Pro bono programme's first year proves an overwhelming success

Wednesday 2 June 2010

​​​​a-helping-hand-2009-2010.jpgBell Gully's practical support for New Zealanders and international organisations in need has exceeded its target in the first year of its formal pro bono programme – and the contribution continues to grow.

To find out more, read Bell Gully's A Helping Hand report.

Bell Gully's practical support for New Zealanders and international organisations in need has exceeded its target in the first year of its formal pro bono programme – and the contribution continues to grow.

The firm established a structured programme at the start of 2009, formalising its pro bono and community contributions that have stretched over many years, and setting clear targets for the assistance it seeks to provide.

Bell Gully's first Pro Bono and Community Programme report,  A Helping Hand, reports that the firm exceeded by more than $100,000 its target of providing $330,000 in fee equivalent time in pro bono legal services in its first year – and is well on the way to achieve its 2010 target of $670,000. The aim is to provide $1 million in fee equivalent time annually from 2011.

Bell Gully partner Ralph Simpson, who leads the programme with a committee of partners and senior associates, including programme manager Rachel Gowing, says it has been a privilege for the firm and its staff to have worked with inspiring individuals and groups making a very real difference through their work.

"We have a very clear focus on providing legal advice to those who can't afford to pay for it, and to support not-for-profit organisations that are helping the community. We are pleased to have been able to provide even greater help than we had originally envisaged and that clearly demonstrates the great need that exists in our community for this kind of support.

"Using their expertise to help those in need in such a practical and hands-on way has also been rewarding and beneficial for the many staff involved in the programme."

Mr Simpson says the Pro Bono and Community Programme 2009/10 report provides a glimpse of some of the many and varied organisations the firm supports, from community law centres to organisations involved in medical care and research, housing initiatives and parenting.

"While naturally most of our pro bono support has been in New Zealand, we have also had an opportunity to provide meaningful advice on climate change issues that are having a devastating effect on the people of Bangladesh."

Contact
  • Rachel Gowing

    Senior Associate Auckland