Data

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Africa & Middle East

This year Index submissions were received from 33 law firms with 45 offices in 17 countries across Africa and the Middle East. The findings from these firms show that lawyers in the region provided an average of 26.0 hours of pro bono legal assistance each over the past year, a decrease of nearly 15 percent from last year’s finding of 30.4 hours. The percentage of fee earners doing ten or more hours of pro bono also decreased slightly, from 42.7 percent last year to 35.5 percent this year.

The number of firms with offices in Africa and the Middle East participating in the Index increased from 25 last year to 33 this year. The latest findings suggest mixed trends in partner engagement in pro bono. The average number of hours undertaken by partners was 17.1, a slight decrease from the 18.5 hours reported last year. However, the percentage of partners contributing any time to pro bono work increased from 40.4 percent reported in last year’s Index to 44.4 percent in 2016.

As law firms recognise the future fee-paying potential of social enterprises and small-to-medium-sized enterprises in the region, they are increasingly establishing their own in-house social enterprise practices. This represents an important area of potential growth in pro bono work across south and east Africa, as well as one that stands to significantly influence the dynamics of law firm engagement with pro bono beneficiaries. As law firms build their pro bono practices, they are becoming more selective with regard to which causes and organisations they support and are beginning to engage directly with client organisations, as opposed to relying on the few pro bono clearinghouses active in the region to mediate such relationships.

For a PDF of the full Africa & Middle East findings, please see here.
Firm Name Country Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP United Arab Emirates 14.60 46.67%
Anjarwalla & Khanna Kenya 3.23 27.42%
Ashurst United Arab Emirates 10.72 23.53%
Bowman Gilfillan Inc. Kenya 2.50 10.47%
Bowman Gilfillan Inc. South Africa 21.08 41.32%
Bowman Gilfillan Inc. Madagascar 18.94 41.18%
Bowman Gilfillan Inc. Uganda 1.32 5.26%
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP United Arab Emirates 3.60 20.00%
Clyde & Co LLP Qatar 19.73 52.63%
Clyde & Co LLP Saudi Arabia 1.95 5.56%
Clyde & Co LLP United Arab Emirates 5.74 16.47%
Coulson Harney Kenya 1.81 5.56%
CR Amanya Advocates & Solicitors Uganda 1.00 10.00%
Dechert United Arab Emirates 45.08 100.00%
DLA Piper Bahrain 40.35 50.00%
DLA Piper Kuwait 18.03 33.33%
DLA Piper Qatar 62.30 100.00%
DLA Piper Saudi Arabia 23.88 57.89%
DLA Piper United Arab Emirates 24.55 50.75%
Fasken Martineau LLP South Africa 97.15 75.79%
Fortis LP Nigeria 100.00 85.33%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP United Arab Emirates 0.25 -
Hamilton Harrison and Mathews Kenya 0.80 6.00%
Hogan Lovells United Arab Emirates 4.95 19.05%
Hogan Lovells South Africa South Africa 64.11 12.82%
K&L Gates LLP Qatar 0.53 0.00%
K&L Gates LLP United Arab Emirates 6.65 29.41%
Latham & Watkins LLP Saudi Arabia 64.11 12.82%
Latham & Watkins LLP United Arab Emirates 29.63 54.17%
Linklaters LLP United Arab Emirates 10.36 17.95%
Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa South Africa 38.38 83.67%
Onyango & Co Advocates Uganda 70.83 58.33%
Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP Ivory Coast 4.17 16.67%
Rahim Khan & Company Attorneys Botswana 37.50 50.00%
Reed Smith LLP United Arab Emirates 25.87 60.00%
Saed Mousa Naffa' Law Office Jordan 3.40 60.00%
Saed Karajah & Partners LLP Jordan 55.56 100.00%
Sharkawy & Sarhan Law Firm Egypt 36.52 8.70%
Shearman & Sterling LLP United Arab Emirates 0.60 0.00%
Simmons & Simmons Qatar 3.86 -
Simmons & Simmons United Arab Emirates 6.22 -
Taslaf Advocates Rwanda 5.00 -
Taslaf Advocates Tanzania 5.00 -
Taslaf Advocates Uganda 15.00 100.00%
Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie Nigeria 2.79 8.62%
Uteem Chambers Mauritius 20.00 60.00%
Webber Wentzel South Africa 38.74 25.06%
White and Case Qatar 13.75 37.50%
White and Case South Africa 9.82 35.29%
White and Case United Arab Emirates 15.29 41.18%
Regional Average 26.04 35.52%

Kenya

Comprehensive analysis is only published for Index findings in jurisdictions where four or more law firms submit data on their pro bono activities over the previous year. As submissions were only received from two firms in Kenya in each of the previous two years of the Index, 2016 marks the first year that in-depth analysis has been carried out on the pro bono legal sector in Kenya. This year’s findings provide a more accurate representation of the nature of pro bono work in Kenya, as this year’s dataset is larger than in previous years. However, comparing the 2016 findings to 2015 data provides useful context for analysing pro bono trends in Kenya.

Law firm submissions from this year show that fee earners based in Kenya carried out 2.2 hours of pro bono legal work over the past year, an increase of 22 percent from last year’s finding of 1.8 hours. The percentage of fee earners who provided ten or more hours of pro bono legal services over the past year was 12.7 percent, compared to 3.3 percent reported in the previous year.

Data on partner engagement in Kenya showed measurable progress. Participating law firms have reported that 29.5 percent of partners dedicated some time to pro bono work last year, a small increase from the 26.3 percent average of the two law firms that submitted data in the previous year. On average, partners did 3.1 hours of pro bono work in 2016, nearly twice the 1.6 hours reported in 2015.

Article 48 of Kenya’s constitution notes that, “The State shall ensure access to justice for all persons and, if any fee is required, it shall be reasonable and shall not impede access to justice.”1 However, many citizens still lack sufficient access to legal services across the country. The legal community is taking steps to address the unmet need; in September 2015, the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) held its annual Legal Awareness Week.2 Though not focused explicitly on pro bono work carried out by private lawyers, the law society enlisted the help of more than 7,000 qualified Kenyan lawyers to provide pro bono legal services to citizens in more than seven LSK offices across the country.

1https://www.kenyaembassy.com/pdfs/the%20constitution%20of%20kenya.pdf
2http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2000177558/7-000-lawyers-to-offer-free-legal-services-to-kenyans-countrywide-next-week
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Anjarwalla & Khanna 3.23 27.42%
Bowman Gilfillan Inc. 2.50 10.47%
Coulson Harney 1.81 5.56%
Hamilton Harrison and Mathews 0.80 6.00%
Country Average 2.19 12.70%

Qatar

All five 2016 Index submissions from firms with lawyers based in Qatar were provided by international law firms. This year, pro bono data suggested either maintenance of previous levels or a slight decline in the amount of pro bono done in Qatar over the past year. The percentage of partners engaging in any pro bono work remained constant from the previous year at 45.5 percent, while the average pro bono hours done by partners over the past year dropped significantly to 8.6 hours each.

Despite strong pro bono contributions from law firm partners, measurable drops were seen in lawyer engagement. Participating firms reported an average of 11.6 pro bono hours per lawyer in 2016, while 24.5 hours were reported the previous year. Similarly, 30.0 percent of fee earners contributed some time to pro bono during the past year, a substantial drop from the previous year’s finding of 44.0 percent.

Among participating law firms, pro bono legal activities in Qatar have been largely dedicated to increasing the share of resources that non-profit enterprises can dedicate to achieving their social missions by providing corporate legal advice on a pro bono basis, as well as helping social enterprises to formally register within the country’s legal framework and to obtain the necessary approvals to begin their operations in Qatar. Although lawyers are not obligated to provide pro bono services, either by local bar associations or government mandate, some Qatari law firms have established internal pro bono targets to encourage participation among lawyers.1

1http://www.legalweek.com/legal-week/analysis/2461658/corporate-counsel-middle-east-awards-acc-middle-east-achievement-award-al-ansari-associates
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Clyde & Co LLP 19.73 52.63%
DLA Piper 62.30 100.00%
K&L Gates LLP 0.53 0.00%
Simmons & Simmons 3.86 -
White and Case 13.75 37.50%
Country Average 11.64 30.00%

South Africa

Analysis of the 2016 Index findings from South Africa revealed promising pro bono developments over the past year. Six law firms with offices in South Africa submitted data on their pro bono practices this year, the highest Index participation we have seen from the country. Results indicated improvement in pro bono engagement at all levels within participating firms, and with data for each of the key indicators showing positive growth.

Participating law firms reported an average of 38.9 hours of pro bono per fee earner, an increase of more than 20 percent over the 32.7 hours reported in the 2015 Index. In addition, the percentage of fee earners donating 10 or more hours to pro bono work rose to 45.2 percent, an increase from the 38.3 percent reported in the 2015 Index, and the highest average rate of fee-earner participation in South Africa since the Index launched.

Partner engagement was seen to significantly increased with Partners in South Africa undertaking an average of 20.3 hours of pro bono, an increase of more than 37 percent over 2015 findings of 14.8 hours. The percentage of partners spending any time on pro bono work also saw a dramatic increase; the 2016 analysis showed that 47.1 percent of partners in South Africa worked on at least one pro bono matter, while only 38.5 percent did so in the 2015 Index.

In the wake of a High Court decision in April 2016 to review hundreds of corruption charges against President Jacob Zuma during his seven years in office, the problem of government corruption has risen to the top of the public agenda. Cases of government malfeasance often prove too divisive to attract the attention of pro bono lawyers, but proponents of the practice in South Africa have spoken up in recent months, encouraging pro bono lawyers at private firms to actively support the fight against corruption.

Speaking at a law firm event in Johannesburg in April, former Constitutional Court judge Zac Yacoob reminded lawyers that it was the responsibility of the legal profession to defend the interests of the people and the values of the constitution against corrupt government officials who seek personal profit at the expense of the public good. Referring to corruption charges against the president, Yacoob told attendees, “The Nkandla case is important because the money was meant for the people and the people would have been better off with it.”1 He went on to emphasise the long history of pro bono legal work in South Africa, which goes back to the fight against apartheid, and noted its continued importance as the country works to uphold its democratic values and fulfill the promise of justice and equality guaranteed by the constitution.

For a practitioner's view of pro bono in South Africa, please see here.

1https://www.africanlawbusiness.com/news/6307-pro-bono-key-to-fighting-corruption-in-south-africa
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Bowman Gilfillan Inc 21.08 41.32%
Fasken Martineau LLP 97.15 75.79%
Hogan Lovells South Africa 64.11 12.82%
Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa 38.38 83.67%
Onyango & Co Advocates 70.83 58.33%
Webber Wentzel 38.74 25.06%
White and Case 9.82 35.29%
Country Average 38.94 45.17%

United Arab Emirates

Thirteen law firms with offices in the United Arab Emirates submitted information on their pro bono activities for the 2016 Index, an increase from the 11 firms that submitted in the previous year. Results showed that fee earners based in the UAE contributed an average of 11.6 hours each over the last 12 months, somewhat less than the 13.2 hours reported in the 2015 Index. The percentage of fee earners spending 10 or more hours on pro bono work also decreased over the past year, from 31.6 percent in last year’s Index to 27.3 percent reported in 2016.

Although fee-earner participation lagged somewhat in UAE-based law offices, partner engagement in the country showed positive growth. Partners averaged 7.1 hours each over the last year, more than the 6.3 hours reported the previous year. In addition, pro bono involvement among partners in general increased from 26.3 percent last year to 33.3 percent reported in 2016.

Pro bono legal activities are not widespread in the UAE, however the presence of many international law firms has introduced the practice in the region and prompted local firms and legal advice services to take notice. Though government legal aid schemes exist, they are often only accessible to UAE citizens. Given the significant number of foreign workers living in the UAE, much of the demand for pro bono advice arises from these groups.

The unmet demand is partially addressed by the Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC) Academy of Law’s pro bono programme, through which locally qualified lawyers are connected with low-income foreign nationals in need of local representation.1 Often these cases pertain to employment disputes against unfair or illegal employment practices that may have otherwise gone unprosecuted if not for the dedication of the 100 legal practitioners from 43 registered local law firms who participate in the programme.2

Given the regulations prohibiting foreign lawyers from representing litigants in local cases, those interested in providing pro bono services in the UAE often choose to work with local charities, NGOs and social enterprises on issues involving foreign laws or compliance with local laws governing corporate affairs, such as registration, employment, cross-border partnerships, and licensing agreements.3

1http://www.thenational.ae/uae/dubai-lawyers-offer-pro-bono-services-to-low-income-workers
2Ibid.
3https://www.lw.com/admin/Upload/Documents/Global%20Pro%20Bono%20Survey/A-Survey-of-Pro-Bono-Practices-and-Opportunities.pdf
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP 14.60 46.67%
Ashurst 10.72 25.53%
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP 3.60 20.00%
Clyde & Co LLP 5.74 16.47%
Dechert 45.08 100.00%
DLA Piper 24.55 50.75%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP 0.25 -
Hogan Lovells 4.95 19.05%
K&L Gates LLP 6.65 29.41%
Latham & Watkins LLP 29.63 54.17%
Linklaters LLP 10.36 17.95%
Reed Smith LLP 25.87 60.00%
Shearman & Sterling LLP 0.60 0.00%
Simmons & Simmons 6.22 -
White and Case 15.29 41.18%
Country Average 11.61 27.27%

Americas

The analysis in this section relates to the Americas excluding the United States.

The pro bono movement in the Americas has gained significant momentum over the past several years, with growing interest and more systematic participation by law firms across the region. Organisations such as the Vance Center and local clearinghouses have worked hard to promote the practice of pro bono across the region, sharing knowledge and information to help raise standards and engagement. Since its launch almost a decade ago, the Pro Bono Declaration for the Americas has gathered over 500 signatories, of which more than 400 are Latin American firms and individual lawyers, with the number rising every year.

Despite the significant increase in awareness and promotion of pro bono in the Americas, however, the consistent implementation of the practice remains a challenge. While many lawyers in the region have long provided free legal assistance to the poor, law firms have only started to institutionalise the practice in recent years. The infrastructure needed for pro bono to take root is still in development in most countries of the region, and law firms continue to face constraints on the resources they can dedicate to pro bono.

Challenges notwithstanding, the future looks bright. Index data shows that law firms in the Americas continue to make efforts to evolve their pro bono practices, for example by launching formal pro bono programs, appointing pro bono coordinators and committees, and considering pro bono work as part of performance evaluations and compensation decisions.

Thirty-five law firms with 47 offices across 17 countries in the Americas, excluding the United States, submitted pro bono data for the 2016 Index. This represents a dramatic increase from last year, when 28 firms submitted data from 34 offices in 10 countries across the region. This increase perhaps reflects a growing interest in pro bono among lawyers in Latin America and suggests a promising future for the practice within regional legal markets. North American firms were also represented in the Index, as four international firms with offices in Canada and two domestic Canadian firms submitted data on their pro bono practices.

Our findings show that over the last 12 months, fee earners in the Americas performed an average of 11.7 hours of pro bono work each, continuing a steady trend in the regional rate of pro bono participation seen since the first Index in 2014. In addition, 21.2 percent of fee earners donated 10 or more hours of their time to pro bono legal initiatives. Pro bono engagement by partners also remains strong; 28.1 percent of partners contributed some of their time to pro bono projects over the last year. Among those who did so, partners averaged 7.9 hours of pro bono work over the year.

According to the latest findings of the biennial Pro Bono Survey carried out by the Vance Center and Latin Lawyer, clearinghouses continue to play a significant role in spreading the practice of pro bono in countries across the region.1 In addition to providing opportunities for pro bono work to local lawyers, who may otherwise find it difficult to identify projects to support, pro bono foundations and non-profit clearinghouses are helping to make pro bono an integral part of the regional legal culture.

The tradition of pro bono is also showing strength in Canada, though the issues faced by lawyers in Canada often diverge significantly from those of greatest concern in Latin America. A surge in the number of hybrid social enterprises in Canada has fuelled increased interest in the challenge of balancing profit and purpose within social enterprises’ operations. In addition, non-profit organisations and social enterprises alike are beginning to prioritise global intellectual property protection and related strategies as they consider further expanding their operations in an increasingly globalised economy.

Conversely, issues frequently addressed on a pro bono basis by lawyers in Latin America include access to housing and land rights, women’s rights and human trafficking. As a trend toward increased urbanisation spreads across Latin America, disadvantaged communities are finding their legal rights to the lands they have long inhabited – and the natural resources upon which they often depend – challenged by politically influential developers and other powerful interests. An issue demanding attention across both continents is human trafficking and supply-chain transparency.

For a PDF of the full Americas findings, please see here.

Read a practitioner’s view of pro bono in Canada, Central America, Mexico and Colombia.

1http://www.vancecenter.org/vancecenter/images/stories/pdfs/2015latin%20lawyer%20vance%20center%20pro %20bono%20survey.pdf
Firm Name Country Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Basham Ringe & Correa S.C. Mexico 7.20 26.11%
Batalla Salto Luna Abogados Costa Rica 94.63 92.40%
Benites, Forno & Ugaz Abogados Peru 13.58 28.89%
Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP Canada 13.00 25.95%
Bullo Tassi Estebenet Lipera Torassa Abogados Argentina 18.18 90.91%
Carey Chile 8.18 18.18%
Cariola Diez Perez-Cotapos & Cia. Ltda. Chile 9.66 15.56%
Central Law Guatemala 0.47 11.76%
Central Law Costa Rica 0.52 6.90%
Central Law Dominican Republic 0.25 12.50%
Central Law El Salvador 1.82 36.36%
Central Law Honduras 2.00 20.00%
Central Law Nicaragua 0.73 18.18%
Central Law Panama 0.40 20.00%
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP Argentina 6.83 33.38%
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP Brazil 14.90 20.00%
Creel, Garcia-Cuellar, Aiza y Enriquez, S.C. Mexico 17.79 48.00%
Demarest Advogados Brazil 2.06 11.05%
DLA Piper Mexico 17.69 31.25%
Estudio Beccar Varela Argentina 16.25 37.01%
Galindo, Arias & Lopez Panama 0.37 0.00%
Garcia Sayan Abogados Peru 11.30 39.13%
Guevara & Gutierrez SC - Servicios Legales Bolivia 13.33 46.67%
Hogan Lovells Brazil 0.42 0.00%
Hogan Lovells Mexico 22.96 46.07%
Hogan Lovells Venezuela 0.42 0.00%
Holland & Knight LLP Colombia 8.81 22.58%
Holland & Knight LLP Mexico 20.10 40.00%
KLA - Koury Lopes Advogados Brazil 2.69 7.56%
Linklaters LLP Brazil 46.60 33.33%
Machado, Meyer Sendacz e Opice Brazil 1.08 3.72%
Marval, O'Farrell and Mairal Argentina 21.06 35.48%
Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr. e Quiroga Advogados Brazil 8.87 11.97%
McCarthy Tetrault LLP Canada 12.91 27.64%
Mijares, Angoitia, Cortes y Fuentes, S.C. Mexico 9.03 16.67%
Perez Alati, Grondona, Benites, Arntsen & Martinez de Hoz (h) Argentina 11.67 18.33%
Perez Bustamante y Ponce Ecuador 73.67 8.33%
Posse Herrera Ruiz Colombia 14.06 31.67%
s.e.e.d. Costa Rica 416.67 100.00%
Shearman & Sterling LLP Brazil 32.87 71.48%
Shearman & Sterling LLP Canada 22.93 42.86%
Siqueira Castro Advogados Brazil 21.18 22.08%
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP Canada 13.99 36.36%
Tozzini, Freire, Teixeira e Silva Advogados Brazil 0.54 2.06%
Tufino y Villegas Bolivia 86.63 100.00%
Von Wobeser y Sierra Mexico 37.78 43.40%
White and Case Brazil 20.00 44.44%
White and Case Mexico 27.42 54.43%
Zapiola Guerrico & Asociados Argentina 57.78 33.33%
Regional Average 12.96 22.02%

Argentina

The regional trend toward greater engagement in pro bono legal work is evident in Argentina’s legal sector. Six law firms with offices in Argentina participated in the 2016 Index, a level of participation consistent with previous years. Fee earners averaged 17.5 hours of pro bono work over the last year, a 15 percent decrease from the 20.8 hours reported in the previous year. 40.1 percent of fee earners contributed ten or more hours of their time to pro bono work, a small decrease from the 41.2 percent who did so over the previous year.

Partners in Argentina performed an annual average of 13.5 hours, a small increase from 12.2 last year. The percentage of partners who spent any time on pro bono work decreased marginally by approximately one percentage point, to 40.0 percent. A similar drop in levels of Argentinean lawyers’ pro bono participation was reflected in the 2015 findings of a biennial pro bono survey published by The Latin Lawyer and the Vance Center analysing pro bono work done by lawyers in Latin America.1 Despite some short-term setbacks, pro bono engagement among Argentinean lawyers continues to be strong.

It is believed by some that the 2015 presidential election illustrated the substantial progress that is being made toward institutionalising the country’s democratic processes and strengthening the rule of law in Argentina. Lawyers have also been using the past year’s momentous political developments to better educate children about their constitutional rights, election procedures and voting in workshops organised by the Comisión de Trabajo Pro Bono e Interés Público. 2

1http://www.vancecenter.org/vancecenter/images/stories/pdfs/2015latin%20lawyer%20vance%20center%20pro %20bono%20survey.pdf
2Ibid.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Bullo Tassi Estebenet Lipera Torassa Abogados 18.18 90.91%
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP 6.83 33.38%
Estudio Beccar Varela 16.25 37.01%
Marval, O'Farrell and Mairal 21.06 35.48%
Perez Alati, Grondona, Benites, Arntsen & Martinez de Hoz (h) 11.67 18.33%
Zapiola Guerrico & Asociados 57.78 33.33%
Country Average 17.52 40.12%

Brazil

The data from the 2016 Index indicates that lawyers in Brazil performed an average of 8.9 hours of pro bono work over the last year, slightly higher than the 7.9 hours reported in 2015. However, the percentage of fee earners providing at least 10 hours of pro bono decreased slightly from 13.1 percent in 2015 to 12.0 percent in 2016.

Participation rates for partners in Brazil decreased slightly. Partners in Brazil reported doing an average of 4.6 hours of pro bono in 2016, only slightly lower than the 5.1 partner pro bono hours reported for the 2015 Index. The percentage of partners spending any time on pro bono matters also dropped slightly, from 25.0 percent in the 2015 Index to 22.2 percent this year.

Though levels of participation in recent years have generally held constant, the dramatic increase in the number of Brazil-based law firms participating in the TrustLaw Index since data was first collected in 2014 suggests that pro bono participation may continue to increase in the future as it becomes increasingly common in countries throughout the region. In November 2015, the Brazilian Bar Association lifted all nationwide regulations prohibiting private lawyers from providing free legal assistance. 1 Given that pro bono work has only been permitted in Brazil for a few years, the enthusiasm with which local lawyers have embraced the practice is encouraging.

In a move illustrating the Brazilian legal sector’s rapidly growing dedication to the practice of pro bono, the Brazilian Bar Association has declared an official ‘Pro Bono Week’, which is to be held annually in the second week of December.2 Though legal pro bono has been slow to take off in Brazil relative to other countries in the region, these changes in the legal sector are promising.

As the country prepares to host the 2016 Summer Olympics in August, political upheaval continues to plague Brazil. President Dilma Rousseff was impeached in May 2016 following charges of corruption and graft. In recent years, numerous politicians have been the subjects of federal court cases investigating corruption among officials across multiple levels of government. The investigations are shaking the public’s trust in politicians, but studies suggest they are strengthening public perception of the country’s legal system and judicial processes. The many successful prosecutions handed down by federal courts against powerful political actors in recent years have renewed the public’s faith in the country’s legal institutions and evidence of the continuing institutionalization of the rule of law in Brazil.

1https://www.lw.com/admin/Upload/Documents/Global%20Pro%20Bono%20Survey/A-Survey-of-Pro-Bono-Practices-and-Opportunities.pdf
2Ibid.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP 14.90 20.00%
Demarest Advogados 2.06 11.05%
Hogan Lovells 0.42 0.00%
KLA - Koury Lopes Advogados 2.69 7.56%
Linklaters LLP 46.60 33.33%
Machado, Meyer Sendacz e Opice 1.08 3.72%
Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr. e Quiroga Advogados 6.69 10.37%
Shearman & Sterling LLP 32.87 71.48%
Siqueira Castro Advogados 21.18 22.08%
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP 1.37 0.00%
Tozzini, Freire, Teixeira e Silva Advogados 0.54 2.06%
White and Case 20.00 44.44%
Country Average 8.87 11.97%

Canada

Pro bono in Canada is poised for significant growth, as new players are bringing renewed interest and coordination across the industry and country. Canada has a rich history of ensuring access to legal support for those in need, but has relied on a mélange of regulations, standards, and practices across firms and provinces that has inhibited unified efforts to develop pro bono across the board. As a result, many firms and law societies have traditionally lacked set policies which encourage pro bono work. However, several trends in the legal sector are leading to increasing support for lawyers working on a pro bono basis.

The rise of new players across the pro bono community in Canada have led to more law firms and in-house legal teams encouraging their lawyers to undertake pro bono, even in absence of large-scale changes to legislation or bar requirements. Several major acquisitions or expansions from international firms into the Canadian market over the last few years have brought greater standards and competition among pro bono practices in Canada. Additionally, numerous legal associations and pro bono intermediaries—including the Canadian Bar Association and Pro Bono Canada—have grown their profiles and increased coordinated efforts to promote pro bono across all of Canada’s provinces. These organisations have also been instrumental in developing corporate pro bono opportunities, often through innovative clinic formats for charities and increasingly, social enterprises. These trends have led to more firms enacting policies that enable lawyers to pursue increasing amounts of pro bono work, with even more growth to be expected in coming years.

In recent years, social entrepreneurship has received growing attention from both the legal and corporate sectors in Canada. While the start-up culture has for decades been a strong component of the Canadian market, the potential of social business to reap positive benefits across multiple sectors – social and financial among them – is drawing the attention of law firms that also see the possibility of attracting future paying clients in assisting the development of early-stage social enterprises. Among legal professionals, many are realising the importance of pro bono legal services for social enterprises in fostering innovation and growth in the sector.

In response to this trend, many are calling for IP legal professionals to consider making greater pro bono contributions in their area of expertise. Though not traditionally viewed as a sector characterised by significant need or demand for pro bono assistance, IP legal services appear to be in greater demand as a result of the growth in social entrepreneurship in Canada is perhaps contributing to the development of a new market for such pro bono IP services.1

Four law firms with offices in Canada participated in the 2016 Index. Of these, two were international law firms and two were domestic Canadian firms. Fee earners reported spending an average of 13.0 hours on pro bono work over the last 12 months, a decrease of 1.8 hours from the 2015 Index. The percentage of fee earners who spent at least 10 hours on pro bono work also dropped this year by more than 25 percent, from 36.3 percent to 26.9 percent. Data reflecting pro bono engagement by partners in Canada matched closely the findings from the 2015 Index; partners averaged 4.1 hours of pro bono legal work over the year, and 25.8 percent of partners based in Canada gave pro bono advice.

For a practitioner's view of pro bono in Canada, please see here.

1http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rob-commentary/to-support-canadian-startups-offer-pro-bono-legal-clinics/article24984676/
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP 13.00 25.95%
McCarthy Tetrault LLP 12.91 27.64%
Shearman & Sterling LLP 22.93 42.86%
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP 13.99 36.36%
Country Average 13.01 26.88%

Mexico

The Index again saw an annual increase in participation this year among law offices in Mexico, with 8 firms providing details of their pro bono contributions this year. Lawyers provided an average of 17.4 hours of pro bono each, a noticeable increase over the average of 12.4 hours reported the previous year. More than a third of fee earners (36.3 percent) did ten or more hours of pro bono, a marginal decrease from the 33.2 percent reported last year.

Levels of partner engagement saw a measurable increase this year compared to the previous year. The average hours of pro bono work per partner rose dramatically to 29.4 hours compared to last year’s 11.4 hours, and the percentage of partners contributing any time to pro bono increased by nearly 40 percent, from 35.2 percent last year to 49.1 percent reported for the 2016 Index.

An eight-year overhaul of the country’s criminal justice system was scheduled to arrive at full implementation across all 31 federal jurisdictions in Mexico by 18 June 2016. Under the previous system, criminal cases brought before a court depended largely on the submission of written evidence and private court proceedings closed to the public. The new system more closely resembles that of the United States and relies on oral court proceedings that are open to the public. It is hoped that the new system will provide more efficient and timely access to justice in criminal cases, the backlog of which has been steadily accumulating for years under the old system.

Despite optimism about the potential impact of the planned reforms on fairness and equity within Mexico’s legal system, the changes are taking longer to fully implement across the country than projected in the initial timeframe of eight years. Among the obstacles to reform is a lack of effective coordination among state and federal institutions, as well as the challenge of adapting legal practitioners who have been trained in the old system – based on written evidence – to the new system, which depends on the presentation of oral arguments.1 We wait to see what impact this will ultimately have on access to justice for marginalised individuals, and what the knock-on impact would be on the need for pro bono support to be provided to those who might otherwise be unable to benefit from those changes.

1http://uk.businessinsider.com/mexico-needs-11-more-years-to-reform-justice-system-2016-5?r=US&IR=T
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Basham Ringe & Correa S.C. 7.20 26.11%
Creel, Garcia-Cuellar, Aiza y Enriquez, S.C. 17.79 48.00%
DLA Piper 17.69 31.25%
Hogan Lovells 22.96 46.07%
Holland & Knight LLP 20.10 40.00%
Mijares, Angoitia, Cortes y Fuentes, S.C. 9.03 16.67%
Von Wobeser y Sierra 37.78 43.40%
White and Case 27.42 54.43%
Country Average 17.41 36.31%

Asia & Pacific

The analysis in this section relates to Asia and the Pacific excluding Australia.

There has been consistent annual growth in pro bono across Asia and the Pacific since the Index began collecting data in 2014. The practice continues to gain momentum as Asia’s legal sector expands in response to increased international trade and the further integration of regional economies, as progress toward completion of the ASEAN Economic Community continues. Regional pro bono infrastructure is also expanding rapidly and fostering cohesion within the burgeoning pro bono community by bringing together stakeholders at events such as the Asia Pro Bono Exchange.1

A number of pro bono organisations – and local offices of international pro bono groups – have established regional operations to accommodate an anticipated increase in pro bono engagement. These developments ensure that law firms will have the support needed to engage in pro bono work as the practice expands to new jurisdictions.

Fifty law firms with offices in 15 jurisdictions across Asia and the Pacific participated in the 2016 Index of Pro Bono. The data indicates that there is promising growth across the region and in nearly all key indicators measured by the Index. This year saw a 38 percent increase in the average number of pro bono hours per fee earner over the past year, from 17.5 hours last year to 24.2 hours this year; the region has seen an annual increase in pro bono hours per fee earner of approximately 40 percent each year since 2014. The percentage of fee earners doing ten or more hours of pro bono has also increased noticeably, from 21.8 percent last year to 31.0 percent this year. Regional data collected for this indicator also suggests long-term regional growth, as findings have suggested positive annual growth for each of the past three years.

Partner engagement has seen similarly positive changes over the past year; the percentage of partners doing any pro bono work was 39.8 percent this year compared to 34.9 percent last year and 27.3 percent reported in 2014. Average hours undertaken by individual partners remained constant over the past year, reported at 13.4 hours in both 2015 and 2016. Given the substantial increase in partner hours seen between 2014 and 2015 (from 8.9 hours to 13.4 hours) and the strong positive findings for all other key indicators, 2016 data suggest significant positive growth in pro bono across the region.

For a PDF of the full Asia & Pacific findings, please see here.

Read a practitioner's view of pro bono in Asia, in China, in India here and here, and in South Korea.

1https://www.apbex.org/
Firm Name Country Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP Hong Kong 15.18 17.65%
AllBright Law Offices China 0.35 1.30%
Anglo-Thai Legal (ATL) Thailand 50.00 100.00%
Ashurst China 4.04 12.50%
Ashurst Hong Kong 4.36 12.20%
Ashurst Japan 8.16 24.00%
Ashurst Singapore 17.35 28.26%
Ashurst Indonesia 29.76 60.00%
Atsumi & Sakai China 0.00 0.00%
Atsumi & Sakai Japan 2.95 0.00%
Atsumi & Sakai Vietnam 0.00 0.00%
Azmi & Associates (Advocates & Solicitors) Malaysia 1.25 4.76%
Bae, Kim & Lee LLC South Korea 62.96 53.77%
BTG Legal India 4.00 0.00%
C.Y. Lam & Co. Hong Kong 125.00 100.00%
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP China 0.00 0.00%
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP Hong Kong 3.64 4.76%
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP South Korea 0.30 0.00%
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP Hong Kong 24.30 28.57%
Dechert China 25.00 66.67%
Dechert Hong Kong 57.62 100.00%
Dechert Kazakhstan 24.86 100.00%
Dechert Singapore 23.25 87.50%
DLA Piper China 32.70 15.52%
DLA Piper Hong Kong 8.97 25.37%
DLA Piper Japan 33.28 47.37%
DLA Piper Singapore 27.76 50.00%
DLA Piper South Korea 71.30 50.00%
DLA Piper Thailand 17.50 33.33%
Duane Morris LLP Vietnam 0.25 0.00%
Faegre Baker Daniels LLP China 0.00 0.00%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP China 4.39 -
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP Hong Kong 13.58 -
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP Japan 8.16 -
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP Singapore 8.71 -
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP Vietnam 6.11 -
Grünkorn & Partner Law Co., Ltd Vietnam 5.00 16.67%
Hogan Lovells China 16.26 43.68%
Hogan Lovells Japan 10.34 8.57%
Hogan Lovells Singapore 23.29 38.10%
Hogan Lovells Vietnam 18.67 38.89%
Hogan Lovells Mongolia 13.08 38.46%
K & L Gates LLP China 2.79 7.14%
K & L Gates LLP Hong Kong 5.12 7.69%
K & L Gates LLP Japan 4.32 10.53%
K & L Gates LLP Singapore 3.80 10.00%
K & L Gates LLP Taiwan 5.54 23.08%
Kim & Chang South Korea 22.88 80.74%
Kirkland & Ellis LLP China 2.50 8.33%
Kirkland & Ellis LLP Hong Kong 2.70 7.25%
Knowledge Information Access Associates (KIAA,LLP) India 1.43 42.86%
Latham & Watkins LLP Hong Kong 22.28 49.06%
Latham & Watkins LLP Japan 39.92 66.67%
Latham & Watkins LLP Singapore 21.79 53.85%
LawQuest India 20.00 100.00%
Lee & Ko South Korea 11.75 20.99%
Lee and Li, Attorneys-at-Law Taiwan 1.46 2.55%
Lee, Tsai & Partners Taiwan 1.11 7.14%
Linklaters LLP China 2.78 8.33%
Linklaters LLP Hong Kong 5.95 11.49%
Linklaters LLP Japan 3.38 14.29%
Linklaters LLP Singapore 5.15 15.52%
Linklaters LLP South Korea 0.00 0.00%
Linklaters LLP Thailand 7.27 21.05%
Majmudar & Partners India 4.00 8.00%
Mayer Brown International LLP China 12.00 22.58%
Mayer Brown International LLP Hong Kong 1.97 60.00%
Mayer Brown International LLP Singapore 0.00 0.00%
Mayer Brown International LLP Thailand 4.50 0.00%
Mayer Brown International LLP Vietnam 1.50 12.50%
McDermott Will & Emery LLP China 16.62 53.85%
McDermott Will & Emery LLP South Korea 0.00 0.00%
Morrison and Foerster China 34.22 66.67%
Morrison and Foerster Hong Kong 7.21 25.64%
Morrison and Foerster Japan 45.90 39.09%
Morrison and Foerster Singapore 7.27 27.27%
Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP China 27.76 43.48%
Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP Japan 93.03 79.31%
Paul Hastings China 34.11 87.72%
Paul Hastings Japan 25.09 50.00%
Paul Hastings South Korea 37.32 100.00%
Puyat Jacinto & Santos Philippines 1.43 5.71%
Rajah & Tann LCT Lawyers Vietnam 9.00 50.00%
Reed Smith LLP China 0.56 5.56%
Reed Smith LLP Hong Kong 4.81 10.75%
Reed Smith LLP Kazakhstan 0.00 0.00%
Reed Smith LLP Singapore 5.13 20.00%
Ropes & Gray LLP China 11.50 31.25%
Ropes & Gray LLP Hong Kong 12.33 30.77%
Ropes & Gray LLP Japan 13.45 36.36%
Ropes & Gray LLP South Korea 0.17 0.00%
Shearman & Sterling LLP China 2.20 4.55%
Shearman & Sterling LLP Hong Kong 0.19 0.00%
Shearman & Sterling LLP Japan 4.03 12.50%
Shearman & Sterling LLP Singapore 18.49 8.33%
Shin & Kim South Korea 19.49 41.03%
Simmons & Simmons China 15.28 0.00%
Simmons & Simmons Hong Kong 10.97 0.00%
Simmons & Simmons Singapore 9.71 0.00%
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP China 38.81 26.67%
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP Hong Kong 17.50 24.14%
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP Japan 12.27 40.00%
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP Singapore 17.02 16.67%
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP South Korea 3.83 33.33%
Skrine Malaysia 15.41 35.29%
Thanathip & Partners Legal Counsellors Limited Thailand 0.00 -
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP China 20.00 30.00%
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP Hong Kong 1.40 5.00%
White and Case China 6.54 20.83%
White and Case Hong Kong 9.44 35.29%
White and Case Japan 16.00 40.32%
White and Case Kazakhstan 83.17 83.33%
White and Case Singapore 18.79 42.42%
Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP China 96.91 76.31%
Winston & Strawn LLP China 5.82 18.18%
Winston & Strawn LLP Hong Kong 14.89 16.67%
Yoon & Yang LLC South Korea 15.37 9.59%
Yulchon LLC South Korea 23.94 35.37%
Regional Average 24.20 30.96%

China

National legislation that has been under consideration for more than a year and would inhibit the operations of foreign NGOs in China was passed by China’s legislature on April 28. The ‘Law on the Management of Domestic Activities of Overseas Nongovernmental Organizations’ has received international attention and strong criticism from both foreign governments and international NGOs whose efforts to strengthen civil society in China may be put at risk under the law’s broad new restrictions.

Billed by the government as a counterterrorism measure, many are concerned that the law’s vague language may be interpreted in a way that threatens the work of international organisations, which have played a significant role in strengthening human rights and government accountability in recent decades.1 In March, the US, Canadian, German and Japanese ambassadors signed a letter to the Chinese minister of public security voicing concern over the new measures and their potential to create a harmful ‘climate of uncertainty’2 in the country for international NGOs, many of which have operated locally for decades.

Twenty-six law firms submitted data on their pro bono practices in China, 8 more than the number that participated in the 2015 Index. The majority of participants were international firms with offices in China, while one submission was received from a domestic Chinese firm. Findings indicated positive growth in the pro bono sector over the past year, with average pro bono hours per fee earner increasing from last year’s 19.1 hours to 37.3 hours. The percentage of fee earners doing 10 or more hours of pro bono also increased by nearly 10 percentage points, from 24.8 percent in the 2015 Index to 34.3 percent this year.

Findings on partner engagement decreased, with the percentage of partners devoting any time to pro bono projects dropping from last year’s 37.3 percent to 17.8 percent. Similarly, the average hours of pro bono work performed by partners based in China decreased from 24.4 hours reported in 2015 to 4.4 hours reported this year.

For a practitioner's view of pro bono in China, please see here.

1 http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/04/29/it-just-got-harder-to-make-a-difference-in-china-harsh-new-ngo-law-clamps-down-on-foreign-organizations/
2https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/01/us-japan-eu-team-up-to-warn-china-of-concerns-over-new-security-laws
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
AllBright Law Offices 0.35 1.30%
Ashurst 4.04 12.50%
Atsumi & Sakai 0.00 0.00%
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP 0.00 0.00%
Dechert 25.00 66.67%
DLA Piper 32.70 15.52%
Faegre Baker Daniels LLP 0.00 0.00%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP 4.39 -
Hogan Lovells 16.26 43.68%
K&L Gates 2.79 7.14%
Kirkland & Ellis LLP 2.50 8.33%
Linklaters LLP 2.78 8.33%
Mayer Brown 12.00 22.58%
McDermott Will & Emery LLP 16.62 53.85%
Morrison & Foerster 34.22 66.67%
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP 27.76 43.48%
Paul Hastings 34.11 87.72%
Reed Smith LLP 0.56 5.56%
Ropes & Gray LLP 11.50 31.25%
Shearman & Sterling LLP 2.20 4.55%
Simmons & Simmons 15.28 -
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP 38.81 26.67%
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP 20.00 30.00%
White and Case 6.54 20.83%
Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP 96.91 76.31%
Winston & Strawn LLP 5.82 18.18%
Country Average 37.28 34.31%

Hong Kong

As in many jurisdictions, one of the key concerns preventing lawyers in Hong Kong from providing pro bono assistance pertains to the legality of lawyers advising clients by whom they are not officially engaged. The Hong Kong Bar Association also enumerates a number of situations in which a barrister is not permitted to supply free legal advice. Included in the list is advice given to for-profit organizations that have not received prior approval from the association’s Bar Council.1 This may prevent Hong Kong lawyers from providing pro bono advice to social enterprises they have been connected with through an organization, such as a pro bono clearinghouse, that is not registered in Hong Kong.

This year, 21 law firms contributed data on their lawyers’ pro bono contributions over the last 12 months. While Hong Kong submissions for the Index in previous years have come only from local branches of international law firms, this year we received the first Index submission from a domestic Hong Kong firm.

Submissions to the Index suggested that lawyers based in Hong Kong did less pro bono over the last year than in previous years, reporting an average of 8.5 hours per fee earner this year. In addition, a much lower percentage of fee earners (14.9 percent) did at least 10 hours of pro bono last year, compared to 20.2 percent during the previous year.

This year’s findings show that individual partners spent more time on pro bono matters over the last year (3.8 hours) than during the previous year (3.0 hours). In addition, the percentage of partners who spent any time working for pro bono clients rose from 16.9 percent, according to last year’s findings, to 17.8 percent in the latest findings, representing a slight annual increase. This suggests that the practice of pro bono has continued to proliferate within Hong Kong’s legal culture.

1http://www.hkba.org/the-bar/code-of-conduct/code_of_conduct5.htm
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP 15.18 17.65%
Ashurst 4.36 12.20%
CY Lam & Co 125.00 100.00%
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP 3.64 4.76%
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP 24.30 28.57%
Dechert 57.62 100.00%
DLA Piper 8.97 25.37%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP 13.58 -
K&L Gates LLP 5.12 7.69%
Kirkland & Ellis LLP 2.70 7.25%
Latham & Watkins LLP 22.28 49.06%
Linklaters LLP 5.95 11.49%
Mayer Brown LLP 1.97 6.00%
Morrison & Foerster 7.21 25.64%
Reed Smith LLP 4.81 10.75%
Ropes & Gray LLP 12.33 30.77%
Shearman & Sterling LLP 0.19 0.00%
Simmons & Simmons 10.97 -
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP 17.50 24.14%
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP 1.40 5.00%
White and Case 9.44 35.29%
Winston & Strawn 14.89 16.67%
Country Average 8.50 14.86%

India

One of the largest obstacles to spreading the practice of pro bono among India’s legal community is the legislation prohibiting international law firms from operating in the country. In many jurisdictions around the world, where pro bono engagement has not traditionally characterized the legal community, the presence of international law firms in these countries has played a key role in promoting its benefits for both law firms and the general public.

Over the past year, significant progress has been made toward liberalizing the Indian legal market, as discussions among various stakeholders – including the Bar Council of India (BCI), the Society of Indian Law Firms (SILF), and government ministries – continue.1 While the government appears receptive to the idea, some of the aforementioned lawyer associations want to guarantee that measures will be taken to ensure fair competition in the legal market as large, well-resourced international firms begin operations in the country.2 Meanwhile, a number of global firms have long anticipated India’s liberalization and anxiously await the opportunity to infiltrate an economy consisting of more than one billion potential clients.

This year’s Index findings provide further cause for optimism, as pro bono data from Indian firms continue to suggest promising growth in Indian lawyers’ pro bono engagement. Positive increases were seen across data for all key indicators in 2016. The average number of pro bono hours increased by nearly 50 percent over the past year, from 2.7 hours reported in the 2015 Index to 4.5 hours this year. The percentage of fee earners doing ten or more hours of pro bono work annually also jumped significantly to 15.9 percent from the 5.3 percent reported the previous year.

Partner engagement saw encouraging growth too. On average, partners in India contributed 10.1 hours of pro bono work over the past year; this represents a dramatic increase from the 1.8 hours reported in the 2015 Index. Relative levels of partner interest show far greater improvement than in previous years, with the percentage of partners devoting any time to pro bono work rising from the 32.7 percent of partners reported in the 2015 Index findings to 75.0 percent.

For a practitioner's view of pro bono in India, please see here and here.

1http://www.legallyindia.com/law-firms/today-s-liberalisation-talks-gov-t-very-enthu-silf-averts-disaster-swings-postponement-luthra-highlights-ambiguities
2http://www.thelawyer.com/issues/online-july-2016/india-could-liberalise-legal-market-by-september-amid-fresh-talks/?cmpid=dnews_2414450
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
BTG Legal 4.00 0.00%
Knowledge Information Access Associates (KIAA) LLP 1.43 42.86%
LawQuest 20.00 100.00%
Majmudar & Partners 4.00 8.00%
Country Average 4.48 15.87%

Japan

Japan’s legal community has not traditionally considered pro bono work a professional obligation for private lawyers, as public legal aid services in Japan are generally sufficient to meet demand for legal assistance. Local bar associations also play a role in connecting low-income clients in need of free or discounted legal assistance with lawyers who volunteer their time on a personal basis. Partially because of this, there are not significant professional incentives for private lawyers to engage in pro bono, resulting in somewhat less enthusiasm on behalf of the legal community to incorporate the practice into the national legal culture.1 However, corporations are beginning to factor CSR commitments more heavily into their selection of external legal partners, and this has served to help raise the profile of pro bono within Japan’s legal community.

This year saw an increase in Index participation from law firms with offices in Japan. Fifteen data submissions were received this year compared to only 12 submissions for the 2015 Index. While the majority of these were submitted by local branches of international firms, one submission was received from a domestic Japanese law firm.

2016 findings indicate little growth in Japan’s pro bono marketplace over the past year. The percentage of fee earners contributing ten or more hours of pro bono work over the past year saw a measurable decline, down from 29.8 percent in the 2015 Index to 26.6 percent reported this year. However, general pro bono participation among lawyers in Japan was slightly more encouraging. On average, fee earners performed 22.4 hours of pro bono work compared to 21.9 hours reported the previous year.

Trends in partner engagement within law firms in Japan have followed a similar trajectory as those among fee earners. The average number of hours per partner rose from the 10.9 hours reported in last year’s Index to 14.1 hours per partner this year. The rate of partner engagement also increased notably over the past year; analysis indicates that 35.9 percent of partners in Japan spent some time on pro bono work over the past year, up from a reported 26.2 percent of partners the previous year.

1https://www.lw.com/admin/Upload/Documents/Global%20Pro%20Bono%20Survey/A-Survey-of-Pro-Bono-Practices-and-Opportunities.pdf
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Ashurst 8.16 24.00%
Atsumi & Sakai 2.95 0.00%
DLA Piper 33.28 47.37%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer 8.16 -
Hogan Lovells 10.34 8.57%
K&L Gates LLP 4.32 10.53%
Latham & Watkins 39.92 66.67%
Linklaters LLP 3.38 14.29%
Morrison & Foerster 45.90 39.09%
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP 93.03 79.31%
Paul Hastings 25.09 50.00%
Ropes & Gray LLP 13.45 36.36%
Shearman & Sterling LLP 4.03 12.50%
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP 12.27 40.00%
White and Case 16.00 40.32%
Country Average 22.40 26.63%

Singapore

The Committee to Study Community Legal Services Initiatives (CLSI Committee), established in 2012, has proposed that lawyers of the Singapore Bar should be required to undertake at least 16 hours of pro bono work per year. In addition, the CLSI Committee has recommended that mandatory pro bono be implemented in two stages:

(i) an aspirational target of pro bono hours and mandatory reporting of the number of pro bono hours completed each year; and
(ii) a mandatory minimum number of pro bono hours to be completed each year.1

The Legal Profession (Mandatory Reporting of Specified Pro Bono Services) Rules 2015 came into operation on 1 March 2015, requiring solicitors to report on pro bono service (including description of service, client details, and total estimated hours spent) when applying for a practising certificate. The second stage recommended by the CLSI Committee, requiring mandatory minimum pro bono hours, has not yet been implemented, and further consultations are anticipated on this proposal.

In the year since mandatory reporting was introduced, there has been continued growth of the pro bono sector and strong enthusiasm for pro bono in Singapore. The Law Society’s Pro Bono Services Office (PBSO) plays a central role in coordinating pro bono initiatives and referral schemes, including public legal education, free legal clinics for qualifying applicants, representation for qualifying applicants under the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme (CLAS), and legal support (legal clinics and transactional help) for non-profit organisations and social enterprises.

The PBSO’s Project Law Help service provides advice to community organisations on corporate law, employment law, property law, and other non-litigation matters, prioritising assistance for organisations with limited or no financial resources (reserves not exceeding $1,000,000). The Pro Bono Research Initiative (PBRI) supports pro bono lawyers working on complex civil or criminal cases by assigning teams of researchers to provide research assistance on legal questions that may arise before a trial. Volunteer teams (which may include students, academics, foreign lawyers, and non-practicing qualified lawyers) will assist the practitioner for several weeks on particular research tasks.

In January 2016, DLA Piper, the PBSO and the Singapore Corporate Counsel Association (SCCA) launched the Singapore In-House Legal Counsel Pro Bono Guide, providing a roadmap for establishing and managing in-house pro bono projects, and aiming to provide more clarity for corporate counsel on the scope of pro bono opportunities available to them. Case studies included in the guide examine Hewlett-Packard and Intel’s in-house pro bono programmes in Singapore and globally.

While there is a strong interest in pro bono in the legal sector in Singapore, foreign-qualified lawyers are limited in the pro bono opportunities they are able to access domestically. Many legal clinics and programmes facilitated by the PBSO require volunteer lawyers to be locally admitted to practice. Non-Singaporean citizens are not usually eligible for admission to the Singapore Bar. Foreign-qualified lawyers can practice in certain permitted areas of Singapore law if they hold a Foreign Practitioner Certificate (FPC). Permitted areas include banking and finance, mergers and acquisitions, and intellectual property law, but do not include many areas of law commonly required in the Singapore pro bono space (e.g. family law, criminal law).

The Joint International Pro Bono Committee (JIPBC) is an initiative of a group of international and Singapore law practices, with the support of the Law Society of Singapore. The JIPBC aims to match interested firms with cross-border pro bono opportunities involving economic and social development in emerging markets. The JIPBC is one area of opportunity for foreign-qualified lawyers who are interested in undertaking pro bono work, however further opportunities are necessary to meet the interest evident among this group.

Index data was collected from 15 firms with offices in Singapore compared to 14 submissions received for the 2015 Index. Findings showed promising growth across all key indicators, suggesting strong expansion of pro bono. Fee earners based in Singapore did an average of 14.4 hours of pro bono each, a dramatic increase from the 4.2 hours reported in the 2015 Index. The percentage of lawyers doing 10 or more hours of pro bono work annually also rose considerably, from 9.8 percent in the 2015 Index to 27.1 percent in 2016.

Partner engagement also increased with individual partners completing an average of 4.1 hours of pro bono, compared to 2.3 hours reported in the 2015 Index, and 1.8 hours reported in 2014. The percentage of partners doing any pro bono work climbed from the 22.3 percent reported in 2015 to 32.7 percent this year.

1https://www.lw.com/admin/Upload/Documents/Global Pro Bono Survey/A-Survey-of-Pro-Bono-Practices-and-Opportunities.pdf
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Ashurst 17.35 28.26%
Dechert 23.25 87.50%
DLA Piper 27.76 50.00%
Freshfields Druckhaus Deringer LLP 8.71 -
Hogan Lovells 23.29 38.10%
K&L Gates 3.80 10.00%
Latham & Watkins 21.79 53.85%
Linklaters LLP 5.15 15.52%
Mayer Brown LLP 0.00 0.00%
Morrison & Foerster 7.27 27.27%
Reed Smith LLP 5.13 20.00%
Shearman & Sterling 18.49 8.33%
Simmons & Simmons 9.71 -
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP 17.02 16.67%
White and Case 18.79 42.42%
Country Average 14.43 27.15%

South Korea

South Korea has an expansive public legal aid system with 120 branch offices across the country. Enacted by the 1986 Korea Legal Aid Act, the Korea Legal Aid Corporation (KLAC) provides discounted legal assistance, free legal representation for certain protected groups, and funding for legal education programmes and campaigns.1

Despite South Korea’s comprehensive public aid system and the presence of multiple legal NGOs, pro bono work is becoming increasingly popular among private law firms since legislation was enacted in 2000 that made a minimum of 20 hours of annual pro bono work mandatory for most lawyers. As government legal aid often only provides for the needs of South Korean citizens, some law firm pro bono initiatives are aimed at addressing the legal needs of South Korea’s substantial refugee and migrant populations, which number 500,000 in a country with a population of about 50 million. Many of these immigrants are women and find themselves subject to increased violence and oppression, as their unofficial status leaves them vulnerable to abuse. One large South Korean firm based in Seoul runs a legal education programme to teach immigrant women their rights under the legal system and the protections to which they are entitled under national laws.

Data submissions were received from 13 law firms with offices in South Korea this year, a four-fold increase from the data submitted in 2015. Analysis showed that while participation increased for both partners and fee earners, the average number of pro bono hours done by individuals decreased in comparison to data collected for the 2015 Index. The discrepancy in findings between 2015 and 2016 may be due to the dramatic increase in the size of the 2016 dataset. As a result, the 2016 data is likely to be a more accurate reflection of the country’s true pro bono activities.

As noted, the average hours per fee earner in South Korea dropped from 62.5 hours reported in the 2015 Index to 25.8 hours reported this year. However, the percentage of fee earners who performed 10 or more hours of pro bono work over the past year increased from 42.6 percent in the 2015 Index to 44.0 percent this year.

Levels of partner engagement reflected similar trends with average hours per partner decreasing from 35.6 hours to 28.1 hours in the 2016 Index. However, the percentage of partners who engaged in pro bono work increased from 56.2 percent to 64.3 percent in the 2016 Index.

For a practitioner's view of pro bono in South Korea, please see here.

1https://www.lw.com/admin/Upload/Documents/Global Pro Bono Survey/A-Survey-of-Pro-Bono-Practices-and-Opportunities.pdf
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Bae, Kim & Lee LLC 62.96 53.77%
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP 0.30 0.00%
DLA Piper 71.30 50.00%
Kim & Chang 22.88 80.74%
Lee & Ko 11.75 20.99%
Linklaters LLP 0.00 0.00%
McDermott Will & Emery LLP 0.00 0.00%
Paul Hastings 37.32 100.00%
Ropes & Gray 0.17 0.00%
Shin & Kim 19.49 41.03%
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP 3.83 33.33%
Yoon & Yang 15.37 9.59%
Yulchon 23.94 35.37%
Country Average 25.85 44.04%

Thailand

Following the PILnet Pro Bono Forum hosted in Bangkok in June 2015, Thailand has continued to see a growing interest in pro bono. At the forum, the theme ‘Growing Pro Bono in Thailand’ was explored, looking at what role pro bono can play in the continued development of Thailand.1 Representatives from the Human Rights Committee of the Lawyers Council of Thailand; Weerawong, Chinnavat & Peangpanor; DLA Piper Thailand; the Labour Rights Promotion Network; Chandler & Thong-ek; Tilleke & Gibbins; and Oxfam Great Britain’s Thailand office contributed to the discussions centered on the gaps in the system that pro bono can fill to ensure access to justice.

Local coordination among Thai law firms is ongoing, with periodic Thai pro bono roundtables. PILnet is exploring options for the establishment of local clearing houses to increase engagement in pro bono. Non-profit organisation Bridges Across Borders Southeast Asia Community Legal Education Initiative (BABSEA CLE), headquartered in northern Thailand, is advocating for increased visibility of pro bono in Thai law school curriculums, with a view to fostering a stronger understanding of pro bono best practice among Thai lawyers.

TrustLaw has seen increased interest in pro bono from the private sector, in particular from in-house corporate counsel teams. Increased coordination of international firms is apparent, with the recent commencement of roundtable pro bono discussions including local offices of international firms, initiated by DLA Piper. International firm presence in Thailand is lower than in some neighbouring countries in the region (notably Singapore and Hong Kong), and political instability has lead to a shrinking of local offices of international firms. More limited human resources have lead to internal questions around capacity to undertake extensive pro bono work among local offices of international firms; however there remains a desire to take on pro bono projects where possible.

The Thai bar associations provide pro bono services to low income members of the community. However, the majority of lawyers in Thailand practise in Bangkok and surrounding areas, leading to a gap in the delivery of pro bono services in rural areas. NGOs are central to the delivery of legal aid to under-served populations, including migrants and refugees. There is scope to increase support of these services through pro bono partnerships. As noted in Latham & Watkins’ Survey of Pro Bono Practices and Opportunities, there is a lack of pro bono referral organisations in Thailand.2 Despite growing interest, there remains huge untapped potential to harness pro bono resources in Thailand. There is a need for increased coordination among pro bono players, more strategic referral systems, and more consistent institutionalisation of pro bono best practice within law firms.

Findings from law firms with offices in Thailand show mixed progress in the legal community’s pro bono contributions over the past year. However, this year’s dataset consisted of submissions from five local offices, as opposed to the two offices that participated in the 2015 Index. Data reflecting fee-earner engagement indicated small declines in lawyer participation. The average number of hours that individual fee earners contributed to pro bono work over the last year dropped from 18.5 hours reported in the 2015 Index to 17.2 hours reported this year. The percentage of fee earners doing at least 10 hours of pro bono over the past year also saw a modest decline, from 36.0 percent in the 2015 findings to 34.7 percent this year.

Partner engagement saw slightly more positive progress. Although the percentage of partners working on pro bono projects over the past year dropped from 37.5 percent in 2015 findings to 27.8 percent this year, the average number of pro bono hours done by individual partners based in Thailand increased slightly, from 3.0 hours reported in last year’s findings to 3.6 hours this year.

1http://www.probonoforum.org/asia/2015-forum/
2http://www.probonoinst.org/wpps/wp-content/uploads/Global-Survey-2016.pdf
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Anglo-Thai Legal (ATL) 50.00 100.00%
DLA Piper 17.50 33.33%
Linklaters LLP 7.27 21.05%
Mayer Brown LLP 4.50 0.00%
Thanathip & Partners Legal Counsellors Limited 0.00 -
Country Average 17.19 34.69%

Vietnam

Article 21.2(d) of the Vietnam Law on Lawyers states that lawyers are obliged to provide pro bono legal aid, without specifying any details of the obligation. Decision 93 of the Standing Committee of the Vietnam Bar Federation (9 October 2014) requires lawyers to undertake at least one working day per year (8 working hours) of pro bono work. Law firms often arrange pro bono activities to mark Vietnam Lawyers Day on 10 October each year. Common pro bono activities include delivery of public legal education through the media or community events, involvement in legal clinics, or involvement in tertiary clinical legal education. Bridges Across Borders Southeast Asia Community Legal Education (BABSEA CLE) is working with Vietnamese lawyers to support clinical legal education and access to justice.

Available statistics suggest that Vietnam’s public legal aid system does not adequately address the legal needs of Vietnam’s low-income individuals. A number of NGOs operating in Vietnam provide free legal assistance to low-income individuals, and local bar associations may organise public seminars to address public concerns about legislative changes, or to assist individuals with common legal issues. Since 2012, the Asia Pro Bono Consortium, an annual conference held each year by BABSEA CLE, has helped spread interest in pro bono work to legal communities in a number of regional countries.

Despite the stated requirements under Vietnam law, the pro bono sector remains under-developed. There is much scope to improve and institutionalise pro bono practice in Vietnam. Greater coordination among bar associations, public legal aid centres, NGOs and private law firms is needed to ensure that public demand for legal aid is met. Stronger collaborative efforts among these stakeholders to promote pro bono engagement among private lawyers in Vietnam may help garner the much-needed professional resources that would enable the country’s legal community to address the current justice gap.

Data received from seven law firms with offices in Vietnam shows that pro bono is maintaining moderate levels of engagement within the legal community. As in other countries across the region, the pro bono contributions of individual legal practitioners do not show a measurable annual increase. However, the expansion of pro bono in Vietnam is evidenced by the increased levels of participation among both fee earners and partners in the country.

Pro bono data submitted in 2016 indicated a slight decrease in the number of pro bono hours done by fee earners over the last year, with 2016 findings dropping to an average of 8.4 hours per fee earner compared to the 9.0 hours reported in 2015. Contrary to trends in individual participation, the percentage of fee earners doing ten or more hours of pro bono work over the last year increased from 20.0 percent in the 2015 Index to 28.8 percent reported in 2016.

Trends in partner participation followed similar patterns, suggesting a drop in individual pro bono contributions but an increase in country-wide levels of participation. For example, average pro bono contributions by individual partners dropped from 25.0 hours reported in the 2015 Index to 9.4 hours per partner in the 2016 Index. More encouraging for the future of Vietnam’s pro bono sector is an annual increase in the percentage of partners participating in any pro bono work over the past year; while 60.0 percent of partners reported contributing some time to pro bono in the 2015 Index, 66.7 percent said they had done so over the past year.

1https://www.probonoconference.org/
2https://www.lw.com/admin/Upload/Documents/Global%20Pro%20Bono%20Survey/A-Survey-of-Pro-Bono-Practices-and-Opportunities.pdf
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Atsumi & Sakai 0.00 0.00%
Duane Morris LLP 0.25 0.00%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP 6.11 -
Grünkorn & Partner Law Co., Ltd 5.00 16.67%
Hogan Lovells 18.67 38.89%
Mayer Brown LLP 1.50 12.50%
Rajah & Tann LCT Lawyers 9.00 50.00%
Country Average 8.40 28.85%

Australia

Australia continues to be a leading pro bono market, supported by strong coordination and formal pro bono schemes facilitated by pro bono intermediaries, professional associations, courts, and clearing houses across the country; in July 2015, Clayton Utz celebrated being the first Australian firm to perform 500,000 hours of pro bono legal work.1 Pro bono organisation Justice Connect has also demonstrated a strong focus on innovation through online and technology solutions, working to increase access to justice around the country. In March 2016, the award-winning Not-for-profit Law Information Hub2 was launched nationally, providing online legal guidance on various topics for charities. Furthermore, in June 2016, Justice Connect, in partnership with the University of Melbourne Law School and legal software provider Neota Logic, launched the first national legal web application providing automated legal assistance, guiding not-for-profits, charities and community groups through key structuring decisions.3

The National Pro Bono Aspirational Target, launched by the Australian Pro Bono Centre in 2007, is a voluntary and aspirational target of at least 35 hours of pro bono legal services per lawyer per year. Both law firms and barristers’ chambers as well as individual solicitors and barristers can participate. According to the Eighth Annual Performance Report on the National Pro Bono Aspirational Target (2015), which covered approximately 11,235 FTE lawyers in Australia, the average number of pro bono hours per lawyer across all reporting signatories dropped slightly from 34.2 hours per lawyer in 2013/2014 to 33.2 hours per lawyer in 2014/2015. Nineteen of Australia’s 20 largest law firms had signed up to the Target at the time of the report.4 The difference between the findings of the Target and the Index can be ascribed to the differing make-up of respondent firms.

The Australian government’s Commonwealth Legal Services Multi-Use List (LSMUL) is a panel of pre-approved legal service providers eligible to provide legal services to Commonwealth government agencies. Agencies are required to consider the pro bono contribution of applicant law firms when awarding tenders. Law firms with 50 or more lawyers wishing to participate in the LSMUL scheme are required to become signatories to the National Pro Bono Aspirational Target. In April 2016, in response to the Productivity Commission’s 2014 Inquiry Report on Access to Justice Arrangements, the Attorney-General signalled that stronger evaluation of pro bono services may be considered. The Australian Pro Bono Centre interprets this as a potential move towards ‘strengthening evaluation mechanisms for pro bono work reported under the LSMUL arrangements.’5

In May 2016, Ashurst assisted the Australian Pro Bono Centre to launch the ‘What is best practice in pro bono?’ guide, aiming to articulate what is best practice and to share this knowledge nationally and internationally.6 The 10 key elements of the Best Practice Guide are: (1) a strong social justice and pro bono culture supported by management; (2) a dedicated pro bono leader; (3) broad awareness of the pro bono program within the firm; (4) broad engagement of staff and appropriate training; (5) a pro bono policy and strategic plan; (6) performance of pro bono legal work to the same standard as commercial work; (7) adequate crediting and recognition of pro bono legal work within the firm; (8) setting a firm-wide pro bono target and budget; (9) strong and deep relationships with community partners; and (10) a strategic risk management plan including accurate record keeping and a regular evaluation process.

Pro bono data submitted for the 2016 Index reflects the Australian legal community’s strong commitment to pro bono work illustrated above. Across all indicators, firms in Australia reported higher numbers than in previous years of the Index. Eleven law firms submitted data on their Australian offices’ pro bono practices this year, a higher level of Index participation among law offices in Australia than has been seen in previous years.

Fee earners in Australia did an average of 40.8 hours of pro bono work each over the past year, more than 10 percentage points higher than the 28.9 hours reported for the 2015 Index. The percentage of fee earners doing 10 or more hours of pro bono also grew dramatically last year, from 36.2 percent of fee earners reported in the 2015 Index to 51.0 percent reported this year.

The average number of pro bono hours done by partners based in Australia increased dramatically over the past year, from 12.8 hours reported in 2015 to 16.2 hours this year. In addition, the percentage of partners who contributed any time to providing pro bono legal services increased by more than twenty percentage points, from 49.4 percent to 70.2 percent.

For a PDF of the full Australia findings, please see here.

For a practitioner's view of pro bono in Australia, please see here.

1http://probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2015/07/aussie-law-firm-reaches-pro-bono-milestone/
2http://www.nfplaw.org.au/ 3https://www.justiceconnect.org.au/%E2%80%98game-changer%E2%80%99-legal-help-for-community-organisations
4http://probonocentre.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Eighth_Annual_Performance_Report_on_the_Aspirational_Target_2015.pdf
5http://probonocentre.org.au/apbn/may-2016/commonwealth-considering-stronger-measures-evaluate-pro-bono-services/
6http://www.nfplaw.org.au/
Firm Name Country Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Ashurst Australia 49.79 55.85%
Atsumi & Sakai Australia 0.00 0.00%
Chamberlains Law Firm Australia 69.00 100.00%
Colin Biggers & Paisley Australia 34.16 45.83%
DLA Piper Australia 48.55 47.14%
Henry Davis York Australia 27.02 44.78%
Hogan Lovells Australia 0.00 0.00%
Holding Redlich Australia 25.27 47.40%
K&L Gates LLP Australia 38.33 60.63%
Seyfarth Shaw LLP Australia 4.90 15.38%
Skadden, Arps Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP Australia 0.00 0.00%
Country Average 40.76 50.95%

England & Wales

The United Kingdom has a well-developed and supportive ecosystem for pro bono, with a number of specialist NGOs supporting solicitors, barristers, retired lawyers and law students to access pro bono opportunities. Enthusiasm for pro bono work continues to grow amongst law firms, with many now including pro bono hours in lawyers’ billable targets. There has also been a rise in the number of in-house legal teams who are setting up formal pro bono programs within their corporations. In-house lawyers are typically not covered by professional indemnity insurance for pro bono work but lawyers are finding ways around this barrier by, for example, collaborating with law firms on joint pro bono projects.

The UK government’s legal aid cuts have had a significant impact on the demand for free legal support, particularly from individuals. The legal community has consistently warned that pro bono cannot fill the gap left by the cuts and many firms in any event lack expertise on the areas of law that have been most affected, such as family law. Nonetheless, firms are interested in supporting individuals and some firms offer bespoke training to their lawyers on key areas such as immigration and refugee law, which is much needed in the wake of the European refugee crisis.

Pro bono support for NGOs is readily available in London where there is a high concentration of lawyers but smaller, regional firms are less likely to have institutionalised pro bono practices. One helpful development is that the Collaborative Plan for Pro Bono (which sets an aspirational annual target of 25 hours of pro bono per fee earner for its law firm members) is now offering a free conference aimed at firms who are starting or developing a pro bono programme.

Index participation among law firms with offices in England & Wales increased considerably this year, with 34 law firms submitting data in 2016 compared to only 30 firms that did so last year. 37 firms have provided details of their pro bono practices in the jurisdiction. Analysis of pro bono data submitted this year by law firms with offices in England and Wales shows a small decline in fee-earner participation and incremental increases in pro bono engagement by partners. Fee-earner contributions dropped slightly over the past year to an average of 21.6 hours of pro bono each, a moderate decrease in engagement from the 22.5 hours reported in the previous year. In addition, the percentage of fee earners who did ten or more hours of pro bono work last year dropped markedly, from 35.8 percent reported in the 2015 Index to only 27.6 percent reported this year.

Despite a slight decline in lawyer participation, partner engagement remains strong and continues to show small but consistent levels of annual growth. Partners based in England and Wales did an average of 12.6 hours of pro bono each over the past year, a small decrease from the number of hours reported in both the 2015 and 2014 Index. However, the percentage of partners who spent any time on pro bono work increased over the past year, from 37.8 percent reported in the 2015 Index to 40.5 percent reported this year.

For a PDF of the full England & Wales findings, please see here.

For a practitioner's view of pro bono in England, please see here and here.
Firm Name Country Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP England and Wales 7.58 15.91%
Anglo-Thai Legal (ATL) England and Wales 50.00 100.00%
Arnold & Porter LLP England and Wales 55.91 100.00%
Ashurst England and Wales 22.37 37.92%
Atsumi & Sakai England and Wales 0.00 0.00%
Bates Wells Braithwaite England and Wales 24.42 47.83%
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP England and Wales 14.00 28.21%
Clyde & Co LLP England and Wales 2.51 9.22%
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP England and Wales 31.16 56.64%
Dechert England and Wales 56.63 99.07%
DLA Piper England and Wales 29.31 37.65%
Faegre Baker Daniels LLP England and Wales 33.86 47.62%
Farrer & Co LLP England and Wales 1.92 7.83%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP England and Wales 31.12 -
Gowling WLG England and Wales 4.27 7.95%
Hogan Lovells England and Wales 39.89 55.63%
K&L Gates England and Wales 21.65 27.64%
Kirkland & Ellis LLP England and Wales 24.55 42.05%
Latham & Watkins LLP England and Wales 46.02 61.64%
Linklaters LLP England and Wales 15.47 25.48%
Mayer Brown International LLP England and Wales 10.12 28.03%
McDermott Will & Emery LLP England and Wales 39.23 62.50%
Mishcon de Reya England and Wales 8.07 11.11%
Morrison and Foerster England and Wales 49.34 63.16%
Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP England and Wales 18.97 50.70%
Paul Hastings England and Wales 51.53 91.55%
Reed Smith LLP England and Wales 26.68 44.14%
Ropes & Gray LLP England and Wales 12.62 24.41%
Seyfarth Shaw LLP England and Wales 61.13 40.00%
Shearman & Sterling LLP England and Wales 13.52 28.86%
Simmons & Simmons England and Wales 34.60 -
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP England and Wales 35.42 46.21%
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP England and Wales 56.77 56.58%
White and Case England and Wales 13.66 31.28%
Winston & Strawn LLP England and Wales 5.17 16.67%
Country Average 21.82 28.39%

Europe

The analysis in this section relates to Europe excluding England and Wales.

The 2016 Index data shows that pro bono engagement is strong across Europe among both partners and fee earners. Thirty nine law firms with offices in 27 countries across Europe submitted data on their pro bono practices for the 2016 Index, a significant increase from the 31 firms that submitted in 2015. Data for nearly all key indicators suggested growth in individual lawyers’ commitment to pro bono, expansion of the practice across previously unreached jurisdictions and an increasing number of law firms using pro bono as a tool to engage and retain lawyers.

While there was a 30 percent increase in the total number of pro bono hours carried out by firms with offices in Europe last year, the average annual pro bono hours carried out by fee earners dropped nominally from 15.9 hours to 15.2 hours. However, findings in both of these years show an appreciable increase from the first year of the Index, when fee earners in European offices did an average of 12.3 hours of pro bono each. Such comparisons suggest a net increase in pro bono contributions since the Index began. In addition, the percentage of fee earners who reported doing 10 or more hours of pro bono work increased in the last year, from 25.1 percent to 26.0 percent.

Partner engagement in Europe increased over the last year with partners’ average annual pro bono hours increasing slightly from 10.0 to 10.8 hours and 42.5 percent of partners in European firms contributing some time to pro bono initiatives (representing a 30 percent increase from the 2015 Index).

In recent years, pro bono clearinghouses and other organisations have focused on spreading the practice of pro bono across Europe engaging lawyers in a discussion on how national movements might join forces to more effectively address the legal needs of underserved communities across the continent. Although the European Convention on Human Rights (Article 6, Section 3c) requires all EU member states to provide free legal assistance to citizens in need of representation and unable to pay for legal services, the demand for free or reduced-fee legal services is not met by government legal aid in many countries. The current refugee crisis has highlighted the need for collaborative cross-border efforts to address shared legal challenges.

For a PDF of the full Europe findings, please see here.

Read a practitioner’s view of pro bono in Ukraine, Bulgaria, Hungary,the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania and Turkey.
Firm Name Country Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP Russia 2.85 7.69%
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP Switzerland 38.38 50.00%
Arnold & Porter LLP Belgium 45.75 75.00%
Ashurst Belgium 31.27 38.10%
Ashurst France 3.39 10.26%
Ashurst Germany 7.68 14.61%
Ashurst Italy 9.46 37.04%
Ashurst Spain 18.62 47.69%
Ashurst Sweden 7.90 16.67%
Ashurst UK – Scotland 66.53 76.36%
Atsumi & Sakai Germany 0.00 0.00%
Chatain & Associes France 3.08 23.08%
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP Belgium 18.41 23.30%
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP France 7.92 11.11%
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP Germany 1.46 4.29%
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP Italy 20.68 26.42%
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP Russia 3.56 11.11%
Debarliev, Dameski & Kelesoska Attorneys at law Macedonia 0.63 0.00%
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP France 28.50 50.00%
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP Germany 7.89 22.22%
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP Russia 0.91 4.17%
Dechert Belgium 70.67 100.00%
Dechert France 40.69 91.43%
Dechert Georgia 45.00 100.00%
Dechert Germany 48.66 96.88%
Dechert Ireland 38.50 100.00%
Dechert Luxembourg 20.86 71.43%
Dechert Russia 87.22 77.78%
DLA Piper Austria 17.30 32.73%
DLA Piper Belgium 26.89 41.58%
DLA Piper Czech Republic 3.29 13.64%
DLA Piper France 57.51 33.14%
DLA Piper Georgia 10.09 15.15%
DLA Piper Germany 9.76 17.55%
DLA Piper Hungary 39.53 40.63%
DLA Piper Italy 12.00 18.28%
DLA Piper Luxembourg 9.93 41.67%
DLA Piper Netherlands 14.46 28.70%
DLA Piper Russia 29.44 44.29%
DLA Piper Spain 6.59 12.00%
DLA Piper Poland 29.63 32.65%
DLA Piper Romania 5.38 14.29%
DLA Piper Slovakia 32.14 71.43%
DLA Piper Ukraine 18.75 56.52%
Eversheds UK – Other 11.61 56.96%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP Austria 4.18 -
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP Belgium 6.72 -
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP France 24.99 -
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP Germany 6.10 -
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP Italy 6.29 -
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP Netherlands 14.44 -
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP Russia 3.39 -
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP Spain 0.70 -
Hillbridges, s.r.o. Slovakia 33.35 41.18%
Hogan Lovells Belgium 15.58 48.39%
Hogan Lovells France 15.76 22.49%
Hogan Lovells Germany 6.15 15.46%
Hogan Lovells Italy 4.10 15.73%
Hogan Lovells Luxembourg 1.65 5.00%
Hogan Lovells Netherlands 7.32 14.04%
Hogan Lovells Russia 2.81 11.86%
Hogan Lovells Spain 16.94 42.61%
Hogan Lovells Poland 10.00 30.86%
K & L Gates LLP Belgium 0.00 0.00%
K & L Gates LLP France 1.00 3.85%
K & L Gates LLP Germany 4.03 15.38%
K & L Gates LLP Italy 2.81 4.76%
K & L Gates LLP Russia 0.00 0.00%
K & L Gates LLP Poland 12.78 29.09%
Kinstellar Bulgaria 11.18 27.27%
Kinstellar Czech Republic 2.93 2.56%
Kinstellar Slovakia 6.97 13.33%
Kirkland & Ellis LLP Germany 30.05 64.86%
Lalive Switzerland 2.60 6.49%
Latham & Watkins LLP Belgium 30.00 75.86%
Latham & Watkins LLP France 45.11 71.26%
Latham & Watkins LLP Germany 56.76 68.83%
Latham & Watkins LLP Italy 25.60 53.49%
Latham & Watkins LLP Russia 93.32 100.00%
Latham & Watkins LLP Spain 59.39 94.44%
Legance Studio Legale Associato Italy 1.48 3.50%
Lexing Spain SL Spain 16.00 100.00%
Linklaters LLP Belgium 5.17 10.94%
Linklaters LLP France 2.53 8.52%
Linklaters LLP Germany 2.35 4.63%
Linklaters LLP Italy 0.99 2.86%
Linklaters LLP Luxembourg 1.89 8.82%
Linklaters LLP Netherlands 1.27 6.00%
Linklaters LLP Portugal 9.51 11.11%
Linklaters LLP Russia 6.38 14.06%
Linklaters LLP Spain 2.79 9.84%
Linklaters LLP Poland 4.63 10.77%
Linklaters LLP Sweden 2.09 5.88%
Martins Alfaro, Rui Teixeira & Associados Portugal 11.43 71.43%
Mayer Brown International LLP Belgium 47.93 46.67%
Mayer Brown International LLP France 9.24 23.68%
Mayer Brown International LLP Germany 19.29 32.69%
McDermott Will & Emery LLP Belgium 21.85 90.00%
McDermott Will & Emery LLP France 18.98 37.50%
McDermott Will & Emery LLP Germany 34.58 46.24%
McDermott Will & Emery LLP Italy 13.19 33.33%
Morrison and Foerster Belgium 59.86 57.14%
Morrison and Foerster Germany 47.30 70.27%
Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP France 14.54 29.89%
Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP Germany 21.46 70.27%
Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP Italy 8.57 23.19%
Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP Russia 31.33 88.89%
Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP Switzerland 0.00 0.00%
Paul Hastings France 51.15 69.23%
Paul Hastings Germany 21.54 75.00%
Paul Hastings Italy 33.99 92.00%
Reed Smith LLP France 15.57 26.09%
Reed Smith LLP Germany 23.10 52.50%
Reed Smith LLP Greece 0.22 0.00%
Savoric & Partners, LLC Croatia 13.5 60.00%
Shearman & Sterling LLP Belgium 18.33 26.67%
Shearman & Sterling LLP France 11.47 9.20%
Shearman & Sterling LLP Germany 7.99 14.29%
Shearman & Sterling LLP Italy 5.10 18.52%
Simmons & Simmons Belgium 1.49 -
Simmons & Simmons France 3.41 -
Simmons & Simmons Germany 3.28 -
Simmons & Simmons Italy 2.74 -
Simmons & Simmons Luxembourg 13.00 -
Simmons & Simmons Netherlands 3.23 -
Simmons & Simmons Spain 4.44 -
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP Belgium 11.81 11.76%
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP France 71.13 86.21%
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP Germany 48.41 83.33%
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP Russia 39.40 75.00%
Vieira de Almeida & Associados Portugal 26.58 35.18%
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP Czech Republic 24.63 25.49%
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP France 4.65 5.26%
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP Germany 14.09 28.89%
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP Hungary 31.19 33.33%
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP Poland 34.04 15.38%
White and Case Belgium 35.36 63.83%
White and Case Czech Republic 14.64 28.00%
White and Case France 9.71 28.02%
White and Case Germany 12.61 27.03%
White and Case Russia 23.07 55.93%
White and Case Spain 40.36 81.82%
White and Case Turkey 17.07 56.14%
White and Case Finland 7.82 27.27%
White and Case Poland 28.60 32.56%
White and Case Slovakia 37.92 76.92%
White and Case Sweden 5.11 15.56%
White and Case Switzerland 18.40 40.00%
Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP Belgium 4.03 7.14%
Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP Germany 5.34 9.30%
Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP UK – Other 78.35 86.15%
Winston & Strawn LLP France 39.00 13.79%
Regional Average 15.22 26.25%

Belgium

As in many European countries, the comprehensive legal aid system in Belgium somewhat diminishes the demand for private lawyers to provide pro bono legal services. However, pro bono programmes have begun to proliferate with the establishment of Belgian offices by a growing number of Anglo-American international law firms, many of whom require lawyers to engage in pro bono work.

Although individuals are generally well served by the government legal aid system, law firm pro bono programmes have often addressed the legal needs of non-profit organisations related to corporate matters such as employment or contracts or legal questions regarding government advocacy at the levels of both national and European courts and institutions. As the public legal aid system also requires lawyers to provide mandatory (government-subsidised) legal representation when requested, the Belgian legal community and local Bar associations have been resistant to proposals for mandatory pro bono requirements. Since state-funded legal assistance was made a constitutional right in 1980, private lawyers have not felt the need to engage as heavily in pro bono work as was the case before there was a government commitment to provide such services.

Eighteen law firms in Belgium submitted data for the 2016 Index, representing a growth in participation of 50 percent from last year’s 12 submissions. While there was a decrease in the average number of pro bono hours per fee earner from 27.1 hours in the 2015 Index to 19.0 hours this year, other key indicators were positive. The percentage of fee earners doing 10 or more hours of pro bono increased from the 27.2 percent reported in last year’s Index to 30.7 percent.

As in previous years, partner pro bono engagement remained strong in Belgium: the 2016 data indicates that 37.1 percent of partners participated in some pro bono work, a slight increase from the 32.3 percent reported in the 2015 Index. Partners based in Belgium reported performing an average of 10.4 hours of pro bono each, commensurate with 2015 Index findings.

Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Arnold & Porter LLP 45.75 75.00%
Ashurst 31.27 38.10%
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP 18.41 23.30%
Dechert 70.67 100.00%
DLA Piper 26.89 41.58%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP 6.72 -
Hogan Lovells 15.58 48.39
K & L Gates LLP 0.00 0.00%
Latham & Watkins LLP 30.00 75.86%
Linklaters LLP 5.17 10.94%
Mayer Brown International LLP 47.93 46.67%
McDermott Will & Emery LLP 21.85 90.00%
Morrison and Foerster 59.86 57.14%
Shearman & Sterling LLP 18.33 26.67%
Simmons & Simmons 1.49 -
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP 11.81 11.76%
White and Case 35.36 63.83%
Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP 4.03 7.14%
Country Average 19.02 30.72%

Czech Republic

Though the practice of pro bono has historically played a prominent role in the Czech Republic’s legal culture, it has gained popularity in recent years as a useful means of addressing many of the social problems that the country faces. As a result of Europe’s ongoing immigration crisis, a number of Czech NGOs have been established to provide legal representation to individuals in immigration and asylum proceedings who, as foreign nationals, do not have access to the state-funded legal aid system. There are also a number of Czech non-profit organizations dedicated to ensuring that civil society’s input is taken into account in the legislative process and to guaranteeing that the public is informed of legal changes that may affect them.

The Pro Bono Alliance is a leader among these in the Czech Republic and is dedicated not only to ensuring access to justice, but also in improving legal education in the country, promoting private pro bono within the legal community, serving as a national pro bono clearinghouse, advocating for improvement of the public legal aid system, informing citizens of their constitutional rights, and working with law schools to develop law clinics.

Four law firms with operations in the Czech Republic submitted data for the 2016 Index. Findings show that the pro bono engagement of fee earners has changed little over the past year; the average hours of pro bono done last year held constant from the previous year at 13.4 hours per lawyer, while the percentage of fee earners doing ten or more hours of pro bono work during the year dropped from 26.6 percent reported in the 2015 Index to 19.1 percent reported this year.

Partner engagement also increased with the average number of hours that partners in the Czech Republic dedicated to pro bono work increasing from 10.5 hours in 2015 to 15.3 hours reported this year, a 47.5 percent annual increase. Following this trend, the percentage of partners who spent any time on pro bono was 54.5 percent this year compared to only 18.2 percent reported in the 2015 Index.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
DLA Piper 3.29 13.64%
Kinstellar 2.93 2.56%
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP 24.63 25.49%
White and Case 14.64 28.00%
Country Average 13.42 19.14%

France

As in many European jurisdictions, international law firms have been leaders in the effort to professionalise pro bono work among lawyers in France. While pro bono initiatives in international firms are commonly coordinated by a dedicated internal team, anecdotal evidence suggests that domestic French law firms are more likely to engage in pro bono on a case-by-case basis at the behest of lawyers who express interest in a particular issue and take the initiative to enlist the help of colleagues in addressing the particular legal matter on a pro bono basis. A number of different access to justice initiatives have been established by domestic French organisations, such as Barreau de Paris Solidarité, Pro Bono Lab or AADH. The creation of such programmes suggests that the integration of pro bono practices within French culture is viewed as a viable complement to state-subsidised legal aid.1

The predominance of international law firms in France’s firm-led pro bono activities was evident in this year’s Index participants, among whom only one domestic law firm was represented. This may be due in part to the tendency in France of pro bono initiatives to be coordinated by specialised non-profit organizations dedicated to the practice, as opposed to a reliance on firms to provide pro bono guidance. Also common in the country is pro bono engagement by lawyer pro bono networks organized by members themselves and independent of law firms.2

Twenty two submissions were received from law firms with offices in France, stronger participation than has been seen in previous years. General trends in the country’s pro bono engagement show promising growth in a country where legal pro bono took a bit longer to gain traction than in other parts of continental Europe. Fee earners did more pro bono work on average over the last year (20.0 hours) than in the previous year (18.4 hours), continuing the annual growth in rates of pro bono that have been seen in France since the Index began collecting data. The percentage of lawyers spending at least ten hours on pro bono initiatives remained constant, with firms reporting 25.2 percent in both 2015 and 2016.

Partner engagement among law firms in France also continues to grow at a steady pace. Partners contributed an average of 8.4 hours each over the past year compared to the 7.9 hours reported in the 2015 Index. In addition, 36.7 percent of partners worked on pro bono projects over the last year compared to the 34.9 percent reported in the 2015 Index findings.

1https://www.lw.com/admin/Upload/Documents/Global%20Pro%20Bono%20Survey/A-Survey-of-Pro-Bono-Practices-and-Opportunities.pdf
2Ibid.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Ashurst 3.39 10.26%
Chatain & Associes 3.08 23.08%
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP 7.92 11.11%
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP 28.50 50.00%
Dechert 40.69 91.43%
DLA Piper 57.51 33.14%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP 24.99 -
Hogan Lovells 15.76 22.49%
K & L Gates LLP 1.00 3.85%
Latham & Watkins LLP 45.11 71.26%
Linklaters LLP 2.53 8.52%
Mayer Brown International LLP 9.24 23.68%
McDermott Will & Emery LLP 18.98 37.50%
Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP 14.54 29.89%
Paul Hastings 51.15 69.23%
Reed Smith LLP 15.57 26.09%
Shearman & Sterling LLP 11.47 9.20%
Simmons & Simmons 3.41 -
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP 71.13 86.21%
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP 4.65 5.26%
White and Case 9.71 28.02%
Winston & Strawn LLP 39.00 13.79%
Country Average 20.03 25.23%

Germany

Pro bono culture in Germany is developing steadily, with the pro bono legal community now in agreement that minimum legal fee rules do not apply to pro bono work. Pro bono Deutschland e.V., which is comprised of 32 local and international firms, has been a strong influence on the promotion of pro bono services for national and international NGOs, which are less likely to qualify for legal aid under Germany’s comprehensive legal aid system.

Legal entities need to be based in Germany, the European Union or an EFTA member state to qualify for legal aid. Pro bono Deutschland has worked hard to remove barriers to pro bono, such as the notion that it could constitute unfair competition. International firms with offices in Germany, which typically have long-standing, institutionalized pro bono programs, are helping to formalize pro bono and raise media awareness about the social value that is being created by lawyers.

The emergence of local clearing houses and foundations that support and facilitate free legal and professional services for NGOs highlights the growing demand for pro bono opportunities among lawyers and other professionals. In-house legal teams confront the same barriers experienced by most in-house legal teams across Europe: a lack of professional liability insurance for pro bono work. As a result, there are few corporations with formal pro bono programmes in Germany.

Index statistics on pro bono in Germany demonstrate the momentum it has gained among lawyers. TrustLaw received 24 Index submissions this year, while the 2015 Index analyzed data from only 16 firms. German lawyers did an average of 12.8 hours of pro bono over the last year, a slight increase on the 12.6 hours reported the previous 12 months. However, the percentage of fee earners doing 10 or more hours of pro bono work did fall slightly, from 23.8 percent to 20.5 percent.

Nevertheless, partner engagement among firms in Germany continues to exhibit growth. Partners averaged 11.5 hours of pro bono this year, compared with 9.1 hours last year. Findings showed that 44.2 percent of partners worked on pro bono projects last year, noticeably higher than the 38.1 percent of partners who did so during the previous year.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Ashurst 7.68 14.61%
Atsumi & Sakai 0.00 0.00%
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP 1.46 4.29%
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP 7.89 22.22%
Dechert 48.66 96.88%
DLA Piper 9.76 17.55%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP 6.10 -
Hogan Lovells 6.15 15.46%
K & L Gates LLP 4.03 15.38%
Kirkland & Ellis LLP 30.05 64.86%
Latham & Watkins LLP 56.76 68.83%
Linklaters LLP 2.35 4.63%
Mayer Brown International LLP 19.29 32.69%
McDermott Will & Emery LLP 34.58 46.24%
Morrison and Foerster 47.30 70.27%
Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP 21.46 70.27%
Paul Hastings 21.54 75.00%
Reed Smith LLP 23.10 52.50%
Shearman & Sterling LLP 7.99 14.29%
Simmons & Simmons 3.28 -
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP 48.41 83.33%
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP 14.09 28.89%
White and Case 12.61 27.03%
Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP 5.34 9.30%
Country Average 12.80 20.51%

Italy

Although pro bono is not a common practice in Italy, the landscape has seen some notable changes recently. There have been several initiatives by law firms and new clearing houses to continue to build a culture of pro bono, such as the launch of the Pro Bono Legal Aid program by the Italian Coalition for Civil Rights & Freedoms (CILD) in early 2015, with support from PILnet. The 2015 European Pro Bono Forum, which was hosted in Rome last November, also resulted in a wave of proposals from both local law firms and NGOs to grow an Italian network of pro bono. It remains to be seen whether pro bono work will become part of the legal culture or framework in Italy.

This year, 14 law firms with offices in Italy submitted data for the TrustLaw Index compared to 10 submissions the previous year. One of these was received from a domestic Italian law firm, while the rest reported on the pro bono work of international law firms with operations in the country. Lawyers gave on average 9.0 hours of their time to pro bono initiatives in the past year, effectively unchanged from the 8.9 hours reported the previous year. However, levels of fee-earner participation dropped noticeably, from 21 percent reported in the 2015 Index to 16.9 percent reported this year.

Partners in Italy have maintained a relatively consistent rate of pro bono engagement over the past year, with 2015 findings indicating 24.8 percent partner engagement and 2016 findings of 28.7 percent. Similarly, the average number of hours that individual partners dedicate to pro bono work dropped slightly from the 5.3 hours reported in the 2015 Index to 5.1 hours this year.

Enthusiasm for pro bono is growing in Italy, but a lack of clarity under Italian law is hampering widespread engagement. There have been cases of disciplinary action taken against lawyers who have offered their services pro bono without clear guidance from professional bodies and there is a risk this may happen again. The fact that Index participation by law firms in Italy has risen 25 percent since 2014 may be evidence of this growth, despite the lack of clarity of the local regulations.

Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Ashurst 9.46 37.04%
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP 20.68 26.42%
DLA Piper 12.00 18.28%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP 6.29 -
Hogan Lovells 4.10 15.73%
K & L Gates LLP 2.81 4.76%
Latham & Watkins LLP 25.60 53.49%
Legance Studio Legale Associato 1.48 3.50%
Linklaters LLP 0.99 2.86%
McDermott Will & Emery LLP 13.19 33.33%
Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP 8.57 23.19%
Paul Hastings 33.99 92.00%
Shearman & Sterling LLP 5.10 18.52%
Simmons & Simmons 2.74 -
Country Average 8.99 16.89%

Luxembourg

Luxembourg has a highly developed government-funded legal aid system, which ranks among the most efficient in Europe.1 The government operates under a system of mandatory assignments, and lawyers are remunerated by the government for services rendered.

As a result of the comprehensive public system, demand for private lawyers to provide pro bono legal assistance is low. In addition to the organised pro bono work prevalent among international law firms, many lawyers in Luxembourg assist NGOs and non-profit organizations on a pro bono basis. Microfinance is one growing sector of non-profit work in which Luxembourg is emerging as a key actor.2

Index findings on pro bono work in Luxembourg showed drops in participation across the board this year, and all Index submissions were received from international law firms with offices in Luxembourg. Although more firms participated in the Index in 2016 (five compared to only two participants in the 2015 Index), further analysis indicated decreased engagement. It may be that this year’s findings are more reflective of the situation in Luxembourg as a result of the greater number of submissions, though comparison with previous data remains valid. For example, fee earners completed an average of 5.7 pro bono hours each over the last year, a drop of nearly 60 percent from the previous year’s findings of 14.2 hours. The percentage of fee earners doing ten or more hours of pro bono over the year also decreased substantially, from 35.3 percent to 17.6 percent.

Partner engagement also saw dramatic declines over the past year. While 85.7 percent of partners based in Luxembourg reported participating in some pro bono work for the 2015 Index, only 47.4 percent did so this year. In addition, partners reported doing an average of 4.8 hours of pro bono each over the past year, whereas data for the previous year indicated an average of 10.6 hours per partner, an annual drop of more than 50 percent.

1https://www.lw.com/admin/Upload/Documents/Global%20Pro%20Bono%20Survey/A-Survey-of-Pro-Bono-Practices-and-Opportunities.pdf
2Ibid.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Dechert 20.86 71.43%
DLA Piper 9.93 41.67%
Hogan Lovells 1.65 5.00%
Linklaters LLP 1.89 8.82%
Simmons & Simmons 13.00 -
Country Average 5.72 17.60%

Netherlands

The Netherlands has a well-funded and comprehensive public legal aid system to serve the needs of indigent and low-income individuals. A constitutional right to legal representation for individuals has been in effect since the 1980s.1 As a result, private law firms generally engage in pro bono work with the objective of advancing the social agenda, promoting human rights, or supporting cases with the potential to set broadly applicable legal precedents that aim to enhance the public good beyond the scope of a single case.2

Following the expansion into the Netherlands of large Anglo-American law firms with storied traditions of pro bono, the practice has spread rapidly within the Dutch legal community. And as international pro bono gains momentum, law firms interested in pro bono opportunities are increasingly looking abroad to engage in projects that strengthen democratic processes, the rule of law and access to justice in less-developed countries.

This year, data was received from five law firms with offices in the Netherlands. All data was received from local offices of international firms. As 2016 was the first year in which multiple Dutch offices submitted Index data, annual datasets cannot easily be compared to identify chronological trends. However, 2016 findings were strong regionally and showed that fee earners did on average 9.5 hours of pro bono work over the past year, and 11.5 percent of fee earners contributed ten or more hours. Partner involvement is also strong in the Netherlands, with 37.0 percent of partners engaging in some pro bono work over the past year. On average, individual partners spent 10.9 hours on pro bono last year.

1http://www.rvr.org/Informatie-over-de-raad/organisatie/taken-van-de-raad/geschiedenis.html, as cited in A Survey of Pro Bono Practices and Opportunities, Latham & Watkins 2016.
2https://www.lw.com/admin/Upload/Documents/Global%20Pro%20Bono%20Survey/A-Survey-of-Pro-Bono-Practices-and-Opportunities.pdf
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
DLA Piper 14.46 28.70%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP 14.44 -
Hogan Lovells 7.32 14.04%
Linklaters LLP 1.27 6.00%
Simmons & Simmons 3.23 -
Country Average 9.52 11.54%

Poland

Though pro bono engagement in many European countries is led by international law firms, Poland’s domestic legal community has readily adopted the practice over the past decade. The country’s relatively sophisticated pro bono infrastructure has helped to foster the growing culture of pro bono in Poland by providing a platform to publicise pro bono opportunities, connecting like-minded legal practitioners, and holding conferences bringing together national and regional actors in the pro bono space to discuss challenges, opportunities, and the future of the sector.

Six Index submissions were received this year from law firms with offices in Poland, all from local branches of international firms. Fee-earner participation decreased noticeably over the past year, with the average number of hours per fee earner dropping from 26.9 in the 2015 Index to 19.3 hours reported this year. The percentage of fee earners in Poland doing ten or more hours of pro bono saw a similar drop, from 30.9 percent in the 2015 Index to 24.3 percent reported this year.

Despite declining fee-earner participation, partner engagement showed greater impetus. The average number of partner pro bono hours over last year increased to 29.0 hours compared to 26.4 hours reported in the 2015 Index. In addition, 36.0 percent of partners provided some pro bono assistance over the past year compared to 31.7percent reported in last year’s Index.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
DLA Piper 29.63 32.65%
Hogan Lovells 10.00 30.86%
K & L Gates LLP 12.78 29.09%
Linklaters LLP 4.63 10.77%
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP 34.04 15.38%
White and Case 28.60 32.56%
Country Average 19.27 24.26%

Russia

The provision of legal aid in Russia has long been perceived as a responsibility that falls exclusively within the purview of government. As a result, private law firms have not traditionally engaged in pro bono legal work. To the extent that the practice has been embraced by local law firms, pro bono work in Russia largely focuses on the legal needs of non-profit organizations and NGOs working in the public interest. Such groups are not served by the public system, though they play an invaluable role in maintaining a robust civil society. Private law firms are therefore addressing an important public need by providing NGOs with the legal support they need in order to dedicate all of their resources to confronting the challenges that civil society faces.

All 2016 Index data on the pro bono work of lawyers in Russia was received from local offices of international firms. Data was received from eleven law firms with offices in Russia, a small increase in participation over the five firms that submitted data for their Russian offices last year. Data suggests mixed findings on the state of the pro bono legal sector in Russia. The average number of pro bono hours by fee earners last year dropped from 24.7 hours to 18.1 hours reported this year. Fee-earner participation saw a similar decline from 40.5 percent reported in the 2015 Index to 29.1 percent reported this year.

Findings on levels of partner engagement indicate that individual partners in Russia are spending quite a bit less time on pro bono matters than in previous years, with the average number of pro bono hours per partner dropping from last year’s 41.0 hours to 15.0 hours. However, the percentage of partners engaging in pro bono work continues to rise, with 46.6 percent of partners working on pro bono last year compared to 45.2 percent the previous year and only 30.0 percent reported in 2014.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP 2.85 7.69%
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP 3.56 11.11%
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP 0.91 4.17%
Dechert 87.22 77.78%
DLA Piper 29.44 44.29%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP 3.39 -
Hogan Lovells 2.81 11.86%
K & L Gates LLP 0.00 0.00%
Latham & Watkins LLP 93.32 100.00%
Linklaters LLP 6.38 14.06%
Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP 31.33 88.89%
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP 39.40 75.00%
White and Case 23.07 55.93%
Country Average 18.12 29.14%

Slovakia

The practice of pro bono, as carried out by both private law firms and government-funded initiatives, continues to spread throughout Slovakia. Analysis of Index data submitted in 2016 on the pro bono work of lawyers based in Slovakia showed positive growth across all key indicators. The findings suggest the practice of pro bono is gaining popularity within the legal community in many Eastern European countries, including Slovakia.

Fee earners donated more of their time last year to pro bono matters than in previous years, with lawyers doing on average 26.7 hours of pro bono each, 40 percent more than the 19.1 pro bono hours that fee earners averaged over the previous year. Findings also show that 46.2 percent of fee earners did 10 or more hours of pro bono work compared to 40.5 percent reported in the 2015 Index, giving further credence to the claim that pro bono activities are increasingly popular among lawyers in Slovakia. Thus, it seems that lawyers’ engagement with pro bono is not only spreading, but attracting dedicated followers, growing numbers of whom are willing to invest more time in pro bono projects.

Also encouraging is the rise in partner engagement among law offices in Slovakia. Index submissions in 2016 showed that partners gave an average of 22.5 hours of their time to pro bono work, while no data was submitted in the 2015 Index concerning partners’ pro bono activities. Additionally, 42.8 percent of partners spent some time on pro bono work over the past year.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
DLA Piper 32.14 71.43%
Hillbridges, s.r.o. 33.35 41.18%
Kinstellar 6.97 13.33%
White and Case 37.92 76.92%
Country Average 26.72 46.15%

Spain

The academic community was traditionally the most vocal advocate of pro bono in Iberia, however the legal community has been working hard in recent years to strengthen the culture of pro bono in regions where low-income individuals have long been considered the only eligible recipients of free legal aid. Spanish law firms have strengthened their commitment to expanding the practice of pro bono beyond these narrow parameters to include non-profit organisations and social enterprises working in the public interest. Law firms are also showing greater willingness to enlist the help of pro bono clearinghouses and related organisations to ensure their progressively more ambitious corporate social responsibility (CSR) objectives are met.

Law firms’ pro bono contributions are an increasingly important consideration for corporations in choosing external legal partners. While a firm’s CSR commitments have not historically factored into Spanish companies’ decisions in selecting external counsel, trends are revealing a noticeable shift in favour of increased CSR commitments. When asked about the importance of law firms’ social engagement, a corporate executive in Spain confirmed, ‘How the law firm is perceived by our stakeholders and how it is acting within society is a key point when I retain external support.’ 1

The 2016 Index findings reflect anecdotal evidence to suggest the rapid expansion of pro bono engagement among law firms across the country. Index data was collected from nine law firms with offices in Spain, the highest level of participation since the Index began. A comparative annual analysis of country data from all three years of the Index reveals unprecedented growth over the past year. Individual lawyers did an average of 11.4 hours of pro bono each, while they reported contributing only 6.5 hours in the 2015 Index. In addition, the percentage of fee earners providing 10 or more hours of pro bono increased to 25.8 percent from the previous year’s 16.5 percent.

Partner pro bono engagement in Spain has also shown promising growth. The percentage of partners contributing time to pro bono projects increased from 24.6 percent reported in the 2015 Index to 45.7 percent this year. Individual partners are also spending more time on pro bono projects, as the average number of hours per partner over the last year was 12.1 hours compared to the 4.3 hours reported in the 2015 Index, an annual increase of more than 200 percent.

1http://www.vda.pt/xms/files/Noticias/2015/Iberian_Lawyer_VdA_ProBono_increasingly_a_factor_in_clients_-_choice_of_law_firms.pdf

For a practitioner's view of pro bono in Spain, please see here.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Ashurst 18.62 47.69%
DLA Piper 6.59 12.00%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP 0.70 -
Hogan Lovells 16.94 42.61%
Latham & Watkins LLP 59.39 94.44%
Lexing Spain SL 16.00 100.00%
Linklaters LLP 2.79 9.84%
Simmons & Simmons 4.44 -
White and Case 40.36 81.82%
Country Average 11.37 25.75%

Switzerland

As in much of Western Europe where government legal aid schemes are often sufficiently funded to meet public demand for free or subsidised legal services, there is not a strong culture of pro bono in Switzerland. Lawyers may be appointed by the local government in their cantons to take on cases through the public legal aid system. As a result of the comprehensive legal aid system, there is also relatively little pro bono infrastructure, such as clearinghouses or dedicated organisations, to support pro bono engagement among lawyers.

Much of the work that Swiss law firms engage in outside the public aid system is dedicated to augmenting the advocacy and social impact efforts of large NGOs and non-profit organisations that work to advance human rights internationally. 1 Given Geneva’s prominence in the international community as the home of many influential international institutions, including the UNHCR, WHO, WTO, and many others, it is perhaps not surprising that many domestic lawyers are particularly drawn to international pro bono projects.

Four Index submissions were received from law firms with offices in Switzerland, including one domestic Swiss firm. Though this represents an increase in Index participation from firms in Switzerland, pro bono data collected suggests that engagement at the national level has not changed significantly from previous Index findings. The average pro bono commitment per lawyer was 6.5 hours, an inconsequential variance from the 2015 Index finding of 6.7 hours. However, the percentage of fee earners dedicating ten or more hours to pro bono dropped from 18.6 percent in the 2015 Index to 12.0 percent this year.

While the annual average number of partner pro bono hours decreased from 1.2 hours to 0.2 hours, the percentage of partners participating in pro bono work in Switzerland has increased from 5.9 percent to 10.0 percent, suggesting that partner engagement, though still low regionally, is seeing moderate growth within Switzerland’s legal community.

1http://www.lalive.ch/en/csr/index.php
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP 38.38 50.00%
Lalive 2.60 6.49%
Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP 0.00 0.00%
White and Case 18.40 40.00%
Country Average 6.51 11.96%

United States

Thirty two firms with offices in the United States submitted information on their pro bono practices for inclusion in the 2016 Index. Participating law firms represent almost 24,000 lawyers, who donated 1.75 million hours of pro bono legal services during the 12 month reporting period. On average, fee earners in the United States provided 72.9 hours of pro bono assistance each, in alignment with the 2015 Index where lawyers reported 72.8 hours, but a slight drop from the 75.0 hours reported in the 2014 Index. This trend mirrors data collected by national U.S. pro bono surveys.

Nevertheless, the United States continues to lead internationally in the provision of pro bono legal services. Many U.S. law firms incentivise pro bono participation on the part of employees with monetary compensation, recognition, or both. As a result of the professional emphasis on the importance of providing free legal assistance, lawyers who participate in pro bono work generally give at least ten hours of their time to such initiatives annually. Consistent with previous years, the 2016 Index findings suggest that 72.0 percent of lawyers provided ten or more hours of pro bono work.

Partners at law firms based in the United States also maintain high levels of pro bono participation. This year, partners provided an average of 37.2 hours of free legal assistance, a slight increase than the 34.6 hours reported in 2015. Similarly, 74.7 percent of partners reported investing some time in pro bono initiatives in the 2016 Index, compared to 73.7 percent in the 2015 Index.

The United States is home to a robust and diverse pro bono community, with law firms, bar associations, and intermediary organisations driving growth around the country. Pro bono practices have continued to expand over the past few years, thanks in large part to increasing standards from local bar associations and law firms. After New York became the first state to require qualifying hours of pro bono service for state bar admission in 2015, several other states have begun considering similar proposals. As these local standards have developed, national and international law firms have disseminated these practices across their various offices and have driven further growth in pro bono across the country and the world.

Nonetheless, significant need for legal assistance still exists across the country, and there is no shortage of opportunities at all levels for attorneys to engage. The Pro Bono Institute and the Association of Pro Bono Counsel, among others, have helped to make pro bono a standard practice among firms nationwide, and continue to be at the forefront as the field diversifies. Increasing numbers of corporate attorneys and in-house counsels are engaging in pro bono work, and the dramatic growth of the social enterprise sector has increased opportunities for engagement. Defining how these new players can engage with the pro bono sector offers significant opportunities and challenges that firms and intermediary organisations will continue to tackle in the coming years.

Legal matters that have drawn notable pro bono support over the last 12 months include issues that have remained at the top of the agenda from previous years, such as immigration and human trafficking. In January 2016, a victim of human trafficking achieved a successful settlement in a federal court case brought in New York against her abusers. She was represented by pro bono lawyers, who were connected with the client through the City Bar Justice Center, an initiative of the New York City Bar Association.2

Political leaders and legal organisations are also promoting innovative approaches to pro bono legal work that aim to close the justice gap. Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois addressed the annual meeting of the American Bar Association (ABA) in August 2016, where he encouraged lawyers to “… keep up the pro bono work. It matters… it can make a life-changing difference.” 3

For a PDF of the full United States findings, please see here.

For a practitioner's view of pro bono in the United States, please see here and here.

1http://www.americanlawyer.com/id=1202730400870/Pro-Bono-Report-2015-Treading-Water
2http://www2.nycbar.org/citybarjusticecenter/blog/2016/01/22/human-trafficking-victim-obtains-successful-settlement-in-federal-court/
3http://www.americanbar.org/news/abanews/aba-news-archives/2015/08/sen_durbin_urgespr.html
Firm Name Country Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP United States 84.25 67.14%
Arnold & Porter LLP United States 117.94 89.30%
Ashurst United States 10.26 21.95%
Atsumi & Sakai United States 0.00 0.00%
Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft LLP United States 45.49 32.35%
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP United States 91.53 67.92%
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP United States 36.23 47.46%
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP United States 117.49 68.94%
Dechert United States 75.60 99.24%
DLA Piper United States 72.46 83.03%
Duane Morris LLP United States 33.57 57.36%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP United States 62.25 -
Hogan Lovells United States 78.77 91.02%
Holland & Knight LLP United States 50.95 64.47%
K&L Gates LLP United States 44.66 45.27%
Kirkland & Ellis LLP United States 72.27 79.19%
Latham & Watkins LLP United States 80.98 75.59%
Linklaters United States 77.25 70.59%
Mayer Brown International LLP United States 53.52 53.48%
McDermott Will & Emery LLP United States 60.13 66.72%
Morrison and Foerster United States 104.67 69.65%
Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP United States 91.56 94.68%
Paul Hastings United States 89.53 98.96%
Reed Smith LLP United States 51.45 61.40%
Ropes & Gray LLP United States 86.01 70.85%
Seyfarth Shaw LLP United States 19.47 42.18%
Shearman & Sterling LLP United States 63.93 90.51%
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP United States 99.35 87.55%
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP United States 24.63 25.49%
White and Case United States 79.93 79.62%
Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP United States 96.91 76.31%
Winston & Strawn LLP United States 64.02 79.95%
Country Average 72.87 71.99%