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Solicitor General chairs Pro Bono Committee

Signposting free legal advice for the public on issues like disabilities benefits appeals and financial matters were key topics when the Attorney General’s Pro Bono Committee met last week.

The Solicitor General, Michael Tomlinson KC MP, chaired the committee for the first time last week where he discussed the excellent and vital pro bono work taking place in England and Wales.

Pro bono work is legal advice or representation provided free of charge by legal professionals in the public interest. This can be to individuals, charities or community groups who cannot afford to pay for legal help and cannot get legal aid or any other means of funding.

Solicitor General Michael Tomlinson KC MP said:

Throughout my legal and professional career, I have regarded pro bono work as fundamental to ensure access to justice for all. In what was the first time I chaired the Attorney General’s Pro Bono Committee, I was impressed to hear about the excellent work being carried out across the country and internationally too, in particular helping Ukrainians fleeing the war.

We have agreed to meet again in the Autumn and I look forward to hearing about what progress has been made and as a Law Officer, how I can assist the important Pro Bono work being done in England and Wales.

The Attorney General’s Pro Bono Committee of England and Wales was first established in 2002 by the former Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith. 

Held in one of the Parliamentary committee rooms on Wednesday 23 March, the Solicitor General was joined by representatives from across the legal profession including, professional bodies, law firms, charities, law schools, legal associations, regional committees, the judiciary and others.

During the engaging session, the Solicitor General heard about activities for Pro Bono Week 2023, the Z2K project on disability benefits appeals, and plans for a UK pro bono portal.

Further conversations were held about challenges facing the sector, how to increase collaboration, and ways that MPs can help signpost their constituents to access pro bono help.

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