SPBG’s Bucknall quits top position

Sue Bucknall, one of the most senior figures in the UK pro bono arena, has resigned her post as head of the Solicitors Pro Bono Group (SPBG).

Bucknall announced her resignation on 9 June at the SPBG’s ball to celebrate Pro Bono Week. Her decision has sparked a search for a new chief executive.

Bucknall joined the SPBG in late 1999 as director, later being appointed to the chief executive role.

During her five-year tenure, she oversaw the development of the organisation and the launch of a number of pioneering initiatives, including the groundbreaking LawWorks for Community Groups programme.

The programme is the first to tap in to the skills of commercial and transactional lawyers for pro bono work. Last year it offered £2m worth of advice to charities and community groups.

The SPBG was founded in 1997 by a handful of individuals, including the organisation’s current chairman and Clyde & Co litigation partner Paul Newdick.

Today the group has 20 trustees, including Sony legal chief Jonathan Pearl, Clifford Chance pro bono head Michael Smyth, CMS Cameron McKenna pro bono head Paul Nichols and former Allen & Overy partner and now High Court judge Mr Justice David Mackie QC.

Newdick said: “Sue has done a fantastic job in taking the spbg from a talking shop to a real workshop, where the charity focuses on the delivery of pro bono services,” said Newdick.

“She’s a pioneer – always looking for new ways to develop pro bono delivery and once we have a new chief executive in place I really hope we can work with Sue to continue that pioneering role.”