Having previously conducted research into the law firms with the leading pro bono practices, Who’s Who Legal turns its attention to the practice of pro bono among in-house legal teams. In this feature, we explore why the practice is on the rise, how corporate counsel are providing pro bono services and their motivation for doing so, and the positive impact such activities can have on the company as a whole.
Who’s Who Legal recently invited law firms to participate in our first ever global pro bono survey and we were greatly encouraged by the responses received from both national and international law firms representing all regions of the world. The responses provided an insight into the differing approaches to the practice of pro bono, the scale of engagement at different levels of seniority within firms as well as the steps taken to instil a pro bono culture. In this special feature to mark National Pro Bono Week, Who’s Who Legal takes a closer look at how law firms are approaching pro bono and how the practice is developing.
By evaluating the responses we were able to identify those paving the way in terms of their firm’s contribution, level of participation and efforts to institutionalise pro bono. Ten firms impressed with their level of dedication, ingenuity and enthusiasm earning a place in our list of leading firms. Our list includes seven international firms who draw on vast resources of lawyers and offices to perform pro bono activities throughout the world. These firms include WilmerHale, White & Case, Vinson & Elkins, Sidley Austin, Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, Kirkland & Ellis and DLA Piper. In addition we recognise the achievements of Mexican firm Von Wobeser y Sierra which contributed five per cent of the firm’s total billed hours to pro bono in 2012, Kim & Chang in South Korea distinguished by their forward thinking approach to the delivery of pro bono services and Clayton Utz which recently achieved 35 hours per lawyer per year in all six of their Australian offices
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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.