Bell Gully is a strong community supporter - sharing time, skills and financial support for the benefit of those in need. One way we do this is through our pro bono programme.
Over many years we have made major pro bono contributions to a wide range of organisations. In 2009, we formalised our pro bono programme, which is overseen by a committee of four partners and three senior associates. Our objective in formalising the programme was to lead by example, and to encourage other firms to make comparable contributions.
As part of our programme, we have established specific criteria to ensure our pro bono work reaches those who need it most, with our focus on reaching as far and wide into our communities as we can, and promoting the public interest. Our policy provides structure and processes around how we source, manage and promote pro bono work.
Our pro bono work falls into three categories:
Free, for clients who would otherwise be denied access to justice because they have no means to pay for it.
Free or heavily discounted, for non-government and charitable organisations with funding and other support from third parties.
Free or heavily discounted for limited art, culture, heritage, sports and recreation groups who merit pro bono support.
If you are seeking pro bono assistance for a matter that meets these criteria, please email our pro bono programme manager Rachel Gowing to make an application.
Our pro bono programme in action
We're nurturing long-term relationships, confident in the knowledge that when we do pro bono work, it's going to very deserving recipients.
Community law centres
We have built close relationships with the Auckland Community Law Centre, the Waitematā Community Law Centre and Community Law Wellington and Hutt Valley (the CLCs). The CLCs provide essential services to those in the community without the means to pay for legal advice, assisting with a wide range of issues. As a substantial component of our pro bono programme, we provide secondee lawyers to each of the Auckland-based CLCs for one day each week, and to the Wellington CLC on a regular basis.
We support charitable organisations working in the health sector, including the Breast Cancer Foundation New Zealand, NZ Aids Foundation and the Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand.
Local and global aid organisations
Among others, we support TearFund NZ and ChildFund NZ with pro bono legal advice.
We assist various charitable organisations with a focus on youth support and development. These include KidsCan, Make A Wish Foundation and Plunket.
In addition to our relationships with the CLCs referred to above, we also support local community-focused charitable organisations, including Surf Life Saving Northern Region and Shine.
We also advise charitable organisations with a cultural focus, including Asia New Zealand Foundation.