Data

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Africa & Middle East

During the late 1980s and early 1990s, a number of global networks of independent law firms were created to help strengthen the cross-border capabilities of the domestic firm members. This model has been very successfully replicated in Africa, with a number of regional networks developing, facilitating high standards of cross-border legal assistance throughout Anglophone and Lusophone Africa.

Coupled with that, some of the larger South African firms are developing pan-African groups and networks. These networks are helping to raise standards by facilitating the sharing of resources, expertise and experience, and increasingly they are coming together to offer pro bono opportunities to their members.

Complicated interplays between the government and non-governmental organisations, and between Islamic law (Sharia) and imported European legal traditions can make finding pro bono opportunities a challenge in the Middle East and North Africa. This may change in the future as more international firms operate in the region, bringing their global pro bono policies with them.

Firms with offices in 15 countries across Africa and the Middle East provided data for the index. Across the entire region, lawyers performed on average 27.5 hours of pro bono over the last 12 months, though this was pulled up dramatically by the high figures from Kuwait and Egypt. The median average hours performed by lawyers at each firm or in each local office of international networks was 11.7 hours. 37.3% of lawyers across the region performed ten or more hours of pro bono over the last 12 months. Almost 40% of partners across the Africa and Middle East region recorded time on pro bono matters over the last year.

Please note, regional data tables have been ordered alphabetically.
Firm Name Country Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
AB & David law Ghana 6.62 23.08%
Ashurst United Arab Emirates 2.37 21.05%
Beiruti Attorneys & Counselors At Law Jordan 6.67 25.00%
BLC Chambers Mauritius 9.58 41.67%
Bowman Gilfillan Inc South Africa 26.57 56.25%
Cheikh Fall Law Firm Senegal 8.33 25.00%
Dechert United Arab Emirates 40.53 66.67%
DLA Piper Bahrain 8.33 33.33%
DLA Piper Kuwait 74.20 100.00%
DLA Piper Qatar 29.88 50.00%
DLA Piper Saudi Arabia 12.40 30.77%
DLA Piper United Arab Emirates 18.24 44.78%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP United Arab Emirates 22.14 -
Hamilton Harrison and Mathews Kenya 25.00 50.00%
Hogan Lovells South Africa South Africa 59.89 24.66%
K & L Gates LLP Qatar 1.33 11.11%
K & L Gates LLP United Arab Emirates 0 0%
Latham & Watkins LLP Qatar 14.83 33.33%
Latham & Watkins LLP Saudi Arabia 11.67 66.67%
Latham & Watkins LLP United Arab Emirates 15.72 31.03%
Nabulsi & Associates Jordan 4.00 0%
Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa South Africa 36.11 74.16%
Reed Smith LLP United Arab Emirates 41.54 56.25%
Saed Karajah & Partners LLP Jordan 10.00 10.00%
Sharkawy & Sarhan Law Firm Egypt 72.93 13.33%
Simba and Simba Advocates Kenya 1.54 23.08%
Simmons & Simmons Qatar 2.50 -
Simmons & Simmons United Arab Emirates 8.57 -
Strachan Partners Nigeria 6.67 33.33%
Webber Wentzel South Africa 28.97 9.26%
White & Case Saudi Arabia 1.44 6.25%
White & Case South Africa 39.00 100.00%
White & Case United Arab Emirates 5.00 12.00%

Jordan

The index received three responses from firms based in Jordan, a country where international firms have limited legal presence. The Jordanian Bar Association does not have a mandatory pro bono requirement but nonetheless, the respondent firms are all contributing to pro bono in the country – and this without formal infrastructure or dedicated staff.

None of the respondent firms factor pro bono participation into compensation for either lawyers or partners. In spite of this, the average number of pro bono hours performed in Jordan, at just under nine hours per lawyer, is comparable to other jurisdictions in the region, including local offices of international firms and networks.

Jordan is the fifth largest recipient of foreign aid from the US, and as a middle income country receiving strong development support, it seems fitting that the areas that most respondent firms focus on are economic rights: those of economic development, micro finance and social finance. Access to justice was not highlighted as one of the top areas of support in spite of the fact that the Jordanian constitution does not contain an explicit right to defense or guaranteed access to courts and counsel, and access to legal support for those that cannot afford it, including Jordan’s huge and increasing population of refugees, is low.

Two of the three firms that responded demonstrate the importance of senior level engagement, reporting that over 80% of their partners doing some pro bono in the year.

Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Saed Karajah & Partners LLP 10.00 10.00%
Beiruti Attorneys & Counselors At Law 6.67 25.00%
Nabulsi & Associates 4.00 0%

Qatar

Four law firms with representation in Qatar responded to the index with data about their levels of pro bono engagement, all of which are local offices of international firms or networks.

Across the emirate, lawyers perform 10 hours of pro bono a year on average, with 26.3% of lawyers at firms undertaking ten or more hours of pro bono. Whilst this is lower than the average across the Middle East and Africa region, these figures are comparable to other Middle Eastern countries.

International firms must be licensed by either the Ministry of Justice or the Qatar Finance Centre to operate in the country, and only Qatari-licensed advocates are able to appear before the courts in Qatar. These two factors together, coupled with the high levels of wealth and comprehensive social security for citizens, may well limit the amount of pro bono legal assistance that can be provided to local clients on Qatari law issues and also limit the need for such assistance. This may therefore be one of the reasons that lawyers there do slightly less pro bono than in other countries in the region.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
DLA Piper 29.88 50.00%
Latham & Watkins LLP 14.83 33.33%
Simmons & Simmons 2.50 -
K & L Gates LLP 1.33 11.11%

South Africa

South Africa has a long track record in pro bono, and the Law Society of South Africa has a requirement that all attorneys provide 24 hours per year of free legal advice to members of the public who meet a means test qualification. The data reported to the index showed that this seems to matter: on average lawyers in South Africa performed 32.7 hours of pro bono per year. This is one of the highest averages globally and is significantly higher than the regional average. Seven firms with offices in South Africa responded to the index, five of whom provided data about the levels of pro bono performed over the last 12 months.

A number of the firms in South Africa have pro bono or public interest law teams that perform a significant proportion of the firm’s pro bono work themselves. The knock-on effect of this is that fewer lawyers within the firms are involved with pro bono matters than one might think given the high average hours of pro bono. The percentage of lawyers performing 10 or more hours of pro bono is 40.1%, which is again high regionally, but far nearer the regional average of 37.3%. 40.5% of partners at South African firms worked on pro bono matters over the last 12 months, again one of the highest percentages globally.

Given the Law Society requirement and the amount of pro bono being performed, it is not surprising that all of the firms with offices in South Africa have pro bono coordinators to facilitate reaching this target. All of the respondent firms also have a formal on-take procedure, which in one case is built around a form that prospective clients need to complete to enable the firm to quickly assess whether they qualify for pro bono assistance.

Interestingly, not all the firms have a requirement that lawyers perform a minimum amount of pro bono – a third of the respondents indicated there was no requirement. For the other firms, the requirement ranges from the law society mandated 24 hours up to 32 hours, with a further aspirational target of 50 hours per lawyer per annum at another. 33% of respondents also indicated they did not factor pro bono into compensation for either lawyers or partners.

The vast majority of respondents in South Africa (80%) indicated that they work on access to justice matters, and 60% work on economic development, microfinance and social finance. Given South Africa’s current economic and social status as an emerging market with levels of poverty swiftly reducing, these twin foci appear to reflect development priorities in South African society.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Hogan Lovells South Africa 59.89 24.66%
White & Case 39.00 100.00%
Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa 36.11 74.16%
Webber Wentzel 28.97 9.26%
Bowman Gilfillan Inc 26.57 56.25%

United Arab Emirates

There are seven emirates within the United Arab Emirates, five of which have joined together in a federal judicial system (including Abu Dhabi), with Dubai and Ras al-Khaimah using their own legal systems.

There are a number of challenges for firms wishing to undertake pro bono work in the region, the most notable being that expatriate lawyers are able to practise as legal consultants or on international legal issues, but only UAE nationals are able to represent clients in court. Additionally, there are under 200 NGOs registered in the UAE, a sector closely regulated by the government. There is a growing desire by lawyers, particularly those who have worked in other countries that have strong pro bono cultures, to participate in more organised pro bono across the country.

Nine firms in UAE provided data about the levels of pro bono they perform. As with the majority of the other data received across the Middle East, these firms are all local offices of international firms and networks. The average hours per fee-earner across the UAE is almost 17 hours, with 34.6% of lawyers performing 10 or more hours of pro bono throughout the year, both of which compare favourably to other countries in the region.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Reed Smith LLP 41.54 56.25%
Dechert 40.53 66.67%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP 22.14 -
DLA Piper 18.24 44.78%
Latham & Watkins LLP 15.72 31.03%
Simmons & Simmons 8.57 -
White & Case 5.00 12.00%
Ashurst 2.37 21.05%
K & L Gates 0 0%

Americas

In January 2008, the Pro Bono Declaration for the Americas went into effect following extensive collaboration among lawyers, law firms, law schools and bar associations across the United States and Latin America. The declaration commits signatories to undertake a minimum of 20 hours of pro bono work per lawyer per year, with more than 400 law firms, bar associations and law schools making this commitment.

Red Pro Bono Internacional is another successful Latin American pro bono initiative, designed to facilitate the exchange of experiences and best practices among pro bono organisations in the region and develop a regional pro bono referral system to distribute projects. 18 pro bono referral programmes and organisations are members.

These initiatives not only help ensure that those that need assistance are able to find it, but also that law firms across the region are able to access high impact pro bono matters.

For the purposes of the index, data from across the Americas has been grouped together, though excluding the US. Data was received from ten other countries in the Americas. The average number of hours of pro bono performed was 11.2, though this is influenced by exceptionally high figures in two of the jurisdictions. Across the region, 26.6% of lawyers performed 10 or more hours of pro bono over the last 12 months. Over a third of partners across the region worked on pro bono matters, with partners averaging 15.0 hours of pro bono each.

Please note, the regional data tables have been ordered alphabetically.
Firm Name Country Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Barrera, Siqueiros y Torres Landa, S.C. Mexico 25.27 67.37%
Barretto Ferreira e Brancher Brazil 0.86 0%
Bruchou, Fernandez Madero & Lombardi - Abogados Argentina 6.74 10.57%
Bullo Tassi Estebenet Lipera Torassa Abogados Argentina 23.44 70.97%
Cardenas & Cardenas Abogados Colombia 0.63 4.55%
Cariola Diez Perez-Cotapos & Cia. Ltda. Chile 14.33 51.85%
DLA Piper Mexico 5.75 16.67%
Estudio Beccar Varela Argentina 18.42 29.82%
Ferrada Nehme Limitada Chile 17.40 -
Garcia Sayan Abogados Peru 3.48 8.33%
Gomez Pinzon Zuleta Colombia 30.93 58.24%
Jauregui y Navarrete S.C. Mexico 9.30 16.28%
K & L Gates Brazil 0 0%
Machado, Meyer Sendacz e Opice Brazil 0.33 2.33%
Marval, O'Farrell and Mairal Argentina 14.05 53.59%
Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr. e Quiroga Advogados Brazil 11.24 19.43%
McCarthy Tetrault LLP Canada 11.35 -
Perez Alati, Grondona, Benites, Arntsen & Martinez de Hoz (h) Argentina 21.34 32.03%
Quiñones, Ibargüen, Luján & Mata, S.C Guatemala 81.00 66.67%
Romero Arteta Ponce Asociados Cia Ltda Ecuador 4.29 0%
Rose Law Carribean Trinidad and Tobago 87.50 100.00%
White & Case Brazil 20.00 46.15%
White & Case Mexico 33.55 55.36%

Argentina

Pro bono as a concept among private law firms began to develop in earnest in Argentina in the 1990s – around the time of one of the largest financial crises the country has ever seen. In spite of that, the practice has developed and flourished, as it has across Latin America, with an increasing number of resources from across sectors, including the City of Buenos Aires Bar Association.

Five firms with offices in Argentina provided submissions for the index this year, all of which are domestic firms. On average, their lawyers performed over 16 hours of pro bono in the past year. This is well above the average for the Americas (excluding the US). Likewise firms averaged 43.8% of lawyers performing ten or more hours of pro bono, which is above the regional average. Over 40% of the partners at Argentine respondent firms (41.2%) worked on pro bono matters over the last 12 months, with each performing on average 12.8 hours of pro bono.

There is no formal requirement in place for lawyers to perform a minimum amount of pro bono, though there are initiatives in place that support growing enthusiasm for pro bono in the country, such as local chapters of Red Pro Bono Internacional and Microjusticia Argentina. 40% of respondent firms have a requirement in place for their lawyers to do a minimum amount of pro bono.

All five of the respondent firms have pro bono infrastructure in place – each has a pro bono coordinator, and 60% have pro bono committees to oversee the development of their pro bono practices, and the same percentage factor pro bono into compensation for lawyers.

No strong trends emerge regarding the types of organisations or the fields pro bono clients work in, though supporting access to justice is a common refrain throughout the submission received.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Bullo Tassi Estebenet Lipera Torassa Abogados 23.44 70.97%
Perez Alati, Grondona, Benites, Arntsen & Martinez de Hoz (h) 21.34 32.03%
Estudio Beccar Varela 18.42 29.82%
Marval, O'Farrell and Mairal 14.05 53.59%
Bruchou, Fernandez Madero & Lombardi - Abogados 6.74 10.57%

Brazil

Brazil is a country where pro bono can be difficult to navigate – complicated restrictions by state bar associations regulate the way in which free legal advice can be provided and in many states not charging for legal services can be seen as breaching ethical rules. Things are changing in places like Sao Paolo and Alagoes, where rules have been softened and pro bono advice can now be provided without fear of breaching bar association rules, however throughout the rest of the country the restrictive rules are a clear indication that attitudes towards pro bono are less sympathetic than they might be. In a country with huge social and economic needs and nearly 350,000 NGOs and counting, the need for pro bono to organisations will surely only continue to increase.

Five firms with offices in Brazil provided submissions for the survey, including both domestic firms and local offices of international firms. Foreign lawyers and non-Brazilian law firms are not allowed to practise Brazilian law, so the international firms offer advice on non-Brazilian matters. This naturally has an impact on the pro bono work that international firms and lawyers can do.

Given the restrictive laws across much of Brazil, it is interesting to note that 90% of the respondent firms in Brazil have pro bono coordinators. However, only two of the domestic firms have a formal process to take on pro bono matters, and only one has a pro bono committee to help steer pro bono within the firm. Domestic firms also do not factor pro bono into compensation – unlike their international counterparts in the country.

The average hours performed by lawyers at Brazilian firms and Brazilian offices of international firms is 6.2 hours per fee earner. Similarly the proportional of lawyers doing ten or more hours of pro bono is 11.6%. Partners in Brazil performed on average 13.6 hours of pro bono over the last 12 months, with 17.4% engaging in at least one pro bono matter.

Access to justice was highlighted as the most commonly supported sector in terms of pro bono, which is interesting in light of the restrictions in place on provision of free legal assistance.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
White & Case 20.00 46.15%
Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr. e Quiroga Advogados 11.24 19.43%
Barretto Ferreira e Brancher 0.86 0%
Machado,Meyer Sendacz e Opice 0.33 2.33%
K & L Gates LLP 0 0%

Mexico

Mexico is considered a country with an “emerging” pro bono culture, where much of the work is still managed by the non-profit sector and university law clinics. There is also a reputed entrenched mistrust of the legal and law enforcement sectors as a whole, with analysis repeatedly showing that individuals prefer to resolve conflicts outside of the formal system.

The results from the four firms in Mexico that responded to the index however, stand in contrast to some of these beliefs. While it is only a small sample size, the average of 23.1 hours per fee earner, was among the highest of our results in Latin America. Further, the pro bono infrastructure amongst the respondent firms is very sophisticated – all have pro bono coordinators and pro bono committees in place.

Both the of the domestic firms have a twenty pro bono hours target for their lawyers in place and factor performance of pro bono matters into compensation for their staff – in one case not hitting the minimum pro bono requirement may preclude lawyers from receiving their bonus.

Partner engagement levels in Mexico are amongst the highest globally amongst the respondent firms. Just under half of all partners in Mexico (48.6%) worked on pro bono matters, with each partner in Mexico performing 25.8 hours of pro bono on average.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
White & Case 33.55 55.36%
Barrera, Siqueiros y Torres Landa, S.C. 25.27 67.37%
Jauregui y Navarrete S.C. 9.30 16.28%
DLA Piper 5.75 16.67%

Asia & Pacific

Though Australia has traditionally had a very strong pro bono culture, the rest of the Asia Pacific region is making great strides to embed similar attitudes to pro bono in lawyers and law firms. Initiatives such as Bridges Across Borders South East Asia Community Legal Education (BABSEA – CLE) are helping to ensure that best practices can be shared and lawyers can see the strong benefits to providing pro bono legal advice.

The growing presence of international law firms, and the increasing globalisation of the economies of East and South East Asia, including South Korea’s recent decision to allow international law firms to operate in the country, is also having a strong impact in harmonising approaches to pro bono and to provision of pro bono legal services.

Firms with offices in 15 countries across the Asia Pacific region provided data for the index. Data for Australia has been separated from the rest of the region due to its very high levels of sophistication in pro bono and its high engagement levels compared to the rest of the region.

Across the Asia Pacific region, excluding Australia, lawyers performed on average just over 12 hours of pro bono over the last 12 months. 20.1% of lawyers performed ten hours or more of pro bono. Fewer partners in the Asia Pacific region worked on pro bono matters than in the other regions, though some 27.5% of partners worked on at least one pro bono matter. Taken across all of the respondent firms, partners performed on average 8.9 hours of pro bono each.

Please note, the regional data tables have been ordered alphabetically.
Firm Name Country Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Anglo-Thai Legal (ATL) Thailand 35.71 100.00%
AQLAAL Advocates Pakistan 14.31 30.77%
Ashurst Hong Kong 1.92 26.53%
AZB & Partners India 9.31 25.00%
CMS Cameron McKenna LLP China 1.85 10.00%
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP Hong Kong 8.34 16.67%
Dechert China 52.86 57.14%
Dechert Hong Kong 38.71 41.18%
Dechert Kazakhstan 28.09 18.18%
DLA Piper China 15.02 21.72%
DLA Piper Japan 27.94 34.78%
DLA Piper Singapore 93.89 42.11%
DLA Piper South Korea 4.43 0%
DLA Piper Thailand 20.64 37.78%
Doulah & Doulah Bangladesh 1.90 6.90%
Frasers Law Company Vietnam 11.44 36.00%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP China 5.02 -
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP Hong Kong 19.70 -
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP Japan 6.92 -
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP Vietnam 0.52 -
Grünkorn & Partner Law Co., Ltd Vietnam 5.00 0%
HSA Advocates India 2.31 7.69%
J Sagar Associates India 2.56 5.60%
K & L Gates LLP China 3.23 15.38%
K & L Gates LLP Hong Kong 9.72 4.00%
K & L Gates LLP Japan 4.19 6.25%
K & L Gates LLP Singapore 0.27 0%
K & L Gates LLP South Korea 0 0%
K & L Gates LLP Taiwan 17.88 35.29%
Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP China 0 0%
Kinstellar Kazakhstan 0 0%
Latham & Watkins LLP Hong Kong 44.07 39.13%
Latham & Watkins LLP Japan 42.18 45.45%
Latham & Watkins LLP Singapore 17.44 52.94%
The Law Office India 5.00 30.00%
LawQuest India 5.71 0%
Mayer Brown China 2.12 7.32%
Mayer Brown Hong Kong 4.24 8.06%
McDermott Will & Emery LLP China 21.66 37.50%
Olswang Singapore 4.00 0%
Omar Sial & Associates, Advocates Pakistan 200.00 100.00%
Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP China 24.98 23.08%
Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP Japan 56.92 50.00%
Paul Hastings China 86.50 56.25%
Paul Hastings Hong Kong 2.73 2.50%
Paul Hastings Japan 19.92 76.92%
Paul Hastings South Korea 3.14 14.29%
Puyat Jacinto & Santos Philippines 2.86 14.29%
Reed Smith LLP China 2.02 9.52%
Reed Smith LLP Hong Kong 2.85 5.32%
Reed Smith LLP Singapore 10.64 20.00%
Ropes and Gray LLP Hong Kong 0.03 0%
Ropes and Gray LLP Japan 2.50 10.00%
Ropes and Gray LLP South Korea 0 0%
Simmons & Simmons China 6.91 -
Singh & Associates, Advocates and Solicitors India 16.67 100.00%
White & Case China 29.13 31.25%
White & Case Hong Kong 14.39 19.51%
White & Case Indonesia 47.00 100.00%
White & Case Japan 9.38 26.09%
White & Case Kazakhstan 42.25 41.97%

China

Legal aid in China is a reasonably new concept, only having been rolled out in 1996 in response to growing concerns that disadvantaged and marginalised members of society were unable to find legal services. Pro bono is likewise a new concept in China, albeit with growing awareness.

NGOs sometimes face difficulties operating and registering in China due to irregular application and enforcement of often complex laws that differ from province to province. Many well-established organisations with strong impact remain unregistered for years, or register as a business. This can cause complications for lawyers in determining how and whether to work with such organisations.

14 international law firms provided data on how much pro bono they are doing in China. These firms comprise just over 600 lawyers. On average, lawyers in China at the respondent firms performed 15.4 hours of pro bono each over the last 12 months. It should be noted that in China, only People’s Republic of China (PRC) qualified lawyers may appear in court and advise on questions of PRC law, and that foreign lawyers and law firms cannot practise PRC law.

Furthermore, PRC lawyers employed by foreign firms have their practising licences suspended for the duration of their employment and so are not permitted to give formal advice on local law issues.

Rather, international firms provide advice on home law or international law issues. This naturally has an impact on the amount of pro bono work that lawyers at international firms can do, as a large proportion of pro bono legal matters that arise in China will be Chinese law issues.

23 firms with offices in China, all international firms and networks, provided information about how they organise their pro bono practices. All of these respondent firms have sophisticated pro bono structures in place. All have pro bono coordinators to assist with the management and allocation of pro bono matters, and 83% have a pro bono committee. Almost all firms factor pro bono into compensation for their lawyers (91% of respondents) and almost half do the same for partners too.

Only 23% have a pro bono requirement in place.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Paul Hastings 86.50 56.25%
Dechert 52.86 57.14%
White & Case 29.13 31.25%
Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP 24.98 23.08%
McDermott Will & Emery LLP 21.66 37.50%
DLA Piper 15.02 21.72%
Simmons & Simmons 6.91 -
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP 5.02 -
K & L Gates LLP 3.23 15.38%
Mayer Brown 2.12 7.32%
Reed Smith LLP 2.02 9.52%
CMS Cameron McKenna LLP 1.85 10.00%
Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP 0 0%
Ropes and Gray LLP 0 0%

Hong Kong

While Hong Kong is often viewed as a country with limited social need, ranking 13 on the UN Human Development Index, there is a burgeoning professionalism among the NGO sector in the country, and a strong desire among lawyers to contribute more on a pro bono basis. While there are no strong barriers to pro bono in Hong Kong, the fact the foreign lawyers are unable to practise local law can limit engagement in local pro bono projects.

Legal fees can be prohibitively high for many marginalised and disadvantaged members of Hong Kong society, so an active legal aid programme is in place, administered by the Legal Aid Department whose mission is to ensure that no person is denied access to justice because of lack of financial means. Left out of this system for the most part are refugees and asylum seekers, who face a number of challenges in accessing legal aid, much of which is provided by excellent NGOs working there.

11 international firms provided data to the index on the amount of pro bono they do. On average, the 665 lawyers at these firms did 10.9 hours of pro bono over the last year, with 13.0% of lawyers performing ten or more hours of pro bono over the period.

Several more firms provided information on how they manage their pro bono practices (18 in total). All of the respondent firms have a pro bono coordinator in place, with almost 90% having a full time staff member in that role. Only 18% of the respondent firms for Hong Kong have a pro bono requirement in place, though the vast majority factor pro bono into compensation for their associates, and half do so for partners. Anecdotally, several international firms shared an increasing push from headquarters offices to do more pro bono in Hong Kong as an opportunity to advance the sector.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Latham & Watkins LLP 44.07 39.13%
Dechert 38.71 41.18%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP 19.70 -
White & Case 14.39 19.51%
K & L Gates LLP 9.72 4.00%
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP 8.34 16.67%
Mayer Brown 4.24 8.06%
Reed Smith LLP 2.85 5.32%
Paul Hastings 2.73 2.50%
Ashurst 1.92 26.53
Ropes and Gray LLP 0.03 0%

India

There is a strong legal aid programme in place in India, however in practice it can be difficult for marginalised and under-privileged members of Indian society to access the free advice. With a swiftly growing culture of pro bono amongst law firms, increasing numbers of individuals and organisations in need should be able to find the assistance required in the future.

As international firms are not able to operate in India, all six of the respondents for the index in India are domestic firms of varying sizes. The 613 lawyers at these firms average 5.3 hours of pro bono a year, and 15.2% of the lawyers have performed ten or more hours of pro bono. A third of the partners at the respondent firms in India worked on pro bono matters over the last year, with partners performing just under five hours of pro bono each.

A further three firms in India provided information on how they organise the pro bono practices within their firm. Two thirds of respondent firms have a pro bono coordinator in place, and half of those coordinators are full-time roles. The percentage of firms that has a pro bono committee in place is rather fewer, dropping to 33%.

None of the firms have a pro bono requirement for their lawyers and 38% of firms factor pro bono into compensation calculations. These lower levels of infrastructure can be seen as signs that pro bono on an institutional basis has yet to fully take hold in the country.

Indian firms responded that their strongest area of support is anti-corruption and good governance – a reaction to the well-known issues in the country within that sector.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Singh & Associates, Advocates and Solicitors 16.67 100.00%
AZB & Partners 9.31 25.00%
LawQuest 5.71 0%
The Law Office 5.00 30.00%
J Sagar Associates 2.56 5.60%
HSA Advocates 2.31 7.69%

Japan

The Japanese Constitution and Attorney Act together provide that the mission of lawyers in Japan must include protection of fundamental human rights and achievement of social justice. Japanese lawyers can source pro bono matters through the bar associations and a limited pro bono clearing house infrastructure, but given the focus on pro bono, firms often have difficulty finding matters to work on.

Only lawyers admitted in Japan can practise law in Japan (though ‘registered foreign lawyers’ are able to practise the laws of their home country in Japan). Therefore registered foreign lawyers and unregistered Japanese lawyers may face even more difficulty sourcing local pro bono projects.

Eight international firms with offices in Japan provided information for the survey regarding how much pro bono they do, with a further four firms (again all international firms and networks) providing information on how they structure their pro bono practices.

Lawyers at the respondent firms in Japan perform on average 19.5 hours of pro bono each, with 33.3% of lawyers at firms getting involved in 10 or more hours of pro bono throughout the year.

All of the respondent firms have pro bono coordinators in place and some 75% have a pro bono committee. All also factor pro bono into compensation for lawyers. 18% of the respondent firms have a pro bono target in place.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP 56.92 50.00%
Latham & Watkins LLP 42.18 45.45%
DLA Piper 27.94 34.78%
Paul Hastings 19.92 76.92%
White & Case 9.38 26.09%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP 6.92 -
K & L Gates LLP 4.19 6.25%
Ropes and Gray LLP 2.50 10.00%

Singapore

Since 2006, the Law Society in Singapore has recommended every lawyer in Singapore do at least 25 hours of pro bono a year. There are also a number of different legal aid schemes operational seeking to ensure that low income individuals have access to free legal assistance. Most of these schemes are means-tested.

Seven international law firms provided information on their levels of pro bono engagement. The 167 lawyers at these firms perform an average of 18.4 hours of pro bono a year, and 28.7% of lawyers at these firms do ten or more hours of pro bono.

A further five international firms with offices in Singapore submitted details about how they structure their pro bono practices. Of these the vast majority have pro bono coordinators (92%), with the same proportion having a formal on-take procedure for pro bono matters in place.

Though relatively few have a pro bono requirement for their lawyers, almost 85% take pro bono matters into consideration when determining compensation for associates.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
DLA Piper 93.89 42.11%
Latham & Watkins LLP 17.44 52.94%
Reed Smith LLP 10.64 20.00%
White & Case 8.43 16.67
Ashurst 4.83 30.95
Olswang 4.00 0%
K & L Gates LLP 0.27 0%

Australia

Australia is generally recognised as one of the most sophisticated jurisdictions globally in terms of pro bono. Evidence of the value placed on pro bono can be seen from the fact that to qualify for the Australian Government Legal Services Multi-Use List, from which the Australian government selects the firms it works with, lawyers within a firm must subscribe to the Australian National Pro Bono Resource Centre’s Aspirational Target of 35 hours of pro bono per lawyer per year. Australia also boasts a strong and cohesive network of firms that come together to discuss issues and trends around pro bono, as well as providing a safe space to share challenges and limitations. These types of groups and events, both formal and informal, that bring the community together, go a long way to helping drive the country’s reputation as a leader in this space. Four firms with offices in Australia provided data relating to their pro bono practices to the Index. A further three firms provided information on the structure of their practice. Respondent firms reported an average of 44.7 hrs of pro bono per fee earner, with 45.0% doing ten or more hours of pro bono. 63.2% of partners at Australian firms worked on pro bono matters over the last 12 months, which was the highest percentage of any received for the index. Partners in Australia also averaged 18.4 hours of pro bono each. Every respondent with offices in Australia has a designated pro bono co-ordinator, and over 70% of respondent firms factor pro bono into compensation for lawyers in their firm. That both of these statistics is so high is another indication of how important and integrated pro bono is for Australian firms. Though only a small sample of firms responded to the request for data on their practices, the average number of hours of pro bono and the average percentage of lawyers in the firm that have done 10 or more hours of pro bono are both amongst the highest of any country or region. Only one of the respondent firms has a requirement for lawyers within the firm to do pro bono – given the high levels of engagement in spite of this, it is clear that in Australia, such a requirement is not a pre-requisite for engagement.
Firm Name Country Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
DLA Piper Australia 73.13 59.85%
Banki Haddock Fiora Australia 36.54 65.38%
K & L Gates LLP Australia 20.58 27.24%
Holding Redlich Australia 18.69 38.10%

England & Wales

27 firms provided submissions for the index and it is evident from the responses that firms with offices in England and Wales devote significant resources in their firms to ensure that successful pro bono practices are in place.

There is a plethora of organisations that have been set up to support pro bono efforts in England and Wales. Along with legal clinics and advice centres organised by local councils in the country, there are clinics attached to courts and yet more run by community groups and non-profits.

LawWorks, supported by the Law Society of England and Wales, brokers free legal help for low income individuals and community groups and those that cannot access legal aid, and there are a number of pro bono clearing houses in operation.

Some of the world’s largest and highest profile charitable organisations are based in the UK, and a number of law firms have developed strategic relationships with these organisations to provide them with assistance all over the world. Closely aligning with a small number of high profile organisations allows firms to provide much needed support and at the same time leverage the relationship to bring attention to both the charitable organisation and the work being done to support it.

The Attorney General hosts regular meetings for groups involved in pro bono as a platform for collaboration and discussion, allowing the British government to ensure their policies and the work of many private sector and non-profit organisations are complimentary. Coupled with the high level support provided for the annual National Pro Bono Week, it is clear that initiatives in place are geared towards raising the profile of the pro bono sector.

With this level of sophistication in place in England, it is of little surprise that all respondent firms have a pro bono coordinator in place, 88% have a pro bono committee and 85% factor pro bono into compensation for lawyers (though this drops to 62% in terms of compensation for partners). Partner engagement levels were also quite high in England and Wales, with 38.1% of partners working on pro bono matters and each partner averaging 13.6 hours of pro bono work over the last 12 months.

On average, lawyers in England and Wales perform 21.3 hours of pro bono each a year and amongst the respondent firms, the average percentage of lawyers doing ten or more hours of pro bono is 36.1%. Though most of these figures are lower than the equivalents in the US and Australia, it is worth noting that a higher percentage of lawyers in England perform ten or more hours than their colleagues in the US. The statistics from England also compare very well to the rest of Europe, even though very few domestic European firms responded the index.
Firm Name Country Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Arnold & Porter LLP England and Wales 91.38 97.87%
McDermott Will & Emery LLP England and Wales 64.31 61.22%
Dechert England and Wales 50.83 71.79%
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP England and Wales 45.36 44.79%
Anglo-Thai Legal (ATL) England and Wales 37.50 100.00%
Latham & Watkins LLP England and Wales 37.05 50.39%
Faegre Baker Daniels LLP England and Wales 36.22 61.11%
Reed Smith LLP England and Wales 31.24 48.68%
Simmons & Simmons England and Wales 27.92 -
Bates Wells & Braithwaite England and Wales 25.63 44.44%
Paul Hastings England and Wales 24.34 48.94%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP England and Wales 21.98 -
DLA Piper England and Wales 20.37 30.72%
Ashurst England and Wales 14.22 39.15%
Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP England and Wales 14.18 29.03%
CMS Cameron McKenna LLP England and Wales 13.92 38.45%
K & L Gates LLP England and Wales 13.04 27.70%
White & Case England and Wales 12.46 24.92%
Mayer Brown England and Wales 10.19 26.21%
Olswang England and Wales 8.02 19.08%
Ropes and Gray LLP England and Wales 5.42 5.06%
Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP England and Wales 1.21 7.14%
Crowell & Moring LLP England and Wales 1.00 25.00%

Europe

Europe consists of some 750 million people across 45 countries, speaking a wide range of languages and has broad variations in legal systems. With a large number of international firms and networks operating across the continent, standards within legal practices have been continually raised to bring them in line with the expectations of international investors and to meet increased competition from foreign firms.

Pro bono in Europe is supported by a wide range of initiatives, both public and private, and there is strong support for pro bono among the many law firms that operate in the region. Initiatives such as PILnet’s European Pro Bono Forum have provided a platform for the pro bono community to come together to share best practice and help strengthen pro bono infrastructure across the region and beyond.

Firms with offices in 32 countries across Europe (including England) provided data for the index. The vast majority of respondent firms in Europe are international firms and networks. For the purposes of the index, we have separated the data for England and Wales from the rest of Europe due to the very high levels of pro bono infrastructure and support for pro bono in that jurisdiction compared to the rest of the region.

Across the rest of Europe, lawyers performed an average of 11.8 hours of pro bono. Lawyers in Belgium, Norway and Georgia performed the highest number of hours of pro bono on average, though small sample data from the majority of jurisdictions means that establishing trends is difficult. Across the continent, just over a quarter of lawyers performed 10 or more hours of pro bono in the last 12 months.

Please note, regional data tables have been ordered alphabetically.
Firm Name Country Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
A&L Goodbody Ireland 4.73 12.93%
Arnold & Porter LLP Belgium 147.10 100.00%
Ashurst Belgium 3.83 26.09%
Ashurst Germany 5.46 18.18%
Ashurst Spain 5.64 35.29%
CMS Cameron McKenna LLP Bulgaria 6.38 35.48%
CMS Cameron McKenna LLP Czech Republic 2.96 10.71%
CMS Cameron McKenna LLP Hungary 6.54 14.93%
CMS Cameron McKenna LLP Poland 1.84 5.71%
CMS Cameron McKenna LLP Romania 4.16 22.45%
CMS Cameron McKenna LLP Scotland 9.89 29.41%
CMS Cameron McKenna LLP Ukraine 13.98 21.74%
Crowell & Moring LLP Belgium 31.96 43.48%
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP France 13.67 40.00%
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP Germany 2.18 12.50%
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP Russia 10.69 22.22%
Dechert Belgium 27.93 66.67%
Dechert France 31.08 68.33%
Dechert Georgia 26.80 80.00%
Dechert Germany 10.21 20.69%
Dechert Ireland 24.29 42.86%
Dechert Luxembourg 10.63 37.50%
Dechert Russia 27.95 25.00%
Divjak, Topic & Bahtijarevic Law Firm Croatia 7.83 26.67%
DLA Piper Austria 2.95 7.02%
DLA Piper Belgium 54.48 38.02%
DLA Piper Czech Republic 0.35 0%
DLA Piper France 17.00 13.21%
DLA Piper Georgia 31.39 41.67%
DLA Piper Germany 8.82 16.42%
DLA Piper Hungary 5.90 17.50%
DLA Piper Italy 3.39 5.44%
DLA Piper Netherlands 5.85 16.52%
DLA Piper Norway 20.23 25.40%
DLA Piper Poland 15.07 32.76%
DLA Piper Romania 1.08 7.50%
DLA Piper Russia 6.76 15.69%
DLA Piper Scotland 32.74 28.79%
DLA Piper Slovakia 0 0%
DLA Piper Spain 5.47 15.00%
DLA Piper Turkey 1.94 3.67%
DLA Piper Ukraine 8.61 6.67%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP Austria 5.95 -
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP Belgium 22.96 -
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP Germany 6.70 -
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP Italy 7.96 -
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP Netherlands 9.08 -
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP Russia 0.98 -
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP Spain 5.03 -
K & L Gates LLP Belgium 0 0%
K & L Gates LLP France 0 0%
K & L Gates LLP Germany 1.93 7.35%
K & L Gates LLP Italy 0 0%
K & L Gates LLP Poland 7.98 17.39%
K & L Gates LLP Russia 70.44 66.67%
Kinstellar Czech Republic 10.01 30.00%
Kinstellar Hungary 3.93 14.00%
Kinstellar Romania 0.71 0%
Kinstellar Serbia 0 0%
Kinstellar Slovakia 0.63 0%
Kinstellar Turkey 0 0%
Latham & Watkins LLP Belgium 42.76 38.10%
Latham & Watkins LLP France 45.75 75.00%
Latham & Watkins LLP Germany 44.28 49.37%
Latham & Watkins LLP Italy 34.84 68.18%
Latham & Watkins LLP Russia 39.57 60.87%
Latham & Watkins LLP Spain 36.58 89.47%
Law Firm Sajic Bosnia and Herzegovina 10.00 20.00%
Lex Law Offices Iceland 10.64 21.28%
Mayer Brown Belgium 13.94 31.25%
Mayer Brown France 6.02 13.64%
Mayer Brown Germany 6.52 22.73%
McDermott Will & Emery LLP Belgium 21.71 64.29%
McDermott Will & Emery LLP France 30.64 32.14%
McDermott Will & Emery LLP Germany 32.77 46.38%
McDermott Will & Emery LLP Italy 21.43 47.50%
Miranda Correia Amendoeira & Associados Portugal 30.79 51.72%
Olswang Belgium 0.08 0%
Olswang France 1.88 4.17%
Olswang Germany 2.42 6.45%
Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP France 9.29 17.27%
Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP Germany 9.04 16.67%
Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP Italy 5.34 4.92%
Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP Russia 11.00 23.08%
Paul Hastings France 14.47 13.16%
Paul Hastings Germany 9.79 7.14%
Paul Hastings Italy 25.42 34.62%
Pekin & Pekin Turkey 12.50 75.00%
PLMJ - AM Pereira, Saragga Leal, Oliveira Martins, Judice & Assoc - Soc. Adv. RL Portugal 2.87 0%
Reed Smith LLP France 15.84 26.19%
Reed Smith LLP Germany 18.39 51.61%
Reed Smith LLP Greece 15.86 33.33%
Simmons & Simmons Belgium 12.06 -
Simmons & Simmons France 5.68 -
Simmons & Simmons Germany 8.96 -
Simmons & Simmons Italy 0.40 -
Simmons & Simmons Netherlands 3.59 -
Simmons & Simmons Spain 4.10 -
White & Case Belgium 34.85 61.54%
White & Case Czech Republic 15.17 27.59%
White & Case Finland 5.95 9.52%
White & Case France 8.98 12.20%
White & Case Germany 7.21 13.21%
White & Case Hungary 56.32 84.21%
White & Case Italy 1.70 5.00%
White & Case Poland 36.11 54.39%
White & Case Romania 54.08 75.00%
White & Case Russia 9.56 25.00%
White & Case Slovakia 23.83 50.00%
White & Case Spain 15.00 66.67%
White & Case Switzerland 22.20 40.00%
White & Case Turkey 21.94 46.00%

Belgium

Belgium reported the highest number of hours per fee earner in Europe, with 35 hours on average across 13 international firms with offices in Belgium. The data relates to 400 lawyers in the country. This average was also one of the highest across all the data we collected. This country-wide figure was pulled up by Arnold & Porter whose average hours were significantly higher than any other firm in the country.

Seven of the firms also provided information about how much pro bono is undertaken by partners based in Belgium. The 41 partners that work at the eight respondent firms performed on average almost 16 hours of pro bono each, clearly demonstrating strong partner-level support for pro bono in the country.

Amongst fee-earners in Belgium, 42.4% performed ten or more hours of pro bono over the last 12 months.

Because of its position as the centre of the European Union, a large number of the firms that have offices in Belgium do not offer Belgian law advice, but rather are solely there to offer EU and competition/anti-trust advice. This specific skill set naturally has an impact on the assistance these lawyers are able to provide to locally-based and operating non-profits and low income individuals, particularly as the latter is well regulated and provided for by the government. Nonetheless the large number of NGOs that are based in Brussels, with foci across Europe, can provide opportunities for interesting and challenging pro bono work.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Arnold & Porter LLP 147.10 100.00%
DLA Piper 54.48 38.02%
Latham & Watkins LLP 42.76 38.10%
White & Case 34.85 61.54%
Crowell & Moring LLP 31.96 43.48%
Dechert 27.93 66.67%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP 22.96 -
McDermott Will & Emery LLP 21.71 64.29%
Mayer Brown 13.94 31.25%
Simmons & Simmons 12.06 -
Ashurst 3.83 26.09%
Olswang 0.08 0%
K & L Gates LLP 0 0%

Czech Republic

The Czech Republic is a relatively young country, created following the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1993 after the non-violent transition from communist rule to democracy in 1989. The concept of legal aid has been strengthening since then and a nascent pro bono culture is beginning to grow in the country as well.

Four firms with offices in the Czech Republic provided submissions for the index that included data on their levels of pro bono engagement, with an additional firm solely providing information on how it organises its pro bono practice. All of these firms are international firms and networks with offices in multiple countries.

Almost 150 lawyers work for the four respondent firms, and on average those lawyers perform 8.9 hours of pro bono each a year, with 16.8% of lawyers doing ten or more hours of pro bono. Though a relatively small data set, it is clear that firms recognise the importance of pro bono.

All of the respondent firms have pro bono coordinators in place and all have formal on-take procedures for pro bono matters. All firms factor pro bono into compensation for lawyers, though only one has a pro bono requirement in place for its lawyers, and that is an aspirational rather than mandatory target.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
White & Case 15.17 27.59%
Kinstellar 10.01 30.00%
DLA Piper 9.50 10.71%
CMS Cameron McKenna LLP 2.96 0%

France

There is a strong legal aid culture in France, with a comprehensive level of provision for those in need. The knock-on effect of this is that there is a less well developed pro bono culture compared to some other countries, as traditionally legal aid has stepped in to support low income and marginalised communities.

All of the 13 firms that submitted data on their pro bono levels for the index are international firms and networks. The average number of pro bono hours performed by the 800 lawyers at these firms in France was 15.8, which is above the European average. Amongst those firms, on average 25.8% of lawyers performed 10 hours or more of pro bono over the last year. Both the average pro bono hours and the percentage of lawyers doing ten or more hours of pro bono are above the Europe-wide averages of 11.8 hours and 23.9% respectively.

Partner engagement in France is roughly on par with the average across mainland Europe. 25% of partners worked on pro bono matters over the last 12 months (compared to the European average of 30.1%), and partners in France averaged 7.5 hours of pro bono (compared to 9.8 across the continent).
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Latham & Watkins LLP 45.75 75.00%
Dechert 31.08 68.33%
McDermott Will & Emery LLP 30.64 32.14%
DLA Piper 17.00 13.21%
Reed Smith LLP 15.84 26.19%
Paul Hastings 14.47 13.16%
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP 13.67 40.00%
Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP 9.29 17.27%
White & Case 8.98 12.20%
Mayer Brown 6.02 13.64%
Simmons & Simmons 5.68 -
Olswang 1.88 4.17%
K & L Gates 0 0%

Germany

A number of factors and complicated regulations around pro bono in Germany have meant that historically, certain elements of legal service have not been readily provided free of charge: compensation for lawyers in Germany is regulated by federal laws and professional rules issued by German bar associations. This has meant that, traditionally, German lawyers are required to charge fees for their services, whilst the German state provides legal aid for those that are unable to afford a lawyer. According to professional rules, lawyers in Germany are allowed to negotiate fees outside of a litigation context, but statutory fees apply for litigation. Therefore general consultation, corporate representation and transactional practice can all be negotiated and can therefore be performed pro bono.1

This ability to negotiate has led to an increasing amount of support for the non-profit sector in by law firms in Germany. The 15 firms with offices in Germany that provided data on their pro bono engagement levels are all international firms and networks, though these figures include almost 1,700 lawyers. The average amount of pro bono performed over the last 12 months is 11.6 hours, with 23.2% of lawyers on average at each firm doing at least ten hours of pro bono. These numbers align Germany’s responses with those of Poland and Russia. Germany sits solidly in the middle of the pack across Europe. The median number of hours per fee earner reported is 8.8, slightly lower than the average – this is due to a particularly strong outlier, doing more than 40 hours per fee earner in the country.

Partners in Germany did broadly similar amounts of pro bono to those in countries like France, and were close to the regional averages. 30.5% of partners in Germany worked on pro bono matters, with each partner averaging 11.3 hours of pro bono over the year.

1 A Survey of Pro Bono Practices and Opportunities in 71 Jurisdictions, Prepared by Latham & Watkins LLP for the Pro Bono Institute, August 2012 http://www.probonoinst.org/wpps/wp-content/uploads/a-survey-of-pro-bono-practices-and-opportunities-in-71-jurisdiction-2012.pdf
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Latham & Watkins LLP 44.28 49.37%
McDermott Will & Emery 32.77 46.38%
Reed Smith LLP 18.39 51.61%
Dechert 10.21 20.69%
Paul Hastings 9.79 7.14%
Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP 9.04 16.67%
Simmons & Simmons 8.96 -
DLA Piper 8.82 16.42%
White & Case 7.21 13.21%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP 6.70 -
Mayer Brown 6.52 22.73%
Ashurst 5.46 18.18%
Olswang 2.42 6.45%
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP 2.18 12.50%
K & L Gates LLP 1.93 7.35%

Italy

Pro bono is relatively new to Italy: it was only in a 2006 ruling that it was confirmed that pro bono services could be provided to non-profits and charitable organisations. As such the infrastructure is comparatively less well developed than in other countries in Europe.

Nine international firms and networks provided data for the index on their levels of pro bono engagement. The pool of lawyers this relates to is approximately 680 individuals and on average they are performing 8.7 hours of pro bono each. Across the firms, 20.9% of lawyers are performing ten or more hours of pro bono. It is an indication of the slowly developing pro bono culture that both of these figures are below the regional averages in Europe.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Latham & Watkins LLP 34.84 68.18%
Paul Hastings 25.42 34.62%
McDermott Will & Emery LLP 21.43 47.50%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP 7.96 -
Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP 5.34 4.92%
DLA Piper 3.39 5.44%
White & Case 1.70 5.00%
Simmons & Simmons 0.40 -
K & L Gates 0 0%

Russia

Russian law allows pro bono services to be provided, though international NGOs in particular have faced increasing difficulties operating in the country over the last few years.1 In March 2013 the government began inspecting NGOs in order to force many to register as “foreign agents”.

While the constitution of Russia gives citizens the right to legal counsel, the first federal law specifically to regulate legal aid was not adopted until 2012. This has an impact on the support that can be provided pro bono and the ease of offering these services to individuals and NGOs in the country.

Of the nearly 350 lawyers at the eight international firms that provided data on their levels of pro bono engagement, on average the lawyers performed a little over 11 hours of pro bono per year. Just over a quarter of the lawyers at the respondent firms in Russia (25.6%) perform 10 or more hours of pro bono a year. From the data provided, partner engagement is similar to the European averages, with partners performing almost seven hours of pro bono per year, and 30% of partners involved in a pro bono matter.

1http://www.hrw.org/news/2014/03/25/russia-foreign-agents-law-hits-hundreds-ngos-updated-march-25-2014
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
K & L Gates LLP 70.44 66.67%
Latham & Watkins LLP 39.57 60.87%
Dechert 27.95 25.00%
Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP 11.00 23.08%
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP 10.69 22.22%
White & Case 9.56 25.00%
DLA Piper 6.76 15.69%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP 0.98 -

Spain

While Spain has a free legal aid system (asistencia jurídica gratuita) for individuals who cannot afford representation, there are mounting social pressures in a country where unemployment rates are hovering at 25%, with a large number of NGOs also lacking the resources to pay for high quality legal advice.

In spite of this high level of need, the pro bono data reported for Spain was among the lowest in Europe with lawyers on average, performing just over 7.8 hours of pro bono each over the last 12 months.

Six firms responded to the index providing information about their levels of pro bono engagement, all of which are international rather than Spanish firms. Respondents reported 33.3% of fee earners doing more than 10 hours of pro bono – although the range among firms is quite significant, from 15% to nearly 90%.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Latham & Watkins LLP 36.58 89.47%
White & Case 15.00 66.67%
Ashurst 5.94 35.29%
DLA Piper 5.47 15.00%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP 5.03 -
Simmons & Simmons 4.10 -

Turkey

Technically there are no barriers to providing pro bono advice in Turkey, though in accordance with the lawyers’ minimum tariff rules minimum fees should be charged for any legal advice or service provided. However, matters (including litigation matters) can be taken on pro bono to the extent that the lawyers taking on the matter notify the Bar Association they are registered with accordingly.

Five firms with offices in Turkey responded to the index providing information about how they organise their pro bono practices. Of these, four provided data information about the amount of pro bono they perform. These four firms encompass some 179 lawyers and across the firms the lawyers in Turkey average 7.6 hours of pro bono each, with the firms averaging 18.4% of fee-earners performing 10 or more hours of pro bono.

The Turkish legal teams that responded to the index all have sophisticated pro bono infrastructure in place. All five of the firms have pro bono coordinators and all have formal pro bono on-take procedures in place.

Though 75% of the respondents factor pro bono engagement into compensation for lawyers at their firms, and the majority also factor pro bono into partner compensation, none have a formal pro bono requirement in place.

The majority of the respondent firms indicated that they support organisations working in the field of aid and development. Given Turkey’s geographic location it has become a destination for some 600,000 refugees fleeing the civil war in Syria and other regional conflicts. In addition, with its susceptibility to natural disasters such as earthquakes, this support is clearly in response to strong needs in the country.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
White & Case 21.94 46.00%
Pekin & Pekin 12.50 75.00%
DLA Piper 1.94 3.67%
Kinstellar 0 -

United States

The United States is one of the most charitable nations on the planet, with US citizens donating USD316.23bn in 20121. It is not a surprise that this generosity is reflected by lawyers and law firms there. The US is one of the global leaders in terms of pro bono, with organisations such as the Pro Bono Institute helping to set trends in pro bono around the world. Firms based in or headquartered in the US devoted on average almost $31million2 to pro bono over the last 12 months.

As expected given the tradition of pro bono, US firms and firms with offices there have made great efforts to ensure that the mechanisms for successful and well-integrated pro bono practices are built into their firms. Firms have strong infrastructure in place, with 95% of respondents reporting a pro bono coordinator, and 95% of those coordinators being full-time pro bono resources within the firm.

86% of the firms take pro bono into account when determining compensation for lawyers, and 59% do so for partners – far and away the highest proportion amongst the information received. They also have a number of membership bodies, such as the American Pro Bono Counsel, that help bring together firms to share challenges and best practices, host events, and in general strengthen their efforts as a profession.

23 firms with US offices responded to the index with data about the size of their firm and the amount of pro bono they do, though of those only one is a domestic US firm. The data received for the US shows that lawyers do the most pro bono on average of any country, with an average across the country of 75.0 hours3, and the average percentage of lawyers doing ten or more hours of pro bono across the respondents being 69.5%. The average hours are far higher than for any other jurisdiction where we have a number of different datasets.

Partner engagement levels are very high in the US compared to other countries. 65.7% of partners at respondent firms in the US worked on pro bono matters and on average partners at US firms performed 38.8 hours of pro bono each throughout the year – also the highest figure globally.

Surveys detailing pro bono hours per fee-earner are common across the US, including the American Lawyer Pro Bono Survey, which first launched in 1990. However, having this benchmarking data has undoubtedly led to strong development and resource commitment to the sector and allowed firms to consistently raise their game year on year.

1 Melanie Grayce West, Small Rise in Charitable Donations Last Year, Wall St. J., 18 Jun, 2013.
2 Some of this will have been accrued in the non-US offices of international firms and networks.
3 Two countries do have a higher average amount of pro bono performed per lawyer, though in both cases only one firm responded for that country and it is impossible to determine whether such results are an anomaly or not. As such, they are disregarded for this purpose.
Firm Name Country Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Arnold & Porter LLP United States 139.99 96.79%
Paul Hastings United States 109.46 98.54%
Dechert United States 101.98 89.64%
Ropes and Gray LLP United States 101.87 72.00%
Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP United States 100.06 84.87%
Latham & Watkins LLP United States 93.50 78.54%
Steptoe and Johnson United States 87.61 79.64%
McDermott Will & Emery LLP United States 85.89 71.03%
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP United States 85.66 62.01%
Hogan Lovells United States 85.18 85.11%
DLA Piper United States 82.04 89.76%
Crowell & Moring LLP United States 72.19 73.36%
White & Case United States 69.86 74.17%
Dickstein Shapiro LLP United States 68.06 62.71%
Mayer Brown United States 53.92 48.77%
Reed Smith LLP United States 45.07 50.63%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP United States 44.60 -
Faegre Baker Daniels LLP United States 43.97 57.12%
Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP United States 40.51 45.74%
Fish & Richardson P.C. United States 40.17 42.32%
K & L Gates LLP United States 29.96 36.61%
Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft LLP United States 27.87 30.51%
Ashurst United States 3.48 21.74%