursday (15 November) Clifford Chance is hosting the Howard League for Penal Reform’s Cripps Lecture with the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, as guest speaker.