The pro bono sector has matured over the past decade to focus on individuals and not-for-profit organisations requiring civil legal advice as well as traditional human rights cases.

After completing a study to mark Lovells’ decade of pro bono work, the firm’s pro bono partner Crispin Rapinet said: “Although not forgetting our commitment to those with human rights needs in the criminal justice system who have no legal advisers, broadening the scope of the pro bono offering beyond litigation advice, bringing the different legal skills of the firm’s other commercial lawyers together, often results in a much more holistic and appropriate solution for the client.”

As pro bono work has gained greater prominence during the past 10 years, Rapinet said firms should not view such work as an add-on to be completed in a lawyer’s spare time.

“Pro bono policy should support the provision of pro bono advice during the office day and pro bono hours should be taken into account in determination of lawyer bonuses and appraisals,” he said.