Access to Justice Foundation takes on first-ever CEO

The Access to Justice Foundation has appointed its first chief executive officer (CEO) as the organisation looks to raise the profile of the pro-bono sector.

Lord Goldsmith
Lord Goldsmith

Ruth Daniel, who has worked both in house at BT and in private practice at Charles Russell, has taken the job as CEO. The post was created with principal funding from the Baring Foundation, with additional support from Linklaters.

Daniel said she is still planning her objectives but aims to focus on campaigns, like Hogan Lovells’ ’It’s Not Just Peanuts’ initiative, as well as raising awareness of things like pro-bono costs orders. Daniel will also be working to help legal support networks across the country raise their profiles.

“Down the line, we’ll be expanding on that and really looking at what other schemes we can think about,” she said. “We don’t want to compete for funding with other organisations; we want to increase the amount of funding in the sector.”

Foundation chairman Lord Peter Goldsmith QC said: “It’s clear that the pro-bono commitment of the legal profession remains as strong as ever. But it must not be seen as a substitute for funding legal aid.

“The advice and pro-bono sector plays a vital role in supporting access to justice, and in the current circumstances agencies need support more than ever to ensure the public gets help.

“Supported by our recent appointment of Ruth Daniel as CEO, the foundation will continue the work to create additional funds for the sector.”