The Solicitors Pro Bono Group (SPBG) has set up a pro bono scheme in Leeds as part of a long-term plan to extend its national reach

The scheme will match lawyers from Leeds who are willing to work for free with people unable to pay for legal advice. The SPBG is running its first project, a free legal advice clinic in the Hyde Park area of the city.
The SPBG was set up in London in 1997 to help those unable to get legal aid. Until recently, there has been no infrastructure to provide this support on a national basis.
In November 2001, the SPBG announced plans to launch a pro bono scheme in the Midlands, which came into force at the beginning of this year. The move sparked interest from Birmingham firm Wragge & Co and national firms Addleshaw Booth & Co, Eversheds and Pinsent Curtis Biddle.
Now the SPBG has set up a scheme in Leeds with the Leeds Law Society. Both groups will work closely with local advice agencies and voluntary bodies, and are actively seeking volunteers from all Leeds firms. It is understood that the project is still at a very early stage.
Sue Bucknall, chief executive of the SPBG, who is spearheading the new Leeds project, was unavailable for comment when The Lawyer went to press.