North East Law Soc to set up pro bono unit

The North eastern office of the Law Society wants to set up a pro bono unit to co-ordinate with the national Solicitors Pro Bono Group, headed by Peta Sweet in London.

Ian Croft, the Law Society's regional secretary for Yorkshire and the North East, said the move had been triggered by interest from local law societies in the Yorkshire region – the Yorkshire Union of Law Societies – whom Peta Sweet addressed at a conference two weeks ago.

According to Croft, early in the year the Yorkshire Union “expressed an interest in setting up a unit which would act as a regional partner to the national pro bono unit in London.”

At the moment, he said, they had received firm expressions of interest from only four practitioners, but the aims were to compile a list of all individual solicitors and firms that would be interested in doing pro bono work, and to find a pro bono project which could be used as a focal point to illustrate the sort of work that could be done in the region.

Added Croft: “We also want to survey what pro bono work is going on in the region at the moment, and find some models of good practice which we can encourage people to follow. We know there is a great deal going on, with lawyers acting both for individuals in particular circumstances and for not-for-profit organisations.”

He said the Law Society regional office itself would not set up the unit but would “act as a catalyst” for its formation.

Anyone interested should contact Croft on 01926 299096, or write to him at: 67 Westgate, Wakefield WF1 1BP.