Wilsons & Pro Bono Week 2020

5 November 2020

The 19th Pro Bono Week takes place from 2 to 6 November 2020, recognising and supporting the voluntary contribution made by lawyers across the UK in giving free legal help to those in need. In this year of unprecedented challenges, for both the voluntary and legal sectors, pro bono legal help has never been more important.

Across Wilsons, our teams provide pro bono and voluntary support in a number of ways.

Throughout the year, we run a number of free-to-event for the Education and Charity sectors, providing free training and guidance for trustees, governors and school leaders. These events include the Annual Independent Schools' Conference, the Armed Forces Charity Seminar and regular Trustee Training sessions - all delivered free of charge. 

In addition, at an individual level many of the team give back to the community in some way or other. We thought we'd highlight just a few here: 

Graham Coy, Partner in the Family Law team, supports the King's College London family law clinic on a regular basis. He sits on the Westminster and Holborn Pro Bono and CSR Sub-Committee. 

Graham explains, "I became aware that the Law Faculty at King's College London wanted to establish a Family Law clinic. The aims were to give their final year students some practical experience of seeing clients while at the same time helping those who otherwise had no access to legal advice. 

I assisted Shaila Pal, Director of Clinical Legal Education & Supervising Solicitor and Senior Lecturer at King's, set up the clinic and it has been running very successfully for 2 years or so.

Apart from giving future solicitors and barristers valuable experience of the law in practice, we are able to put back something in to our community  by providing advice to those who are unable to access professional legal help about their children and their families as a result of the virtual abolition of what we used to know as "legal aid".

It has been a privilege to have had this opportunity."

Margaret Davis, Partner in Wilsons Employment team, is involved with the Westminster Legal Advice Clinic, which provides Pro Bono employment and other advice to individuals. Te advice includes disputes relating to dismissal, pay, procedures at work and discrimination in the workplace.

Sarah Bull, also a Partner in Wilsons Employment team, is a Trustee of a charity called Media Defence, whose core mission is to provide legal help to journalists, citizen journalists and independent media who are under threat for their reporting. 

Jane Lonergan, Partner and Head of the Property Team, helps a number of charities with notary Pro Bono work. 

Tim Olliff-Lee, Senior Associate in the Farms & Estates Team, is a Governor of Salisbury Cathedral School, and sits on the Financial and General Purpose Committee. 

Alison Morris is a Partner in the Probate and Estate Administration Team. She is chairman of the Trustees of the T H Russell Charitable Trust which provides for the care of the elderly and a trustee of a local charity The Harnham Water Meadows Trust.

Stephen Oxley is a Partner in the Employment and Education team, and is currently a trustee of the Salisbury Samaritans and a director of Salisbury BID Limited which helps to promote Salisbury's businesses and city centre as a place to visit. 

Alistair Lockhart, Wilsons' Commercial Director, is a Trustee of EdUKaid, a highly-effective charity based just south of Salisbury which improves education and changes lives in rural Tanzania. 

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