Data

Explore the results by region and country.

Africa & Middle East

The 2020 TrustLaw Pro Bono Index received submissions from 87 law firms in 25 countries across Africa and the Middle East. This represents an increase from the 2016 findings, where 33 law firms in 17 countries participated in the Index.

Respondent firms in these regions reported that lawyers provided an average of 19.6 hours of pro bono legal assistance each over the self-selected 12-month reporting period, a decrease from 2016’s finding of 25.9 hours. However, the percentage of fee earners undertaking 10 or more hours of pro bono increased from 35 percent in 2016 to 36 percent in this reporting period. Partners performed an average of 15.26 hours of pro bono, compared with 17.1 hours reported in the 2016 Index. The percentage of partners who contributed any time to pro bono increased from 40 percent in 2016 to 59 percent in 2020.

The higher 2020 response rate from these regions in the reporting period means this sample provides a broader picture of the amount of pro bono performed in Africa and the Middle East. The findings illustrate that, despite a decrease in average pro bono hours worked per lawyer, there is still a strong appetite among firms in Africa and Middle East to participate in pro bono initiatives.

There is a diverse legal and pro bono environment in these regions, and our findings suggest a continued positive trend towards expanding pro bono as well as a growing interest in it among legal communities in countries without historical traditions of pro bono. Local, regional and international law firms continue to build their pro bono practices by increasing and improving their pro bono infrastructure – the result of various factors ranging from an embedded culture of ‘giving back’, law society requirements for a minimum number of pro bono hours to be fulfilled annually, vibrant non-profit legal sectors that are actively involved in the provision of free legal services and pro bono initiatives being considered as part of performance appraisals.
Firm Name Country Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
ABC Attorneys Tanzania 16.00 60.0%
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP United Arab Emirates 16.67 44.4%
Al Tamimi & Company Bahrain 17.82 50.0%
Al Tamimi & Company Saudi Arabia 0.84 2.0%
Al Tamimi & Company United Arab Emirates 7.96 25.0%
Allen & Overy LLP United Arab Emirates 3.23 13.2%
ALN Ethiopia|Mesfin Tafesse & Associates Ethiopia 42.14 35.7%
ALN Kenya | Anjarwalla & Khanna LLP ALN Tanzania | Anjarwalla & Khanna LLP Kenya 1.29 3.8%
ALN Kenya | Anjarwalla & Khanna LLP ALN Tanzania | Anjarwalla & Khanna LLP Tanzania 5.00 33.3%
ALN Nigeria|G. Elias & Co. Nigeria 10.00 7.5%
ALN UGANDA | MMAKS ADVOCATES Uganda 11.38 37.5%
Aluko & Oyebode Nigeria 19.69 43.0%
Ashurst LLP United Arab Emirates 0.95 2.6%
Asyla Attorneys Tanzania 2.86 14.3%
BNM Advocates Kenya 10.00 100.0%
BNM Advocates Uganda 20.00 100.0%
Bytelex Advocates Rwanda 7.50 50.0%
Bytelex Advocates Uganda 6.25 25.0%
Chebet & Munyaka Advocates LLP Kenya 3.00 50.0%
CHILUME AND COMPANY Botswana 5.00 75.0%
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP United Arab Emirates 25.72 44.4%
Cliff Dekker Hofmeyr South Africa 77.06 25.0%
Dechert LLP United Arab Emirates 47.17 91.7%
Dentons Morocco 4.00 15.4%
Dentons South Africa 14.56 50.0%
Dentons United Arab Emirates 10.24 23.2%
DLA Piper Bahrain 63.60 60.0%
DLA Piper Botswana 0.00 0.0%
DLA Piper Ethiopia 14.06 27.8%
DLA Piper Ghana 12.71 14.3%
DLA Piper Kenya 6.68 17.0%
DLA Piper Kuwait 2.00 0.0%
DLA Piper Morocco 10.44 44.4%
DLA Piper Mozambique 15.00 31.0%
DLA Piper Namibia - 40.0%
DLA Piper Nigeria - 16.1%
DLA Piper Qatar 22.00 50.0%
DLA Piper Rwanda - 20.0%
DLA Piper Saudi Arabia 4.79 21.1%
DLA Piper Senegal - 8.7%
DLA Piper South Africa 17.05 52.4%
DLA Piper Tanzania 20.17 45.0%
DLA Piper UAE 24.80 45.5%
DLA Piper Uganda - 40.0%
DLA Piper Zambia 34.31 31.3%
DLA Piper Zimbabwe 6.34 10.0%
Duane Morris LLP Oman 0.00 0.0%
El-Aref International Law Office Lebanon 428.57 85.7%
Eric Silwamba, Jalasi and Linyama Legal Practitioners Zambia 0.00 66.7%
FASKEN (INCORPORATED AS BELL DEWAR INC IN SOUTH AFRICA) South Africa 72.48 54.3%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer Bahrain 0.60 0.0%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer United Arab Emirates 10.18 20.8%
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP United Arab Emirates 18.08 41.7%
Gide Loyrette Nouel Morocco 2.85 7.7%
Hogan Lovells South Africa 0.80 4.8%
Hogan Lovells United Arab Emirates 2.46 5.9%
K&L Gates LLP United Arab Emirates 5.56 22.2%
KATENDE SSEMPEBWA AND COMPANY ADVOCATES Uganda 2.00 4.0%
Kieti Advocates LLP Kenya 4.29 14.3%
Latham & Watkins United Arab Emirates 30.10 61.9%
Lawtons Africa South Africa 24.00 4.7%
Linklaters United Arab Emirates 2.37 3.3%
Matrix Solicitors Nigeria 8.82 47.1%
Mayer Brown LLP United Arab Emirates 0.57 14.3%
Mbula Mulu Kenya 60.00 100.0%
MORSAD LAW FIRM Morocco 50.00 100.0%
Muri Mwaniki Thige & Kageni LLP Advocates Kenya 6.25 25.0%
Mweshi Banda and Associates Zambia 4.67 33.3%
Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa South Africa 46.17 72.0%
Ogutu & Associates Advocates Kenya 13.33 66.7%
Reed Smith United Arab Emirates 6.60 26.7%
RR Associates & Co. Advocates Rwanda 0.00 0.0%
Sharkawy & Sarhan Law Firm Egypt 36.62 3.4%
Shearman & Sterling LLP United Arab Emirates 14.52 44.8%
Simmons & Simmons LLP Qatar 4.08 16.7%
Simmons & Simmons LLP United Arab Emirates 5.40 16.0%
SUNDAY ADAJI CHAMBERS Nigeria 9.60 80.0%
TASLAF ADVOCATES Uganda 4.00 50.0%
Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie Nigeria 5.78 11.9%
Webber Wentzel South Africa 24.00 0.0%
White & Case Qatar 63.67 66.7%
White & Case Saudi Arabia 19.19 62.5%
White & Case South Africa 47.82 100.0%
White & Case United Arab Emirates 19.23 47.2%
ZANGUE & PARTNERS Cameroon 3.13 25.0%

Kenya

As explained in the Methodology section, comprehensive stand-alone country analyses are only published for Index findings in jurisdictions where four or more law firms submitted data on their pro bono activities in the 12-month reporting period. In the 2016 Index of Pro Bono, we received submissions from four firms in Kenya. For the 2020 Index, eight firms submitted data on their pro bono practices, improving our sample of pro bono work in Kenya. Due to a difference in sample composition, we only share data provided in 2020.

The pro bono market in Kenya remains one of the continent’s most vibrant, with a strong culture embedded in the practice of law firms to give back to those in society who are unable to afford it and need it the most. The biggest development in the sector over the last half decade was the passing of Kenya’s Legal Aid Act in 2016 that established the National Legal Aid Service, though pro bono remains largely unregulated, leaving practitioners and law firms free to decide their own approach to it.

Submissions by law firms for the 2020 Index show that fee earners based in Kenya carried out an average of 13.11 hours of pro bono legal work over the reporting period. An interesting trend revealed in the data was how fee earners at Small Firms averaged 10 or more hours, with 47 percent meeting this threshold. Respondent law firms in Kenya had 38 percent of their partners dedicate some time to pro bono work, with partners performing an average of seven hours of pro bono work.

Regional firms and legal networks that have been building hubs or partnerships with local firms in Kenya are replicating their pro bono infrastructure locally, resulting in a stronger culture within larger law firms in the country. While the Law Society of Kenya, the local bar association, listed the engagement of at least 600 lawyers in pro bono in its 2011-2016 strategic plan, its 2017-2021 strategic plan makes no reference to this. On the other hand, the Law Society’s implementation plan channels funding to a pro bono legal scheme, which indicates that this regulatory authority may be doing more to support pro bono services.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
ALN Kenya | Anjarwalla & Khanna LLP ALN Tanzania | Anjarwalla & Khanna LLP 1.29 3.8%
BNM Advocates 10.00 100.0%
CFL Advocates - 20%
Chebet & Munyaka Advocates LLP 3.00 50.0%
DLA Piper 6.68 17.0%
Kieti Advocates LLP 4.29 14.3%
Mbula Mulu 60.00 100.0%
Muri Mwaniki Thige & Kageni LLP Advocates 6.25 25.0%
Ogutu & Associates Advocates 13.33 66.7%
Country average 13.11 44%

Morocco

This is the first year Morocco is included in the Index of Pro Bono. Morocco has many international firms that run their North Africa practices from this jurisdiction. Three out of the four Index submissions from Morocco were from international law firms.

Lawyers performed an average number of 16.82 hours per fee earner, with 42 percent of lawyers contributing 10 or more hours towards pro bono in the self-selected 12-month reporting period. Partners at respondent firms in Morocco performed an average of 22.14 hours each, with 43 percent of them performing more than 10 hours in this jurisdiction. Respondent firms also reported that 57 percent of their partners performed pro bono during the 12-month period.

We see other efforts to encourage pro bono. For example, in 2018 the Moroccan Industrial and Commercial Property Office (OMPIC) adopted new eligibility criteria for intellectual property (IP) professionals to provide their services on a pro bono basis, opening up opportunities within the IP practice. Grassroots-based pro bono schemes are also present, such as Droits & Justice’s Caravans of Justice Roadshow, an initiative that presents citizens with access to free legal services through the Caravan’s mobile pro bono clinics in tents, public venues and Souks (marketplaces).
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Dentons 4.00 15.4%
DLA Piper 10.44 44.4%
Gide Loyrette Nouel 2.85 7.7%
MORSAD LAW FIRM 50.00 100.0%
Country average 16.82 41.88%

Nigeria

2020 marks the first year that in-depth analysis has been carried out on the legal sector in Nigeria for the Index of Pro Bono. We received submissions from six law firms, five local and one international, with a mix of firms varying in size from the country’s largest practice to Medium-sized and single-person firms. We believe that this data from diverse practices paints a representative image of the pro bono trends in Africa’s largest nation.

The practice of pro bono is predominantly driven by NGOs and private practitioners, with the scope and availability of these services growing over the past few years. More recently, it has been argued that due to the large economy and burgeoning population of Nigeria, there is a need for more non-state actors to step up and ensure access to pro bono services is available to all who need them.

While the legal aid sector is regulated through the Legal Aid Act 2011, it is limited to providing this support to indigent persons and leaves the pro bono legal sector largely unregulated, though it is supplemented by the aspirational ideals within the Nigeria Bar Association’s Pro Bono Declaration of 2009. One of the biggest drivers motivating lawyers in Nigeria to undertake pro bono is that it is impossible to attain the apex rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria without having provided pro bono legal services. It then comes as no surprise that, on average, partners from respondent firms in Nigeria performed the third highest number of hours of pro bono globally, at 75.44. Over half of the partners in Nigeria (51 percent) reported having performed at least 10 hours of pro bono.

Submissions by law firms for this 2020 Index show that fee earners in Nigeria performed an average of 8.98 hours of pro bono, indicating a strong culture of pro bono. The data indicates that 34 percent of lawyers performed 10 or more hours of pro bono. Nigeria is a country to watch on matters of pro bono and we shall continue to monitor developments in this key African market to identify trends in the sector.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
ALN Nigeria|G. Elias & Co. 10.00 7.5%
Aluko & Oyebode 19.69 43.0%
DLA Piper - 16.1%
Matrix Solicitors 8.82 47.1%
SUNDAY ADAJI CHAMBERS 9.60 80.0%
Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie 5.78 11.9%
Country average 8.98 34.27%

South Africa

South Africa continues to cement itself as Africa’s most advanced pro bono market, with a legal sector where pro bono infrastructure is commonplace in its larger firms. For the 2020 Index we received submissions from nine firms, four local and five international, an increase of 33 percent from the submissions to the 2016 Index of Pro Bono. Results indicate that pro bono in South Africa continues to thrive, possibly as a combined result of its well-established legal practice sector and the pressing social challenges in the country that require lawyers to intervene on a pro bono basis.

Sections 34 and 35 of its South Africa’s Constitution guarantee access to justice for all in the country, yet direct free legal service for indigent persons occurs only under limited circumstances. The country’s bar associations, however, make it mandatory for their members to carry out a certain number of pro bono hours. South Africa also possesses a vibrant non-profit legal sector that is actively involved in the provision of free legal services. Organisations such as ProBono.org, for example, which facilitates access to pro bono and legal aid, have been recognised for their efforts in the access-to-justice space.

In South Africa, 63 percent of partners at respondent firms carried out pro bono in one form or another, recording 34.48 hours on average per partner. Participating law firms reported an average of 35.99 hours of pro bono per fee earner, compared with 39.3 hours reported in the 2016 Index. The percentage of lawyers performing 10 or more hours of pro bono also decreased , from 45 percent in 2016 to 40 percent for this 2020 Index. The data shows that pro bono trends in the South African market remain consistent, a likely testament to its strong culture of pro bono over a number of years.

A major development in recent years has been the impact of the Legal Practice Act No. 28 of 2015. One of its provisions, which came into effect in November 2018, introduces mandatory ‘community service’ for legal practitioners and trainees. Yet, practitioners in the pro bono sector continue to seek clarity on whether ‘community service’ and ‘pro bono legal service’ are synonymous, and thus whether pro bono work counts towards the requirements of the Act. The issue remains ambiguous and practitioners would value direction as to their duties to undertake pro bono under the Act.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Cliff Dekker Hofmeyr 77.06 25.0%
Dentons 14.56 50.0%
DLA Piper 17.05 52.4%
FASKEN (INCORPORATED AS BELL DEWAR INC IN SOUTH AFRICA) 72.48 54.3%
Hogan Lovells 0.80 4.8%
Lawtons Africa 24.00 4.7%
Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa 46.17 72.0%
Webber Wentzel 24.00 0.0%
White & Case 47.82 100.0%
Country average 35.99 40.35%

Tanzania

In 1969, students in the Faculty of Law at the University of Dar es Salaam established a legal aid committee in a move to ‘give back’ to the community, some say the first such gesture by lawyers in the country. This is the first in-depth analysis of pro bono in Tanzania as part of the Index of Pro Bono.

For the 2020 Index we received submissions from four firms, consisting of one international, one regional and two local practices. Respondent firms in Tanzania saw their fee earners averaging 11.01 hours of pro bono in the reporting period. Firms with lawyers performing 10 or more hours of pro bono formed 38 percent of the submissions received. Respondents firms also reported that partners performed an average of 4.44 hours, with 56 percent performing 10 or more hours in this jurisdiction.

In 2017, the country enacted its Legal Aid Act, which regulates legal aid in the country, allowing for greater access to justice. This Act limits legal aid to legal education, information, advice, assistance or representation to indigent persons, hence pro bono services offered to NGOs and social enterprises remain unregulated. Tanzania has a large number of international and regional law firms with an embedded pro bono culture promoting pro bono work at a local level, prompting local firms to show an increased interest in engaging in pro bono as well.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
ABC Attorneys 16.00 60.0%
ALN Kenya | Anjarwalla & Khanna LLP ALN Tanzania | Anjarwalla & Khanna LLP 5.00 33.3%
Asyla Attorneys 2.86 14.3%
DLA Piper 20.17 45.0%
Novita Law - -
Country average 11.01 38.15%

Uganda

Lawyers in Uganda’s legal community are required to provide 40 hours of legal aid in line with the ethical and social responsibility obligations under the Advocates Act, which regulates the sector. The country’s legal aid and pro bono sectors are vibrant, with the Uganda Law Society’s renowned Pro Bono Day being a great example of institutional efforts to inculcate a culture of ‘giving back’.

This is the first time we have carried out an in-depth analysis in the Index of Pro Bono trends in Uganda. Submissions came from one regional, one international and four local law firms. Fee earners averaged 7.27 hours of pro bono in the self-selected 12-month reporting period. Lawyers donating 10 or more hours of pro bono in the Ugandan legal fraternity stood at 43 percent of the responses we received. Impressively, 88 percent of partners in the surveyed firms indicated that they performed pro bono, each averaging 8.27 hours.

Pro bono and legal aid services in Uganda are rendered through a variety of organisations, from law firms to community legal aid clinics and NGOs, diversifying access to justice in the country. Uganda also has law firms specialising in providing pro bono services for social enterprises in this nation, which has been dubbed the ‘world’s most entrepreneurial country’, helping to distinguish its pro bono practice from other African nations.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
ALN UGANDA | MMAKS ADVOCATES 11.38 37.5%
BNM Advocates 20.00 100.0%
Bytelex Advocates 6.25 25.0%
DLA Piper - 40.0%
KATENDE SSEMPEBWA AND COMPANY ADVOCATES 2.00 4.0%
TASKK Advocates - -
TASLAF ADVOCATES 4.00 50.0%
Country average 7.27 42.75%

United Arab Emirates

While pro bono activities are not widespread in the UAE, the presence of numerous international law firms seeded the practice in the country and it has grown, prompting local firms and legal advice services to take notice. As a result, it is predominantly private law firms that provide pro bono services, with limited involvement by NGOs or other actors in the sector. While pro bono activities are not widespread in the UAE, the presence of numerous international law firms seeded the practice in the country and it has grown, prompting local firms and legal advice services to take notice. As a result, it is predominantly private law firms that provide pro bono services, with limited involvement by NGOs or other actors in the sector.

In 2018, the Government of Dubai’s Legal Affairs Department launched a Smart Platform for Pro Bono Legal Services, which seeks to encourage the involvement of legal professionals in Dubai in pro bono work for financially disadvantaged citizens. Registered legal firms and individuals register on the Smart Platform to provide and benefit from pro bono legal services in turn.

Twenty law firms with offices in the United Arab Emirates submitted data on their pro bono activities for the 2020 Index, an increase from the 13 firms that submitted data for the 2016 Index. With the high presence of international law firms domiciled in this commercial and financial hub of the Middle East, it is no surprise that all but one of the firms that submitted data were international.

The results show that fee earners in law firms in the UAE performed an average of 12.64 hours of pro bono, a slight increase from the 11.6 hours recorded in the 2016 Index. The percentage of fee earners spending 10 or more hours on pro bono work slightly increased in this reporting period, rising to 30 percent from 27 percent in the previous Index. In this jurisdiction, 35 percent of partners in respondent law firms performed some pro bono hours, averaging 5.86 hours, a decrease from the 7.1-hour average of the 2016 Index.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP 16.67 44.4%
Al Tamimi & Company 7.96 25.0%
Allen & Overy LLP 3.23 13.2%
Ashurst LLP 0.95 2.6%
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP 25.72 44.4%
Dechert LLP 47.17 91.7%
Dentons 10.24 23.2%
DLA Piper 24.8 45
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer 10.18 20.8%
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP 18.08 41.7%
Hogan Lovells 2.46 5.9%
K&L Gates LLP 5.56 22.2%
Latham & Watkins 30.10 61.9%
Linklaters 2.37 3.3%
Mayer Brown LLP 0.57 14.3%
Reed Smith 6.60 26.7%
Shearman & Sterling LLP 14.52 44.8%
Simmons & Simmons LLP 5.40 16.0%
White & Case 19.23 47.2%
Country average 20.64 30%

Americas

Analysis in this section relates to the Americas excluding the United States

Sixty-four law firms across 18 countries in the Americas, excluding the United States, submitted pro bono data for the 2020 Index, representing an increase from the 35 law firms with 47 offices across 17 countries that submitted data for the 2016 Index.

The Index findings show that fee earners in the Americas performed an average of 20.2 hours of pro bono work each, an increase from the 11.7 hours of pro bono recorded in the 2016 Index. In addition, 34 percent of fee earners donated 10 or more hours of their time to pro bono work, a similar increase from 21 percent in the previous Index. These findings suggest a continued growing interest and participation in pro bono among lawyers in the Americas. Pro bono engagement among partners also increased – 51 percent of them did some type of pro bono work, almost double the figure reported in 2016. Respondent firms in the region also reported an increase in the average number of hours performed by partners, from 7.9 hours in 2016 to 9.04 hours.

This data suggests that law firms in the Americas continue to make efforts to evolve their pro bono practices and to institutionalise the practice, creating a pro bono movement that continues to gain significant momentum. The pro bono infrastructure continues to grow and mature in the Americas. Through their annual pro bono survey, Latin Lawyer and The Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice outline the strides that law firms in collaboration with local clearinghouses in the Americas have made in instilling pro bono into their legal culture. This is evidenced by the creation of a “pro bono ecosystem” through the rise in the number of firms with one or more pro bono coordinators, pro bono committees and networks of clearinghouses.
Firm Name Country Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
ALBAGLI ZALIASNIK Chile 40.03 31.4%
AURELIO GARCIA SAYAN ABOGADOS SCRL Peru 13.65 41.9%
AVOA Abogados S.A. Argentina 1.67 11.1%
Basham, Ringe & Correa, S.C. Mexico 17.77 33.8%
Beccar Varela Argentina 22.15 29.2%
Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP Canada 13.67 24.3%
Brigard & Urrutia Abogados SAS Colombia 57.66 0.0%
Bruchou Abogados Argentina 4.85 16.2%
Cariola D’ez PŽrez-Cotapos and Sargent & Krahn (Cariola«s associated firm) Chile 17.18 37.5%
Cerolini & Ferrari Abogados Argentina 29.47 57.9%
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP Argentina 16.25 40.0%
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP Brazil 2.75 21.4%
Consortium Legal Costa Rica 2.14 6.3%
Consortium Legal El Salvador 9.62 34.6%
Consortium Legal Guatemala 14.31 53.8%
Consortium Legal Honduras 5.00 18.8%
Consortium Legal Nicaragua 7.62 15.4%
Dentons Canada 9.36 19.0%
DLA Piper Canada 4.72 13.5%
DLA Piper Mexico 27.00 38.5%
Empatthy Chile 60.00 100.0%
Estudio Osterling S. Civil de R.L. Peru 0.11 0.0%
Ferrere Abogados Paraguay 9.26 29.8%
Fundaci—n Enyx, A.C. - Enyx & Abogados + Emprendedores Mexico 4.00 20.0%
Galindo, Arias & Lopez Panama 13.13 65.6%
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP Brazil 0.00 0.0%
G—mez-Pinz—n Abogados Colombia 47.87 82.4%
Greenberg Traurig, S.C. Mexico 40.97 30.8%
Gross Brown Paraguay 14.36 35.7%
Guevara & GutiŽrrez S.C. Bolivia 7.32 31.6%
Hogan Lovells BSTL SC Mexico 60.64 65.5%
Hughes & Hughes Uruguay 12.69 33.3%
Integral North Canada 50.00 100.0%
KLA Advogados Brazil 7.31 18.3%
LEGALSA Guatemala 346.67 66.7%
Linklaters Brazil 25.50 100.0%
Machado Meyer Advogados Brazil 0.02 39.1%
Marval O«Farrell Mairal Argentina 17.44 29.8%
Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr. e Quiroga Advogados Brazil 15.81 22.0%
Mayer Brown LLP Brazil 3.11 11.0%
Mayer Brown LLP Mexico 0.00 0.0%
McCarthy TŽtrault LLP Canada 12.61 25.6%
McMillan LLP Canada 4.65 9.0%
Morales & Besa Chile 22.38 57.7%
Morgan & Morgan Panama 21.54 69.2%
MOSSE IP, Fashion & Social Media Law Brazil 10.00 50.0%
MU„OZ TAMAYO & ASOCIADOS Colombia 0.94 72.2%
OMG Dominican Republic 24.81 36.1%
PAGBAM Argentina 10.17 21.4%
Paz Horowitz Ecuador 1.25 10.0%
Perez, Bustamante y Ponce Ecuador 0.11 25.6%
Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Ur’a Colombia 10.08 30.0%
Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Ur’a Peru 3.36 22.7%
Pinheiro Neto Advogados Brazil 2.50 12.7%
Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C. Mexico 6.50 19.1%
Shearman & Sterling LLP Brazil 19.02 40.0%
Shearman & Sterling LLP Canada 33.70 114.3%
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP Brazil 14.99 30.0%
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP Canada 37.41 42.9%
VBSO Advogados Brazil 2.26 7.4%
Von Wobeser y Sierra Mexico 13.62 31.8%
White & Case Brazil 6.09 18.2%
White & Case Mexico 41.04 88.8%

Argentina

The pro bono movement in Argentina started a few decades ago and was strengthened by the Pro Bono Declaration for the Americas in 2008. In recent years, firms undertaking pro bono have started to institutionalise certain aspects of their practices, while others newer to the movement are just beginning to take on pro bono cases. In recent years, there have been local initiatives such as the launch of a campaign to promote pro bono in provinces beyond Buenos Aires.

Seven law firms with offices in Argentina participated in the 2020 Index, a slight increase from the six submissions of the previous Index. All but one of the responses were from local firms, with a single international firm submitting pro bono data from its Buenos Aires office. There has been a decrease in the average pro bono hours reported by fee earners, from 17.5 hours in 2016 to 14.6 hours in 2020. Similarly, 30 percent of lawyers performed 10 or more hours of pro bono, a decrease from 40 percent in 2016.

Respondent submissions revealed an increase in the average hours of pro bono done by partners in Argentina, from an average of 13.5 hours in 2016 to 17.4 hours in 2020. However, the number of partners who did any pro bono work decreased, with 35 percent of partners reporting that they gave their time to pro bono work during the reporting period, down from 40 percent in the 2016 Index of Pro Bono.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
AVOA Abogados S.A. 1.67 11.1%
Beccar Varela 22.15 29.2%
Bruchou Abogados 4.85 16.2%
Cerolini & Ferrari Abogados 29.47 57.9%
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP 16.25 40.0%
Marval O«Farrell Mairal 17.44 29.8%
PAGBAM 10.17 21.4%
Country average 14.57 29.37%

Brazil

Due to long-standing regulatory restrictions, the pro bono movement in Brazil lagged behind other Latin American countries. These limitations were lifted in 2015, prompting a majority of the larger firms to scale up their pro bono work as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes. A comparative analysis between 2016 and 2020 has not been carried out for this Index due to the significantly distinct samples in each reporting year.

The percentage of fee earners who provided at least 10 hours of pro bono was26 percent. The average hours performed by fee earners was 7.8 hours. The Instituto Pro Bono in São Paulo is Brazil’s best-known clearinghouse, having played a significant role in pushing for regulatory reform to encourage pro bono, and an essential role in lifting the regulatory restrictions.

Data from the 14 respondent firms indicates that partners did an average of 1.24 hours of pro bono. The percentage of partners who spent any time on pro bono was 24 percent during the reporting period. In the recent years local initiatives have continued to thrive, such as the organisation of a regional Pro Bono Conference in São Paulo that took place in 2016 and the declaration of a local Pro Bono Week held annually every December.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP 2.75 21.4%
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP 0.00 0.0%
KLA Advogados 7.31 18.3%
Linklaters 25.50 100.0%
Machado Meyer Advogados 0.02 39.1%
Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr. e Quiroga Advogados 15.81 22.0%
Mayer Brown LLP 3.11 11.0%
MOSSE IP, Fashion & Social Media Law 10.00 50.0%
Pinheiro Neto Advogados 2.50 12.7%
Shearman & Sterling LLP 19.02 40.0%
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP 14.99 30.0%
VBSO Advogados 2.26 7.4%
White & Case 6.09 18.2%
Country average 7.82 26.44%

Canada

The pro bono landscape in Canada continues to evolve at a fast pace. A comparative analysis between 2016 and 2020 has not been carried out for this Index due to the samples in each year being significantly distinct.

Eight firms from Canada submitted data to the 2020 Index. On average, individual fee earners performed 20.77 hours of pro bono. The number of fee earners who recorded 10 or more hours of pro bono during the reporting period in 2020 was 44 percent. Partners reported an average of 4.7 hours, with firms reporting that 10 percent of their partners participated in any pro bono work.

Professional bodies such as the Canadian Bar Association’s Pro Bono Committee raise awareness of pro bono practices within the profession by providing access to pro bono resources for lawyers in different provinces. Pro Bono Canada (PBC) also supports the development of province-wide pro bono programmes by supporting vulnerable children, survivors of domestic abuse and victims of fraud. Provincial bar associations and pro bono organisations (e.g. Pro Bono Law Ontario, Access Pro Bono in British Columbia and Justice Pro Bono in Québec) also play a key role in supporting the pro bono sphere in Canada.

An example of the importance of the legal pro bono community in Canada is the recent partnership between the Canadian government and Pro Bono Ontario. On Jan. 8, 2020, Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 was shot down minutes after taking off from Tehran by an Iranian surface-to-air missile and 55 Canadian citizens and 30 permanent residents were among the 176 people killed. As part of its response, the Canadian Government announced that the Department of Justice would be providing more than CAD$200,000 in funding to Pro Bono Ontario to provide legal assistance to family members of Canadian citizens or permanent residents who lost their lives. This partnership, which was the first of its kind in Canada, demonstrated an acknowledgement of the central role played by pro bono services providers in access to justice.

This funding announcement gained attention as the two main providers of pro bono legal services in Ontario, namely Legal Aid Ontario and Pro Bono Ontario, had previously made several urgent pleas for additional and ongoing funding. Pro Bono Ontario released a report in May 2019 entitled “Pro Bono Ontario Funding Backgrounder and History”, which described the organisation’s dire financial situation and the need for stable funding from the Law Society.

Indigenous peoples’ rights are a focus of legal pro bono work in Canada. Justice Pro Bono, a Québec-based NGO that helps citizens who do not qualify for legal aid but cannot afford to pay a lawyer, launched a legal clinic in the remote area of Kuujjuaq, the largest northern village in the Nunavik region of Québec. This initiative aimed to provide pro bono legal assistance to Inuit communities who cannot access tribunals due to their location. The first clinic was held in March 2017 and focused on criminal and family law, as well as youth protection and inheritance law.

The current landscape in Canada – facing COVID-19-related urgent legal need in underserved communities, insufficient legal aid funding and law firms with dedicated pro bono efforts despite the strains caused by the pandemic – could prove to be an inflection point for pro bono.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP 13.67 24.3%
Dentons 9.36 19.0%
DLA Piper 4.72 13.5%
Integral North 50.00 100.0%
McCarthy TŽtrault LLP 12.61 25.6%
McMillan LLP 4.65 9.0%
Shearman & Sterling LLP 33.70 114.3%
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP 37.41 42.9%
Country average 20.77 43.56%

Chile

Chile is considered a leader in the pro bono movement, as its organisations and lawyers played a prominent role in the spread of the practice in the wider region. The country has a strong clearinghouse providing a variety of pro bono services.

In recent years, local initiatives have included the creation of a free legal guidance programme for the community created by Fundación Pro Bono after the earthquake of Feb. 27, 2010. This programme is activated whenever there is a state of emergency in the country, such as the 2017 wildfires that affected the southern part of the country.

For this 2020 Index of Pro Bono, we received four submissions from local law firms in Chile, resulting in our first country analysis for this jurisdiction. Fee earners from the country’s respondent law firms performed an average of 35 hours of pro bono during the reporting period. More than half of the fee earners in the region completed more than 10 hours of pro bono, with firms reporting 57 percent of their fee earners meeting this threshold. Firms also reported that 38 percent of partners recorded time spent on pro bono, with firm partners recording an average of 8.61 hours each.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
ALBAGLI ZALIASNIK 40.03 31.4%
Cariola D’ez PŽrez-Cotapos and Sargent & Krahn (Cariola«s associated firm) 17.18 37.5%
Empatthy 60.00 100.0%
Morales & Besa 22.38 57.7%
Country average 34.90 56.66%

Colombia

The pro bono culture in Colombia has shown some growth in recent years, mainly due to law firms committing to the practice along with the work of local pro bono organisations. Some firms have established internal policies and structures to improve their pro bono infrastructure. In 2009, several firms founded the Fundación Pro Bono Colombia. This non-profit group provides pro bono to the less fortunate with the objective of making justice accessible to all Colombians. There have also been local initiatives such as the publication of a pro bono guide, the establishment of a local pro bono programme and initiatives addressing post-conflict issues for victims and former participants of the Colombian armed conflict.

For this Index, we received data from four local firms whose fee earners performed an average of 29 hours during the reporting period. Of the submissions we received, 46 percent of fee earners at these firms completed 10 or more hours of pro bono. Firm partners performed an average of 7.63 hours of pro bono each, with 31 percent of partners reporting that they engaged in some pro bono work during the reporting period.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Brigard & Urrutia Abogados SAS 57.66 0.0%
G—mez-Pinz—n Abogados 47.87 82.4%
MU„OZ TAMAYO & ASOCIADOS 0.94 72.2%
Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Ur’a 10.08 30.0%
Country average 29.14 46.14%

Mexico

We received nine submissions from Mexico for the self-selected 12-month reporting period. Six came from local firms and three from international firms. The pro bono culture in Mexico has achieved significant growth and continues to blossom with the establishment of several well-known clearinghouses such as Appleseed Mexico and firms in the country strengthening their pro bono programmes.

One notable pro bono initiative involved the creation of pro bono standards for the country in 2018 defining what can be considered pro bono and establishing a working group to advance its practice. Pro bono lawyers in the country organised themselves to respond to emergencies such as the 2017 Puebla earthquake that killed 370 people.

A comparative analysis between 2016 and 2020 has not been carried out for this Index due to the samples in each year being significantly distinct. Fee earners in Mexico performed an average of 23.5 hours of pro bono in 2020. The percentage of fee earners who performed 10 or more hours of pro bono was 36 percent. In the responses we received, the average number of hours performed by firm partners was 14.11 hours. The percentage of partners who engaged in any pro bono stood at 49 percent.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Basham, Ringe & Correa, S.C. 17.77 33.8%
DLA Piper 27.00 38.5%
Fundaci—n Enyx, A.C. - Enyx & Abogados + Emprendedores 4.00 20.0%
Greenberg Traurig, S.C. 40.97 30.8%
Hogan Lovells BSTL SC 60.64 65.5%
Mayer Brown LLP 0.00 0.0%
Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C. 6.50 19.1%
Von Wobeser y Sierra 13.62 31.8%
White & Case 41.04 88.8%
Country average 23.50 36.47%

Asia & Pacific

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

Across Asia and the Pacific (excluding Australia), 151 law firms with offices in 20 jurisdictions participated in the 2020 Index of Pro Bono. This is an increase in comparison with the 50 law firms with offices in 15 jurisdictions recorded in the 2016 Index.

This Index however saw a drop in the average number of pro bono hours per fee earner over the self-selected 12-month reporting period, from 24.2 hours in 2016 to 20.02 in 2020. The percentage of fee earners doing 10 or more hours of pro bono was 31 percent in 2016 and 32 percent in 2020, an indication of sustained interest in the sector. The region saw consistency in partner engagement with the percentage of partners doing any pro bono work increasing marginally from 39 percent in 2016 to 40 percent. Individual partners undertook an average of 17.42 hours, up from 13.4 hours in 2016.

The practice of pro bono in Asia and the Pacific continues to gain momentum within both local and international law firms. Pro bono clearinghouses such as The Global Network for Public Interest Law (PILnet) have an established presence in the region, while the presence of several international firms with entrenched pro bono infrastructure supports pro bono engagement. Due to the diverse legal landscape and legal requirements in the region, the range of pro bono activity is varied, with pro bono being nascent or at its inception in some countries, while mature and thriving in others. There have also been important pro bono initiatives in the region, with the annual Asia Pro Bono Conference (APBC) and Asia Pacific Pro Bono Summit bringing together key stakeholders to strengthen access to justice in Asia and the Pacific.
Firm Name Country Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
A.S & Associates Bangladesh 18.46 30.8%
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP China 4.38 12.5%
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP Hong Kong 16.09 31.8%
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP Singapore 13.25 12.5%
Allen & Overy LLP China 12.27 25.0%
Allen & Overy LLP Hong Kong 22.67 31.9%
Allen & Overy LLP Singapore 6.85 15.1%
ALN Mauritius -BLC Robert & Associates Mauritius 1.80 16.0%
Altacit Global India 83.33 41.7%
Amica Law LLC Singapore 1.42 8.3%
Anglo-Thai Legal Thailand 7.69 0.0%
Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP China 0.50 0.0%
Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP South Korea 6.57 14.3%
Ashurst LLP China 8.96 23.1%
Ashurst LLP Hong Kong 5.51 13.0%
Ashurst LLP Indonesia 20.09 45.5%
Ashurst LLP Japan 1.54 3.8%
Ashurst LLP Papua New Guinea 5.78 11.1%
Ashurst LLP Singapore 2.81 3.2%
Assegaf Hamzah & Partners Indonesia 1.99 6.1%
Bae, Kim & Lee LLC South Korea 23.26 36.9%
BTG Legal India 3.33 22.2%
Christopher & Lee Ong Malaysia 1.00 2.8%
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP China 0.00 0.0%
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP Hong Kong 0.69 3.2%
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP South Korea 1.02 6.7%
D.L. & F. De Saram Sri Lanka 38.33 33.3%
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP Hong Kong 4.28 10.3%
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP Japan 34.07 33.3%
Dechert LLP China 76.00 83.3%
Dechert LLP Hong Kong 69.11 100.0%
Dechert LLP Kazakhstan 25.00 100.0%
Dechert LLP Singapore 51.29 82.4%
Dentons Singapore 2.76 5.0%
DLA Piper China 5.41 13.6%
DLA Piper Hong Kong 31.45 38.2%
DLA Piper Japan 18.90 40.0%
DLA Piper New Zealand 23.90 52.3%
DLA Piper Singapore 21.13 50.0%
DLA Piper South Korea 0.12 0.0%
DLA Piper Thailand 35.07 23.3%
Dr Kamal Hossain and Associates Bangladesh 87.95 118.2%
Duane Morris LLP China 0.00 0.0%
Duane Morris LLP Myanmar 0.00 0.0%
Duane Morris LLP Singapore 8.23 15.4%
Duane Morris LLP Taiwan 1.00 0.0%
Duane Morris LLP Vietnam 17.25 50.0%
Eugene Thuraisingam LLP Singapore 43.75 87.5%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer China 12.78 22.7%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer Hong Kong 20.74 29.5%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer Japan 23.78 38.5%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer Singapore 21.51 21.7%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer Vietnam 6.29 26.7%
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP China 8.29 28.6%
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP Hong Kong 24.07 46.3%
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP Singapore 62.71 41.2%
Goodwin Procter LLP Hong Kong 2.83 16.7%
Grays Chambers Bangladesh 3.00 100.0%
Hogan Lovells China 6.18 24.2%
Hogan Lovells Hong Kong 15.82 47.6%
Hogan Lovells Indonesia 7.36 20.0%
Hogan Lovells Japan 7.26 13.5%
Hogan Lovells Singapore 13.91 41.0%
Hogan Lovells Vietnam 11.10 30.8%
I Know,Right (IKR) Bangladesh 48.00 100.0%
J. Sagar Associates India 5.24 6.6%
K&L Gates LLP China 0.14 0.0%
K&L Gates LLP Hong Kong 2.97 10.3%
K&L Gates LLP Singapore 16.33 22.2%
K&L Gates LLP South Korea 1.00 0.0%
K&L Gates LLP Taiwan 0.38 0.0%
Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP China 0.00 0.0%
King & Wood Mallesons (Hong Kong office) Hong Kong 5.76 11.7%
King & Wood Mallesons Singapore 8.86 0.0%
Kinstellar Kazakhstan 2.47 15.8%
Kirkland & Ellis LLP China 25.32 68.4%
Kirkland & Ellis LLP Hong Kong 28.01 71.3%
Knowledge Information Acess Associates( KIAA,LLP) India 5.00 16.7%
Lanna Lawyers Thailand 222.22 100.0%
Latham & Watkins Hong Kong 25.72 46.0%
Latham & Watkins Japan 15.86 21.4%
Latham & Watkins Singapore 57.02 65.1%
LawQuest India 4.00 0.0%
Linklaters China 0.84 1.4%
Linklaters Hong Kong 4.92 14.2%
Linklaters Japan 6.41 24.3%
Linklaters Singapore 11.33 28.4%
Linklaters Thailand 9.46 17.9%
MahWengKwai & Associates Malaysia 9.32 10.5%
Mayer Brown LLP China 25.93 53.3%
Mayer Brown LLP Hong Kong 12.01 32.9%
Mayer Brown LLP Japan 0.00 0.0%
Mayer Brown LLP Singapore 1.59 5.9%
Mayer Brown LLP Thailand 35.67 66.7%
Mayer Brown LLP Vietnam 2.25 0.0%
MIN YUNG HUI & PARTNERS LAW OFFICE Cambodia 0.20 120.0%
Morrison & Foerster China 16.50 41.7%
Morrison & Foerster Hong Kong 12.60 27.7%
Morrison & Foerster Singapore 23.00 40.0%
Nakoorsha Law Corporation Singapore 100.00 100.0%
Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP China 43.11 76.7%
Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP Japan 133.93 99.6%
Paul Hastings LLP China 27.01 46.2%
Paul Hastings LLP Japan 112.69 125.0%
Paul Hastings LLP South Korea 81.13 100.0%
Pioneer Law Associates Nepal 0.00 8.8%
Pradhan & Associates Nepal 0.00 40.0%
Reed Smith China 8.41 17.6%
Reed Smith Hong Kong 2.26 3.7%
Reed Smith Singapore 15.30 30.0%
RNA Technology & IP Attorneys India 1.50 50.0%
Ropes & Gray China 44.15 96.2%
Ropes & Gray Hong Kong 35.63 75.0%
Ropes & Gray Japan 30.27 27.3%
Ropes & Gray South Korea 15.67 33.3%
Saikrishna & Associates India 0.00 15.4%
Seyfarth Shaw China 0.06 0.0%
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas and Co. India 0.57 1.0%
Shearman & Sterling LLP China 2.47 5.6%
Shearman & Sterling LLP Hong Kong 6.73 18.8%
Shearman & Sterling LLP Japan 0.49 0.0%
Shearman & Sterling LLP Singapore 31.53 39.3%
Shearman & Sterling LLP South Korea 0.00 0.0%
Simmons & Simmons LLP China 9.50 15.4%
Simmons & Simmons LLP Hong Kong 13.02 22.2%
Simmons & Simmons LLP Singapore 11.33 20.8%
Simpson Grierson New Zealand 9.38 27.9%
Sinha Verma Law Concern Nepal 0.00 0.0%
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP China 3.16 6.3%
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP Hong Kong 36.80 48.3%
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP Japan 11.89 30.0%
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP Singapore 0.00 0.0%
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP South Korea 0.00 0.0%
Steptoe and Johnson China 8.67 33.3%
Sudath Perera Associates Sri Lanka 1.58 7.9%
SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan Philippines 3.05 5.8%
Thanathip & Partners Legal Counsellors Limited Thailand 8.39 17.9%
UKCA and Partners India 6.67 66.7%
Vivien Teu & Co LLP Hong Kong 54.29 57.1%
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP China 2.00 12.5%
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP Hong Kong 3.29 28.6%
White & Case China 13.39 34.8%
White & Case Hong Kong 21.04 63.6%
White & Case Indonesia 20.36 63.6%
White & Case Japan 19.05 54.5%
White & Case Kazakhstan 111.43 114.3%
White & Case Singapore 38.50 111.5%
White & Case South Korea 10.75 50.0%
Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP China 121.18 75.0%

Bangladesh

We received data from four law firms with offices in Bangladesh for the self-selected 12-month reporting period for this Index. Efforts to increase provision of pro bono have occurred in this jurisdiction, including the setting up of organisations such as BLAST (Bangladesh Legal Aid & Services Trust) as an attempt to systematise pro bono provision, which has until now been informally dispensed by members of the Bangladesh Bar. BLAST emerged from a resolution of the Bangladesh Bar Council, and brings together a network of 2,500 panel lawyers across the country.

As 2020 was the first year in which multiple Bangladeshi offices submitted Index data, the data sets cannot be compared to identify chronological trends. However, 2020 findings showed that fee earners performed an average of 39.4 hours of pro bono work over the self-selected 12-month reporting period, and, impressively, 87 percent of fee earners contributed 10 or more hours. Partner involvement is very strong in Bangladesh, with 67 percent of firm partners engaging in some pro bono work over the self-selected 12-month reporting period. On average partners in Bangladesh spent more time doing pro bono than partners in any other country that provided data for the 2020 Index, with an average 92.92 hours per partner dedicated to pro bono in the reporting period.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
A.S & Associates 18.46 30.8%
Dr Kamal Hossain and Associates 87.95 118.2%
Grays Chambers 3.00 100.0%
I Know,Right (IKR) 48.00 100.0%
Country average 39.35 87.24%

China

Pro bono is still in its infancy in China, where there are no requirements to carry out pro bono legal work. The notion of pro bono is broadly gaining recognition in the country but appears directly connected to corporate social responsibility initiatives and is driven by the non-legal business community looking to provide in-kind, skill-based support. Apart from lawyers providing pro bono support for personal and social causes that are dear to them, there are also a small number of independent and legal aid organisations that offer free legal services to socially disadvantaged groups and individuals in need.

Although some district and municipal-level initiatives have encouraged lawyers to provide legal aid support (but not pro bono yet), the Chinese government has yet to implement any guidance or regulation that would both protect the practice and recognise the firms and lawyers who are doing pro bono legal work in the country. A regulatory change would be beneficial to help move the needle and build a culture of pro bono legal work in traditional Chinese law firms.

Twenty-seven law firms submitted data on their pro bono practices in China, our highest number of responses from this jurisdiction since 2014. All respondents were international firms with offices in China, with no submissions received from domestic Chinese firms. Findings indicated a dip in the activity of law firms over the past four years, with average pro bono hours per fee earner decreasing from 37.3 hours in the 2016 Index to 15.99 hours. The percentage of fee earners doing 10 or more hours of pro bono in China stood at 27 percent.

Our findings showed that partner engagement increased, with the percentage of partners devoting any time to pro bono projects rising from 17.8 percent in 2016 to 45 percent in 2020. Similarly, the average hours of pro bono work performed by partners based in China increased from 4.4 hours reported in 2016 to 17.76 hours in 2020.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP 4.38 12.5%
Allen & Overy LLP 12.27 25.0%
Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP 0.50 0.0%
Ashurst LLP 8.96 23.1%
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP 0.00 0.0%
Dechert LLP 76.00 83.3%
DLA Piper 5.41 13.6%
Duane Morris LLP 0.00 0.0%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer 12.78 22.7%
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP 8.29 28.6%
Hogan Lovells 6.18 24.2%
K&L Gates LLP 0.14 0.0%
Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP 0.00 0.0%
Kirkland & Ellis LLP 25.32 68.4%
Linklaters 0.84 1.4%
Mayer Brown LLP 25.93 53.3%
Morrison & Foerster 16.50 41.7%
Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP 43.11 76.7%
Paul Hastings LLP 27.01 46.2%
Reed Smith 8.41 17.6%
Ropes & Gray 44.15 96.2%
Seyfarth Shaw 0.06 0.0%
Shearman & Sterling LLP 2.47 5.6%
Simmons & Simmons LLP 9.50 15.4%
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP 3.16 6.3%
Steptoe and Johnson 8.67 33.3%
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP 2.00 12.5%
White & Case 13.39 34.8%
Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP 121.18 75.0%
Country average 15.99 27.11%

Hong Kong

Though a culture of pro bono has existed in Hong Kong for years, developments such as the establishment of PILnet’s office in 2013 have helped support further growth. Hong Kong lawyers are prevented from providing free advice in certain situations, including for profit-making organisations (such as social enterprises) that have not been approved by the Bar Association. With an increasing awareness of legal needs that are neglected by the traditional legal aid system, various organisations have also started pro bono models, such as Justice Centre Hong Kong for refugees and Pro Bono HK, which runs legal clinics and legal literacy programmes for marginalised communities. When pro-democracy protests broke out in Hong Kong in 2019, 200 Hong Kong lawyers provided pro bono legal assistance to arrested protesters.

For the 2020 Index, 26 Hong Kong firms contributed data on their fee earners pro bono contributions, up from 21 firms in the 2016 Index. As in previous Indexes, submissions from Hong Kong continue to come predominantly from local branches of international law firms, with a single Index submission from a domestic Hong Kong firm received in 2020.

Respondent law firms indicated that pro bono in Hong Kong increased between 2016 and 2020, with fee earners carrying out 18.40 hours on average compared to 8.50 hours in 2016. Lawyers undertaking 10 or more hours of pro bono also increased in 2020; in 2016 only 15 percent met this minimum, while in this reporting period 35 percent of lawyers contributed 10 or more hours.

The 2020 Index findings show that individual partners increased the hours spent on pro bono matters to 10.72 from the 3.8 hours recorded in 2016. The percentage of partners who spent any time working for pro bono clients rose in Hong Kong rose from 18 percent to 50 percent.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP 16.09 31.8%
Allen & Overy LLP 22.67 31.9%
Ashurst LLP 5.51 13.0%
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP 0.69 3.2%
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP 4.28 10.3%
Dechert LLP 69.11 100.0%
DLA Piper 31.45 38.2%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer 20.74 29.5%
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP 24.07 46.3%
Goodwin Procter LLP 2.83 16.7%
Hogan Lovells 15.82 47.6%
K&L Gates LLP 2.97 10.3%
King & Wood Mallesons (Hong Kong office) 5.76 11.7%
Kirkland & Ellis LLP 28.01 71.3%
Latham & Watkins 25.72 46.0%
Linklaters 4.92 14.2%
Mayer Brown LLP 12.01 32.9%
Morrison & Foerster 12.60 27.7%
Reed Smith 2.26 3.7%
Ropes & Gray 35.63 75.0%
Shearman & Sterling LLP 6.73 18.8%
Simmons & Simmons LLP 13.02 22.2%
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP 36.80 48.3%
Vivien Teu & Co LLP 54.29 57.1%
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP 3.29 28.6%
White & Case 21.04 63.6%
Country average 18.40 34.61%

India

Although providing legal aid and pro bono are not mandatory in India, there has been a long-standing custom of providing free legal assistance. The practice of pro bono in law firms is becoming more organised, with firms developing pro bono cells and centres. Some firms also have pro bono policies and coordinators. Regular transactional services for non-profit organisations and social enterprises continue to be the preferred mode of providing pro bono support, particularly by corporate legal teams. Our observation of pro bono in India also reveals that there is enthusiasm from in-house counsel teams and companies to involve their legal teams in legal pro bono advisory services.

The National Legal Services Authority of India (NALSA) has had a robust scheme of legal aid in place for many years. To compliment NALSA, in 2019 the Department of Justice launched a new pro bono legal service, a tele-law mobile application, ‘Nyaya Bandhu’. The initiative aims to accelerate and facilitate connections between practising advocates and eligible beneficiaries. The services include criminal as well as civil litigation.

A comparative analysis between 2016 and 2020 has not been carried out for this Index due to the samples in each year being significantly distinct. In 2020, we received submissions from eight local law firms. The average number of pro bono hours performed by fee earners was 12.18 hours in the 12-month reporting period. The percentage of fee earners doing 10 or more hours of pro bono work stood at 24 percent. On average, partners in India contributed 4.39 average hours of pro bono work. The percentage of partners devoting any time to pro bono work was 21 percent, with 7 percent of the partners conducting 10 or more hours of pro bono.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Altacit Global 83.33 41.7%
BTG Legal 3.33 22.2%
J. Sagar Associates 5.24 6.6%
Knowledge Information Acess Associates( KIAA,LLP) 5.00 16.7%
LawQuest 4.00 0.0%
RNA Technology & IP Attorneys 1.50 50.0%
Saikrishna & Associates 0.00 15.4%
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas and Co. 0.57 1.0%
UKCA and Partners 6.67 66.7%
Country average 12.18 24.47%

Indonesia

A tradition of pro bono is engrained in the legal culture of Indonesia because Indonesian law students typically start engaging in pro bono activity during their two-year internship when training to become a licensed lawyer. The Indonesian Advocate Association (PERADI) recommends that all domestic lawyers contribute at least 50 hours of pro bono work annually. Through Rule No.1/2020 enacted by PERADI, this recommendation has become a requirement for Indonesian lawyers in order to renew or obtain their advocate identity card. Foreign lawyers who work in Indonesia must show a consistent track record of providing 10 hours of pro bono support per month in legal research, government legal services or legal education.

This is the first in-depth analysis that is being carried out on pro bono trends in Indonesia for the Index. We received submissions from four firms in Indonesia, with three coming from international law firms and one from a local firm. On average, fee earners performed 12.45 hours of pro bono in the 12-month reporting period, with 34 percent performing 10 or more hours of pro bono. At respondent firms, 13 percent of partners took part in pro bono activities in the 12-month reporting period, performing an average of 2.37 hours each. In future years, it will be interesting to track the impact of PERADI’s 2020 mandate for lawyers to perform at least 50 hours of pro bono.

Pro bono legal practice in Indonesia can be observed across a wide spectrum of sectors, from assisting in criminal and human rights matters to teaching law. Indonesia hosts an estimated 4.5 million migrant workers sending back annual remittances worth nearly $9 billion USD, and many of these workers face challenges that call for enhanced pro bono support. A study by the Pro Bono Institute and Latham & Watkins in 2019 noted that major unmet needs include discrimination, industrial relations, labour issues and employment law.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Ashurst LLP 20.09 45.5%
Assegaf Hamzah & Partners 1.99 6.1%
Hogan Lovells 7.36 20.0%
White & Case 20.36 63.6%
Country average 12.45 33.80%

Japan

In Japan, lawyers providing free services are mostly engaged in criminal representation or government-subsidised work for low-income families. There are other governmental and non-governmental organisations that provide access to justice at a free or low cost, including the Japan Legal Support Center, the Duty Attorney Systems, and other legal counselling centres established by the bar associations. Large commercial firms have established the Business Lawyers Pro Bono Network to work on pro bono matters to support NGOs in Japan.

Index participation from law firms with offices in Japan has decreased, with 13 data submissions received for the 2020 Index compared to 16 submissions for the 2016 Index. All submissions were provided by the local branches of international firms, with none received from domestic Japanese law firms.

Findings for 2020 indicate growth in Japan’s pro bono sector. On average, fee earners from respondent firms performed 29.72 hours of pro bono work compared to 11.9 hours reported the previous Index. The percentage of fee earners contributing 10 or more hours of pro bono work also saw an increase, up to 37 percent from 14 percent reported in the 2016 Index. This may be as a result of a greater culture of non-legal pro bono, particularly among young people who use their professional skills and experience to contribute to society.

Partner engagement in pro bono in Japan also grew, the data suggests. In 2016 partners in law firms performed an average of 8.2 hours, but this grew to an average 26.15 hours in the reporting period for the 2020 Index. Similarly, the percentage of partners that performed pro bono hours rose to 58 percent in 2020, compared to 20.8 percent in 2016.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Ashurst LLP 1.54 3.8%
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP 34.07 33.3%
DLA Piper 18.90 40.0%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer 23.78 38.5%
Hogan Lovells 7.26 13.5%
Latham & Watkins 15.86 21.4%
Linklaters 6.41 24.3%
Mayer Brown LLP 0.00 0.0%
Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP 133.93 99.6%
Paul Hastings LLP 112.69 125.0%
Ropes & Gray 30.27 27.3%
Shearman & Sterling LLP 0.49 0.0%
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP 11.89 30.0%
White & Case 19.05 54.5%
Country average 29.72 36.52%

Singapore

Singapore’s pro bono practice is one of the most advanced and progressive in the region, benefiting from a commitment from the Law Society of Singapore and mandatory reporting on the number of pro bono hours completed each year. Since the 2016 Index, the biggest development has been the incorporation of the Law Society Pro Bono Services (LSPBS), a registered charity that is also an Institution of a Public Character. Though the LSPBS has been in existence since 2007, its formal registration as a separate corporate entity ‘marked a grand coming of age’ of the pro bono department in the Law Society, with a 30-strong team responsible for pro bono matters.

Since 2007, the LSPBS reports that it has assisted 10,000 underserved individuals and benefited from 2,000 volunteer lawyers. LSPBS provides assistance to NGOs and social enterprises through legal clinics and transactional assistance. Pro bono in Singapore is also provided by numerous specialist non-profit and legal entities. The culture of pro bono is also prevalent within the law student community, with organisations such as the National University of Singapore Pro Bono group promoting pro bono within their Faculty of Law.

A comparative analysis between 2016 and 2020 has not been carried out for this Index due to the samples in each year being significantly distinct. The 2020 Index of Pro Bono received 24 submissions from law firms. Though a majority of the law firms submitting data in Singapore are the offices of international firms, three submissions were received from local firms – a first for the Index when it comes to data from this jurisdiction. In 2020 the data suggests that mandatory reporting requirements and formalised pro bono infrastructure at the Law Society level have been influential on practitioners in the jurisdiction. Fee earners from respondent firms based in Singapore carried out an average of 22.69 hours of pro bono each. The percentage of lawyers doing 10 or more hours of pro bono work was 34 percent in 2020.

Partners at respondent law firms in Singapore were also involved in pro bono activities, averaging 12 hours each. Thirty-two percent of partners gave back legal skills and knowledge by performing some pro bono.

In 2020, Singapore’s Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon emphasised the importance of pro bono and access to justice, stating that, “There is an important relationship between unequal access to justice and socio-economic inequality, which is one of the great challenges of our times and indeed one that the pandemic has brutally exposed in many societies.” He went on, “Now more than ever, pro bono services will be critical in supporting access to justice for those who cannot afford it... In the giving of your time, efforts, and skills to the most vulnerable members of society, you will not only find your lawyering skills sharpened, but also enjoy some of the most memorable and meaningful engagements in your professional lives.”
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP 13.25 12.5%
Allen & Overy LLP 6.85 15.1%
Amica Law LLC 1.42 8.3%
Ashurst LLP 2.81 3.2%
Dechert LLP 51.29 82.4%
Dentons 2.76 5.0%
DLA Piper 21.13 50.0%
Duane Morris LLP 8.23 15.4%
Eugene Thuraisingam LLP 43.75 87.5%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer 21.51 21.7%
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP 62.71 41.2%
Hogan Lovells 13.91 41.0%
K&L Gates LLP 16.33 22.2%
King & Wood Mallesons 8.86 0.0%
Latham & Watkins 57.02 65.1%
Linklaters 11.33 28.4%
Mayer Brown LLP 1.59 5.9%
Morrison & Foerster 23.00 40.0%
Nakoorsha Law Corporation 100.00 100.0%
Reed Smith 15.30 30.0%
Shearman & Sterling LLP 31.53 39.3%
Simmons & Simmons LLP 11.33 20.8%
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP 0.00 0.0%
White & Case 38.50 111.5%
Country average 22.69 34.01%

South Korea

With a strong tradition of human rights advocacy during its democracy movement in the 1970s and 1980s, the South Korean pro bono landscape has evolved to be more structured. The pro bono culture has been reinforced by the existence of legislation that explicitly formalises a duty to perform designated services, such as public interest activities (which can include pro bono), for a minimum of 30 hours per year – although local bar associations have the authority to decrease the requirement to 20 hours.

Since 2016, there have been several developments that indicate an increase in the uptake of pro bono in the country. Apart from the formation of the Law Firm Public Interest Network that includes 12 major law firms, the Dongcheon Legal Center for Non-profit Organisations and the Seoul Bar Association Pro Bono Support Center were also established, the latter by the Seoul Bar Association as South Korea’s first full-fledged pro bono clearinghouse. In addition, the Korean Bar Association set up a Pro Bono Support Center in 2020.

A comparative analysis between 2016 and 2020 has not been carried out for this Index due to the samples in each year being significantly distinct. Submissions were received from eight law firms, one of which was local, for the 2020 Index. The average hours performed per fee earner in South Korea stood at 13.95 hours. The percentage of fee earners who performed 10 or more hours of pro bono work over the self-selected 12-month reporting period was 24 percent. Levels of partner engagement indicate that this category of fee earners performed 37.65 hours of pro bono. The percentage of partners who engaged in any pro bono work stood at 71 percent.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP 6.57 14.3%
Bae, Kim & Lee LLC 23.26 36.9%
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP 1.02 6.7%
DLA Piper 0.12 0.0%
K&L Gates LLP 1.00 0.0%
Paul Hastings LLP 81.13 100.0%
Ropes & Gray 15.67 33.3%
Shearman & Sterling LLP 0.00 0.0%
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP 0.00 0.0%
White & Case 10.75 50.0%
Country average 13.95 24.12%

Thailand

Traditionally, lawyers in Thailand support communities through legal aid for individuals, but a justice gap remains. Examples of organisations providing legal assistance and litigation support for individuals on human rights cases include the Human Rights Lawyers Association in strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPP) cases, Asylum Access and Refugee Rights Litigation Project in refugee cases, and Thai Lawyers for Human Rights in martial law cases.

In June 2016, the National Reform Steering Assembly Commission on Law and Justice System submitted a report specifying the limitations of pro bono schemes in Thailand to the National Reform Steering Assembly. Furthermore, pro bono has been pushed forward at the university level. In 2016, Thammasat University’s Pro Bono Society was established to promote pro bono at the law school, coupled with ongoing efforts by Bridges Across Borders Southeast Asia Clinical Legal Education (BABSEACLE) based in Chiang Mai, Thailand that runs CLE programmes across ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations).

In 2018, PILnet also launched an anti-trafficking project establishing a network of pro bono lawyers to support anti-trafficking cases in Southeast Asia, pioneering the project in Thailand. Private law firms active in pro bono are also increasing, albeit slowly, nurturing the pro bono culture in Thailand.

Findings from law firms with offices in Thailand indicate growth in the legal community’s pro bono contributions over the four years since the 2016 Index. Submissions were received from six firms, half domestic, half international, an increase on the five received in 2016. The average number of hours that individual fee earners contributed to pro bono work increased from 17.2 hours reported in the 2016 Index to 53.08 hours reported for the 2020 Index. The percentage of fee earners carrying out at least 10 hours of pro bono also saw an increase, from 35 percent in the 2016 findings to 38 percent in this reporting period. Partner engagement grew, with 63 percent performing pro bono and, on average, each partner performing 46.72 hours of pro bono.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Anglo-Thai Legal 7.69 0.0%
DLA Piper 35.07 23.3%
Lanna Lawyers 222.22 100.0%
Linklaters 9.46 17.9%
Mayer Brown LLP 35.67 66.7%
Thanathip & Partners Legal Counsellors Limited 8.39 17.9%
Country average 53.08 37.62%

Vietnam

Vietnam introduced a mandatory obligation for lawyers to do pro bono work in 2017 and has dedicated Oct. 10 each year to the provision of pro bono services. Whether private law firms engage in pro bono matters largely depends on their firm culture. Recent efforts to institutionalise a culture of legal aid and pro bono in the legal sector include the passing of the Law on Legal Aid (11/2017/QH14) in 2017 and Decision 112/QD-BTV. Under Decision 112, every lawyer is mandated to dedicate a minimum of four hours to pro bono and legal aid each year.

A comparative analysis between 2016 and 2020 has not been carried out due to the samples in each year being significantly distinct. For the 2020 Index, four international law firms submitted responses on pro bono practices in Vietnam. They indicate that fee earners averaged 9.22 hours. The percentage of fee earners performing 10 or more hours of pro bono work over the self-selected 12-month reporting period stood at 27 percent.

Exactly 50 percent of partners in Vietnam’s respondent firms engaged in some pro bono, contributing an average of 3.9 hours each.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Duane Morris LLP 17.25 50.0%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer 6.29 26.7%
Hogan Lovells 11.10 30.8%
Mayer Brown LLP 2.25 0.0%
Country average 9.22 26.86%

Australia

Pro bono legal practice is widely recognised and is an essential focus for Australian legal practitioners. Although there is no formal regulation of pro bono work, the National Pro Bono Aspirational Target (‘the Target’) launched by the Australian Pro Bono Centre in 2007 has been a vital contributor to the development of pro bono in Australia. The Target aims to celebrate both individual lawyers and the shared nature of the professional responsibility of all lawyers in the country by encouraging them to use their time and skillset towards public good, and ultimately to help bridge the access-to-justice gap. As of June 2019, the Target counted more than 14,000 lawyers who had pledged to provide a minimum of 35 hours of pro bono during each year.

A broad range of legal service providers offer pro bono support to individuals and organisations in need. The Australian Pro Bono Centre is a platform driving pro bono programmes which helps lawyers access resources to run pro bono initiatives. University legal clinics encourage pro bono early by teaming up qualified volunteer solicitors with law students to provide support in specific focus areas of need. Australian bar associations also engage in pro bono through schemes that encourage duty barristers to assist litigants with financial and legal needs.

Australia remains a leader in the pro bono space, supported by strong coordination and formal pro bono schemes facilitated by intermediaries, professional associations, courts and clearinghouses across the country. In addition to providing legal pro bono support in their specific areas of legal expertise, programmes are often put in place along with grants and financial support to target specific causes. In 2020, the Australian bushfires and COVID-19 pandemic produced a wave of support in the environmental and health sectors, in community education and for victims of domestic and family violence.

A comparative analysis between 2016 and 2020 was not carried out for this Index due to the samples in each year being significantly distinct. Nine firms, all international, submitted data on their Australian offices’ pro bono practices. Fee earners in Australia performed an average of 25.16 hours of pro bono work each over the self-selected 12-month reporting period. The percentage of fee earners reporting 10 or more hours of pro bono stood at an average of 41 percent. The average number of hours done by firm partners was 11.2, with 52 percent of partners contributing time to pro bono legal provision.
Firm Name Country Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Allen & Overy LLP Australia 16.61 46.9%
Ashurst LLP Australia 46.00 50.3%
Dentons Australia 14.86 31.0%
DLA Piper Australia 77.01 64.6%
Hogan Lovells Australia 24.28 50.0%
K&L Gates LLP Australia 24.95 46.3%
King & Wood Mallesons Australia 62.70 0.0%
Seyfarth Shaw Australia 11.00 26.5%
White & Case Australia 26.22 63.2%
Regional Average 25.16 41.12%

England & Wales

There is a well-established, thriving culture of pro bono in England and Wales, which extends to all representatives of the legal profession – from solicitors to barristers and law school students to retired lawyers – and in both England and Wales, with a steady increase of firms based outside of London that engage in pro bono work.

The success of pro bono in England and Wales is due in part to the support of robust infrastructure. Within the last 20 years, several NGOs have been established to provide specialised pro bono opportunities to lawyers in England and Wales, ranging from international organisations to human rights focused services, from those sourcing pro bono opportunities for barristers in England and Wales to citizen advice centres offering legal clinics, and services specialised in sourcing corporate and commercial pro bono support for NGOs and social enterprises.

Law firms in the country have also been proactive. In 2014, the UK Collaborative Plan for Pro Bono was set up to develop the UK’s pro bono infrastructure and encourage more law firms to commit to a minimum of 25 pro bono hours per fee earner per year. The Collaborative Plan has been increasing both in terms of membership – at the time of writing, over 60 leading national and international law firms were members – and in the amount of pro bono work completed by its members, with over 50 percent of lawyers engaged in pro bono (according to 2019 figures). The success of the UK Collaborative Plan in increasing pro bono provision also inspired in 2019 the creation of the In-House Pro Bono Group, an association of in-house counsel that aims to foster a pro bono culture among in-house lawyers.

The strong presence of pro bono within the legal profession in England and Wales is evident in the annual Pro Bono Week. In 2020, the 19th edition of the celebration featured more than 50 events and, for the first time, representatives from across the UK organised sessions.

Following a year when social impact organisations and society have suffered the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, we expect need for pro bono in England and Wales will grow. Lawyers are preparing themselves to expand the amount of pro bono they deliver, and this is shown in at least three trends. First, local pro bono groups are being established across England and Wales to coordinate pro bono support outside of London and to be in closer contact with the beneficiaries, be they individuals or local NGOs. Second, there is a growing interest in pro bono among in-house legal teams, a development that has the potential to hugely increase the number of lawyers working pro bono to support and offer business expertise to UK-based NGOs and social enterprises. Finally, pro bono culture is becoming more institutionalised and ingrained in law firm operations. In 2019, 88 percent of members of the UK Collaborative Plan counted pro bono work toward determining bonuses, and 30 out of 45 UK law firms that took part in the UK Collaborative Plan Report employed a (full- or part-time) pro bono professional. Moreover, an increasing number of leading law firms are hiring dedicated pro bono associates.

A comparative analysis between 2016 and 2020 has not been carried out for this Index due to the samples in each year being significantly distinct. Index participation among law firms with offices in England and Wales stood at 54 participating firms for 2020. In this jurisdiction, fee earners performed an average of 19.55 hours of pro bono each. Furthermore, over a third of fee earners performed 10 or more hours of pro bono work, with 35 percent of lawyers meeting this threshold. Partners performed an average of 10.17 hours in 2020, with 38 percent of them dedicating time to pro bono work in the reporting period.
Firm Name Country Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
A&L Goodbody UK & England and Wales 10.42 20.0%
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP UK & England and Wales 31.47 37.8%
Allen & Overy LLP UK & England and Wales 14.28 34.0%
Anglo-Thai Legal UK & England and Wales 13.33 66.7%
Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP UK & England and Wales 95.65 100%
Arthur Cox UK & England and Wales 0.00 0.0%
Ashurst LLP UK & England and Wales 30.64 39.9%
AXA XL UK & England and Wales 2.67 6.7%
Bates Wells UK & England and Wales 18.01 37.9%
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP UK & England and Wales 1.88 8.8%
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP UK & England and Wales 25.18 46.6%
Cooley LLP UK & England and Wales 56.26 80.2%
Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP UK & England and Wales 7.68 22.7%
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP UK & England and Wales 39.27 54.3%
Dechert LLP UK & England and Wales 67.93 87.1%
Dentons UK & England and Wales 21.33 41.7%
DLA Piper UK & England and Wales 30.56 40.1%
Duane Morris LLP UK & England and Wales 10.22 41.2%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer UK & England and Wales 34.20 39.5%
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP UK & England and Wales 43.38 47.9%
Gide Loyrette Nouel UK & England and Wales 9.30 18.5%
Goodwin Procter LLP UK & England and Wales 7.30 20.2%
Gowling WLG UK & England and Wales 3.28 6.8%
Grays Chambers UK & England and Wales 7.50 100.0%
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP UK & England and Wales 32.32 25%
Hogan Lovells UK & England and Wales 41.67 51.2%
K&L Gates LLP UK & England and Wales 15.45 33.8%
Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP UK & England and Wales 16.71 34.3%
Kingsley Napley LLP UK & England and Wales 12.63 30.9%
Kirkland & Ellis LLP UK & England and Wales 18.90 48.2%
Latham & Watkins UK & England and Wales 34.02 60.9%
Legance - Avvocati Associati UK & England and Wales 0.00 0.0%
Linklaters UK & England and Wales 21.18 27.7%
Mayer Brown LLP UK & England and Wales 21.98 52.1%
Milbank LLP UK & England and Wales 26.91 56.6%
Mishcon de Reya UK & England and Wales 7.53 17.1%
Morrison & Foerster UK & England and Wales 50.51 60.9%
Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP UK & England and Wales 54.63 91.7%
Paul Hastings LLP UK & England and Wales 36.20 58.2%
Reed Smith UK & England and Wales 48.13 50.9%
Ropes & Gray UK & England and Wales 35.24 59.0%
Seyfarth Shaw UK & England and Wales 0.56 0.0%
Shearman & Sterling LLP UK & England and Wales 37.76 76.8%
Simmons & Simmons LLP UK & England and Wales 15.93 21.9%
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP UK & England and Wales 97.94 74.5%
Steptoe and Johnson UK & England and Wales 5.81 25.8%
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP UK & England and Wales 13.42 31.5%
Taylor Wessing LLP UK & England and Wales 5.10 16.5%
Vincent Sykes & Higham LLP t/a VSH Law UK & England and Wales 0.00 0.0%
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP UK & England and Wales 70.41 89.6%
White & Case UK & England and Wales 25.91 54.6%
Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP UK & England and Wales 50.81 59.4%
Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP UK & England and Wales 0.88 1.4%
Regional Average 19.55 34.56%

Europe

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

2020 Index submissions were received from 48 law firms with offices in 31 countries across Europe, an increase from the 39 law firms with offices in 27 countries submitted in 2016.

The average annual pro bono hours carried out by fee earners from respondent firms increased from 15.2 hours in the 2016 Index , to 20.77 hours in the 2020 Index. In addition, the percentage of fee earners who reported doing 10 or more hours of pro bono work has increased from 26 percent in 2016 to 37 percent in 2020. These findings may suggest strengthened engagement with pro bono initiatives and a thriving pro bono ecosystem in Europe. However, partner engagement in Europe dropped with firms reporting that 38 percent of their partners contributed time to pro bono work, down from 42 percent in 2016. The average hours undertaken by partners was10.8 hours in 2016 and 9.69 for this reporting period.

The region is characterised by a thriving and mature pro bono culture as law firms have deeply ingrained infrastructure and practices as a result of the institutionalisation of pro bono. The COVID-19 pandemic posed unprecedented challenges in 2020, with NGOs and social enterprises forced to face a multitude of unexpected legal questions on their day-to-day practices amid fears of their very survival. Law firms in Europe quickly responded to these uncertainties by garnering support for these organisations, helping them navigate complex legal challenges on a pro bono basis.

Various mechanisms also exist in Europe to support the development of pro bono practice, from pro bono clearinghouses and other organisations joining forces to address legal challenges faced by organisations. European Pro Bono Week celebrates the role played by volunteer lawyers across Europe in supporting NGOs and human rights organisations, and promoting access to justice for those in need. The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has also launched a new support service, the EUIPO COVID-19 pro bono hub, which aims to offer a tailor-made service to match small and medium enterprises to providers of pro bono intellectual property legal representation and advice throughout the EU.
Firm Name Country Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
A&A Studio Legale Italy 60 60%
A&L Goodbody Ireland 17.59 41.4%
A&L Goodbody UK & N. Ireland 2.47 12.0%
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP Germany 0.00 0.0%
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP Russia 0.44 0.0%
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP Switzerland 16.20 40.0%
Allen & Overy LLP Belgium 23.38 46.9%
Allen & Overy LLP France 11.73 28.1%
Allen & Overy LLP Germany 5.59 11.7%
Allen & Overy LLP Italy 0.55 2.6%
Allen & Overy LLP Luxembourg 12.22 19.8%
Allen & Overy LLP Netherlands 8.71 19.8%
Allen & Overy LLP Poland 7.30 24.6%
Allen & Overy LLP Spain 7.65 25.2%
Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP Belgium 21.55 45.5%
Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP Germany 19.95 52.4%
Arthur Cox Ireland 12.72 25.1%
Ashurst LLP Belgium 31.54 54.2%
Ashurst LLP France 10.08 22.6%
Ashurst LLP Germany 14.22 26.6%
Ashurst LLP Italy 57.97 65.6%
Ashurst LLP Spain 16.86 38.6%
Ashurst LLP UK & Scotland 28.49 53.3%
BE-COME S.r.l. Italy 8.33 33.3%
Chiara Italy 140.00 100.0%
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP Belgium 11.73 20.8%
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP France 20.66 34.2%
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP Germany 5.76 9.6%
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP Italy 20.36 19.1%
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP Russia 9.73 25.0%
Clifford Chance UK & Other 28.77 37.4%
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP France 22.45 33.3%
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP Germany 0.11 0.0%
De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek N.V. Netherlands 22.60 33.8%
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP Russia 4.06 13.0%
Dechert LLP Belgium 236.00 100.0%
Dechert LLP France 66.18 88.3%
Dechert LLP Germany 78.44 100.0%
Dechert LLP Ireland 54.17 83.3%
Dechert LLP Luxembourg 34.44 87.5%
Dechert LLP Russia 106.00 100.0%
Dentons Belgium 44.66 64.7%
Dentons Czech Republic 14.30 44.6%
Dentons France 6.70 27.0%
Dentons Germany 6.99 9.9%
Dentons Hungary 15.93 39.4%
Dentons Italy 4.08 13.2%
Dentons Netherlands 11.60 25.8%
Dentons Poland 10.84 14.8%
Dentons Romania 8.55 26.1%
Dentons Russia 11.99 28.8%
Dentons Spain 9.93 22.8%
DLA Piper Austria 30.07 65.9%
DLA Piper Belgium 69.83 69.0%
DLA Piper Czech Republic 1.89 5.3%
DLA Piper Denmark 2.40 4.6%
DLA Piper Finland 5.98 15.2%
DLA Piper France 67.59 36.3%
DLA Piper Germany 7.34 17.0%
DLA Piper Hungary 5.80 20.0%
DLA Piper Ireland 2.36 10.7%
DLA Piper Italy 11.89 20.5%
DLA Piper Luxembourg 33.72 73.1%
DLA Piper Netherlands 16.13 41.0%
DLA Piper Norway 8.37 27.6%
DLA Piper Poland 11.37 23.2%
DLA Piper Portugal 0.88 0.0%
DLA Piper Romania 8.42 19.2%
DLA Piper Russia 15.75 37.5%
DLA Piper Slovakia 37.78 66.7%
DLA Piper Spain 22.70 33.8%
DLA Piper Sweden 1.67 4.1%
DLA Piper Ukraine 28.59 58.6%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer Austria 6.84 19.8%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer Belgium 12.11 23.4%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer France 10.53 12.7%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer Germany 3.82 7.5%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer Italy 5.13 9.8%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer Netherlands 19.27 34.7%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer Russia 8.51 20.8%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer Spain 0.99 3.3%
Froriep Switzerland 34.21 43.9%
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP Belgium 36.30 39.1%
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP France 35.00 47.8%
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP Germany 16.21 28.6%
Gide Loyrette Nouel Belgium 0.30 0.0%
Gide Loyrette Nouel France 4.65 17.3%
Gide Loyrette Nouel Poland 0.56 2.4%
Goodwin Procter LLP France 0.04 0.0%
Goodwin Procter LLP Germany 0.48 0.0%
Hogan Lovells Belgium 19.96 52.4%
Hogan Lovells France 10.61 26.9%
Hogan Lovells Germany 6.01 18.6%
Hogan Lovells Italy 7.09 21.6%
Hogan Lovells Luxembourg 7.07 28.6%
Hogan Lovells Netherlands 10.86 26.8%
Hogan Lovells Poland 13.54 34.4%
Hogan Lovells Russia 6.86 35.0%
Hogan Lovells Spain 16.44 48.9%
K&L Gates LLP Belgium 0.33 0.0%
K&L Gates LLP France 8.29 23.8%
K&L Gates LLP Germany 2.60 8.0%
K&L Gates LLP Italy 0.97 3.1%
Kinstellar Bulgaria 7.76 23.5%
Kinstellar Czech Republic 2.36 11.9%
Kinstellar Hungary 1.80 8.6%
Kinstellar Romania 1.35 7.7%
Kinstellar Serbia 10.50 40.0%
Kinstellar Slovakia 8.15 34.6%
Kinstellar Ukraine 21.71 17.6%
Kirkland & Ellis LLP France 0.00 0.0%
Kirkland & Ellis LLP Germany 42.66 102.6%
Latham & Watkins Belgium 6.93 25.0%
Latham & Watkins France 52.59 86.8%
Latham & Watkins Germany 40.05 70.2%
Latham & Watkins Italy 29.33 50.0%
Latham & Watkins Russia 68.81 100.0%
Latham & Watkins Spain 21.78 67.6%
Law office Josip Konjevod Croatia 0.00 0.0%
Legance - Avvocati Associati Italy 3.67 8.7%
Linklaters Belgium 4.99 8.2%
Linklaters France 0.90 2.9%
Linklaters Germany 1.91 5.1%
Linklaters Italy 7.93 13.5%
Linklaters Luxembourg 1.92 7.6%
Linklaters Netherlands 0.77 3.6%
Linklaters Poland 12.20 17.4%
Linklaters Portugal 2.11 4.3%
Linklaters Russia 4.37 15.3%
Linklaters Spain 0.79 3.8%
Linklaters Sweden 1.59 5.9%
Mayer Brown LLP Belgium 24.38 37.5%
Mayer Brown LLP France 24.24 33.7%
Mayer Brown LLP Germany 14.65 37.3%
Morrison & Foerster Belgium 41.44 77.8%
Morrison & Foerster Germany 24.02 47.6%
Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP France 29.22 51.9%
Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP Germany 37.94 91.5%
Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP Italy 30.03 71.7%
Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP Switzerland 53.91 132.2%
Ozalp Law Firm Turkey 5.00 50.0%
Paul Hastings LLP France 14.87 43.2%
Paul Hastings LLP Germany 34.53 100.0%
Reed Smith France 26.70 42.9%
Reed Smith Germany 16.88 28.8%
Reed Smith Greece 25.40 50.0%
SAJIC Law firm Bosnia and Herzegovina 0.00 50.0%
Shearman & Sterling LLP Belgium 42.59 114.3%
Shearman & Sterling LLP France 13.34 24.4%
Shearman & Sterling LLP Germany 11.25 23.3%
Shearman & Sterling LLP Italy 19.98 77.8%
Simmons & Simmons LLP Belgium 46.18 52.9%
Simmons & Simmons LLP France 10.81 19.6%
Simmons & Simmons LLP Germany 9.01 21.4%
Simmons & Simmons LLP Ireland 3.41 5.9%
Simmons & Simmons LLP Italy 2.23 4.1%
Simmons & Simmons LLP Luxembourg 13.37 31.6%
Simmons & Simmons LLP Netherlands 14.66 27.6%
Simmons & Simmons LLP Spain 3.71 11.8%
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP Belgium 2.59 6.5%
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP France 41.95 42.3%
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP Germany 30.67 41.5%
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP Russia 7.63 25.0%
Steptoe and Johnson Belgium 6.37 21.1%
Stibbe B.V. Netherlands 10.33 22.6%
Vieira de Almeida Portugal 23.05 33.5%
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP France 5.36 10.9%
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP Germany 12.80 48.0%
White & Case Belgium 33.98 56.5%
White & Case Czech Republic 16.19 44.2%
White & Case Finland 13.86 66.7%
White & Case France 13.42 34.7%
White & Case Germany 7.97 26.4%
White & Case Italy 27.00 93.2%
White & Case Poland 8.86 26.2%
White & Case Russia 4.80 15.9%
White & Case Slovakia 25.54 61.5%
White & Case Spain 36.25 100.0%
White & Case Sweden 14.64 43.9%
White & Case Switzerland 24.78 100.0%
White & Case Turkey 7.30 27.0%
Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP Belgium 16.14 42.9%
Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP Germany 4.83 13.3%
Regional Average 21.13 35.33%

Belgium

Belgium’s Constitution protects the right to legal aid in Article 23, with state-subsidised legal aid widely available in the country. This has meant that historically, the provision of pro bono services remained voluntary, with no legal requirement for lawyers to provide pro bono assistance. This has been changing in the past few years, with clear signals of a growing awareness of pro bono in the legal profession.

First, state-subsidised legal aid has suffered funding cuts, which has increased the need for pro bono support for low-income individuals and NGOs. Second, increasing numbers of international law firms and companies – many of which require their lawyers to engage in pro bono work – have opened offices in the country, making Brussels one of the leading centres of pro bono in Europe. While pro bono in Belgium is led by international law firms operating from their Brussels offices, a large NGO presence in the Belgian capital is helping raise awareness among local law firms. Finally, the creation of The Good Lobby, an NGO working to create a more inclusive society and citizen engagement in the EU, has contributed to increasing the amount of pro bono work undertaken by Brussels-based lawyers, who were among the organisers of the first European Pro Bono Week in 2019.

For the 2020 Index data submissions were received from 22 law firms with offices in Belgium, an increase from 18 in 2016. Only one of these firms was local, with the rest of the data coming from international law firms. There was an increase in the average number of pro bono hours worked per fee earner, from 19 hours in the 2016 Index to 33.33 in the latest 12-month reporting period. The percentage of fee earners reporting 10 or more hours of pro bono increased from 30 percent in 2016 to 44 percent for the 2020 Index.

As in previous years, partner pro bono engagement remained strong in Belgium. The 2016 data indicated that 37 percent of partners participated in some pro bono work, while the latest data indicates an increase to 40 percent. Partners based in Belgium reported performing an average of 12.08 hours of pro bono each, compared to 10.4 hours in the 2016 Index findings.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Allen & Overy LLP 23.38 46.9%
Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP 21.55 45.5%
Ashurst LLP 31.54 54.2%
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP 11.73 20.8%
Dechert LLP 236.00 100.0%
Dentons 44.66 64.7%
DLA Piper 69.83 69.0%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer 12.11 23.4%
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP 36.30 39.1%
Gide Loyrette Nouel 0.30 0.0%
Hogan Lovells 19.96 52.4%
K&L Gates LLP 0.33 0.0%
Latham & Watkins 6.93 25.0%
Linklaters 4.99 8.2%
Mayer Brown LLP 24.38 37.5%
Morrison & Foerster 41.44 77.8%
Shearman & Sterling LLP 42.59 114.3%
Simmons & Simmons LLP 46.18 52.9%
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP 2.59 6.5%
Steptoe and Johnson 6.37 21.1%
White & Case 33.98 56.5%
Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP 16.14 42.9%
Country average 33.33 43.57%

Czechia

Czechia has enacted a range of laws for the provision of legal aid but it is not yet governed by a comprehensive statute. Since its accession to the EU in 2004, the pro bono market in Czechia has been evolving, perhaps as a result of influence from European neighbours and the growing presence of international law firms in this market.

Key stakeholders in pro bono include the European Pro Bono Alliance, and an associated pro bono clearinghouse, Pro Bono Centrum. Its aim is to promote the concept of pro bono among the Czech legal profession as well as the general public. According to the Pro Bono Centrum website, more than 100 NGOs and over 70 law firms are involved in the programme.

We received five submissions from the same firms in 2016 and 2020, all international law firms with offices in Czechia. These respondent firms averaged seven hours per fee earner, a drop from 13.4 hours in 2016. Additionally, 22 percent of fee earners performed 10 or more hours of pro bono, an increase from 19.1 percent. However, there was a decrease in partner engagement, with individual partners reporting an average of 4.10 hours dedicated to pro bono work, down from 15.3 hours in 2016. The percentage of partners who reported spending any time on pro bono work also followed this trend with firms reporting 34 percent, down from 54 percent in 2016.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Dentons 14.30 44.6%
DLA Piper 1.89 5.3%
Kinstellar 2.36 11.9%
White & Case 16.19 44.2%
Country average 7.06 21.62%

France

A significant number of local law firms carry out pro bono activities in France, with international law firms also supporting efforts to professionalise pro bono work in the country. Today, many local firms promote pro bono and the practice continues to be a significant part of the social responsibility of law firms. Numerous French organisations have also launched programmes to mobilise lawyers, such as the Alliance des Avocats pour les Droits de l´Homme or Droits d´Urgence. As a further indication of the growth of the pro bono culture, in 2019 France celebrated its second Pro Bono Day, bringing together experts from different sectors to share their vision for pro bono.

We received data from 24 law firms with offices in France, an increase from the 22 we received in 2016. All respondent law firms were international. Analysis of the data received indicates the pro bono hours performed by fee earners remained constant at 20 hours both in 2016 and in 2020. The percentage of lawyers spending at least 10 hours on pro bono initiatives increased from 25 percent in 2016 to 32 percent, matching a growing trend in the wider continent.

Partner engagement among law firms in France also continues to grow at a steady pace. Partners contributed an average of 11.8 hours each over the reporting period, compared to 8.4 hours reported in the 2016 Index. In addition, 41 percent of partners worked on pro bono projects over the last reporting period, compared to the 35 percent reported in the 2016 Index findings.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Allen & Overy LLP 11.73 28.1%
Ashurst LLP 10.08 22.6%
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP 20.66 34.2%
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP 22.45 33.3%
Dechert LLP 66.18 88.3%
Dentons 6.70 27.0%
DLA Piper 67.59 36.3%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer 10.53 12.7%
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP 35.00 47.8%
Gide Loyrette Nouel 4.65 17.3%
Goodwin Procter LLP 0.04 0.0%
Hogan Lovells 10.61 26.9%
K&L Gates LLP 8.29 23.8%
Kirkland & Ellis LLP 0.00 0.0%
Latham & Watkins 52.59 86.8%
Linklaters 0.90 2.9%
Mayer Brown LLP 24.24 33.7%
Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP 29.22 51.9%
Paul Hastings LLP 14.87 43.2%
Reed Smith 26.70 42.9%
Shearman & Sterling LLP 13.34 24.4%
Simmons & Simmons LLP 10.81 19.6%
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP 41.95 42.3%
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP 5.36 10.9%
White & Case 13.42 34.7%
Country average 20.32 31.66%

Germany

There is a growing pro bono culture in Germany, with both local and international law firms increasing their pro bono activities. Historically, the institutionalisation of pro bono has been slow in Germany, for two main reasons. First, the Federal Republic and its States fund legal aid, which covers both civil and criminal court proceedings as well as out-of-court legal advice, leading to the perception that pro bono work is not needed. Second, German law prohibits lawyers from charging clients lower than the minimum statutory fees, which has been traditionally interpreted as a ban on (free) pro bono legal work.

In recent years, German and international law firms have increasingly challenged this as a misconception and started advocating for and providing pro bono support to both local and foreign clients, although the regulatory framework remains unclear. A number of leading firms organised themselves as Pro Bono Deutschland eV in 2011, with the aim of informing German lawyers and NGOs about pro bono; the group also set up the local clearinghouse UPJ Pro Bono Rechtsberatung in 2018. German law firms were among the organisers of the European Pro Bono Week in 2019, with lawyers celebrating pro bono work in Munich and Frankfurt. These steps toward the embedding of pro bono in Germany have the potential to contribute towards mainstreaming the concept of pro bono among legal teams and social impact organisations, many of whom are still unaware that free legal advice is available.

We received and analysed data from 28 submissions to the 2020 Index, an increase from the 24 received in 2016. Fee earners in the country performed an average of 15.78 hours of pro bono, up from 12.8 hours in 2016, and the percentage of fee earners doing 10 or more hours of pro bono work increased from 20 percent to 33 percent.

Partner engagement at respondent law firms in Germany grew with an average of 12.67 hours of pro bono in the reporting period for the 2020 Index, compared to 11.5 hours in 2016. Findings showed that 45 percent of partners worked on pro bono projects during the reporting period, higher than the 38 percent of partners who did so in 2016.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP 0.00 0.0%
Allen & Overy LLP 5.59 11.7%
Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP 19.95 52.4%
Ashurst LLP 14.22 26.6%
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP 5.76 9.6%
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP 0.11 0.0%
Dechert LLP 78.44 100.0%
Dentons 6.99 9.9%
DLA Piper 7.34 17.0%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer 3.82 7.5%
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP 16.21 28.6%
Goodwin Procter LLP 0.48 0.0%
Hogan Lovells 6.01 18.6%
K&L Gates LLP 2.60 8.0%
Kirkland & Ellis LLP 42.66 102.6%
Latham & Watkins 40.05 70.2%
Linklaters 1.91 5.1%
Mayer Brown LLP 14.65 37.3%
Morrison & Foerster 24.02 47.6%
Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP 37.94 91.5%
Paul Hastings LLP 34.53 100.0%
Reed Smith 16.88 28.8%
Shearman & Sterling LLP 11.25 23.3%
Simmons & Simmons LLP 9.01 21.4%
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP 30.67 41.5%
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP 12.80 48.0%
White & Case 7.97 26.4%
Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP 4.83 13.3%
Country average 15.78 32.65%

Hungary

Hungary has an active pro bono culture, greatly helped by the presence of PILNet and its Hungarian clearinghouse driving collaborations in the region among law firms, NGOs and charities, and connecting the legal needs of vulnerable communities with pro bono lawyers. In 2017, PILnet worked with law firms and individual lawyers to set up a dedicated child rights pro bono clearinghouse, operated by a former PILnet fellow, which brokers legal advice between minors and/or their guardians with pro bono lawyers.

In 2006, several law firms drafted and signed the Public Interest Law Initiative’s Pro Bono Declaration, in which they affirmed their commitment to advancing the public good by working for more clients on a pro bono basis. In 2018, a series of laws were passed which impacted the practice of pro bono in Hungary, including making it a criminal offence to help an illegal immigrant claim asylum. The regulations also require NGOs that receive foreign donations above a certain amount to register with the Hungarian authorities and disclose their donors. Organisations that fail to comply may be subject to fines or forced to dissolve. In June 2020, the European Court of Justice ruled that Hungary failed to fulfil its obligations under EU law by imposing these requirements on NGOs. We will monitor the impact that this decision has on pro bono in the future and assess whether it influences trends in the sector in the coming years.

For the 2020 Index, Hungary met the minimum threshold for stand-alone analysis with four firms, all international, submitting data. Fee earners from the country performed an average of 7.17 hours of pro bono work and 21 percent recorded more than 10 hours of pro bono. Of the respondent firms, 20 percent had partners that engaged in pro bono hours, recording an average of 3.70 hours each.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Dentons 15.93 39.4%
DLA Piper 5.80 20.0%
Kinstellar 1.80 8.6%
Country average 7.17 21.42%

Ireland

Pro bono culture in Ireland is developing, with significant growth in recent years. The Bar of Ireland has been running the Voluntary Assistance Scheme since 2004, which is a pro bono initiative providing legal assistance to charities, NGOs and civil society organisations. It is also now over a decade since the national pro bono clearinghouse, PILA (the Public Interest Law Alliance, a project of the Free Legal Advice Centres or FLAC), was launched, which has been central to driving the pro bono movement through its Pro Bono Referral Scheme.

Between 2018 and 2019, two of the country’s leading commercial law firms recruited their first dedicated pro bono associates and joined the UK Collaborative Plan for Pro Bono. In 2019, the first Pro Bono Week Ireland took place with numerous collaborative events across law firms, in-house legal teams, NGOs, social enterprises, and pro bono clearinghouses. The second Pro Bono Week Ireland took place in November 2020 and again saw collaborative events including all actors in the pro bono space. The PILnet Global Forum also chose Dublin to host its 2020 Forum, although the in-person event was postponed until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Significantly in 2020, the Pro Bono Pledge was launched – the first collaborative effort in Ireland to articulate the shared professional responsibility of lawyers to promote access to justice and provide pro bono legal assistance to those in need. The Pledge was developed by an independent group of law firms, barristers and in-house legal teams with a presence in Ireland who have come together to affirm their commitment to delivering pro bono services. The initiative is coordinated by PILA and provides a common definition of pro bono, a commitment to a minimum aspirational target of 20 pro bono hours per lawyer per year and a mechanism to benchmark progress through annual reporting of anonymous pro bono data.

The social enterprise movement in Ireland has also continued to flourish in recent years and TrustLaw has organised numerous events to facilitate lawyers dedicating pro bono hours to support innovative Irish social businesses. Importantly, the Irish Government launched a National Social Enterprise Policy 2019-2022, focussed on building awareness of social enterprise, growing and strengthening the sector and achieving better policy alignment.

This is the first stand-alone analysis for Ireland as in previous editions of the Index the submissions received from respondent law firms in this jurisdiction did not meet the minimum threshold. For the 2020 Index we received responses from five law firms, whose fee earners performed an average number of 18.05 pro bono hours over the course of the 12-month reporting period. Of the responses received, 33 percent of lawyers performed more than 10 hours of pro bono during the period. Our findings indicate that 36 percent of partners at respondent firms engaged in some form of pro bono work, performing an average of 6.64 hours.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
A&L Goodbody 17.59 41.4%
Arthur Cox 12.72 25.1%
Dechert LLP 54.17 83.3%
DLA Piper 2.36 10.7%
Simmons & Simmons LLP 3.41 5.9%
Country average 18.05 33.28%

Italy

In Italy, several legal clinics and a domestic clearinghouse have been running for nearly 10 years. Compared to some other European countries, Italy has a rich, well-developed and diverse ecosystem of NGOs and social enterprises. It is estimated that it is home to more than 300,000 NGOs and 25,000 social enterprises. Social cooperatives are the eminent form of social enterprise in Italy, representing approximately a third of such enterprises, and they also play a role in the pro bono ecosystem.

Eighteen law firms in Italy submitted data for the 2020 Index, an increase in participation compared to the 14 law firms that submitted data in 2016. Ten of these firms were international and four local. Lawyers from respondent firms provided an average of 20.92 hours of their time to pro bono initiatives in the self-selected 12-month reporting period, an increase from the average nine hours reported in the 2016 Index. The percentage of lawyers that provided 10 or more pro bono hours also increased, from 16.9 percent reported in 2016, to 34 percent in the data submissions for the 2020 Index.

We observed a steady growth in partner engagement between 2016 and this reporting period, with 36 percent of partners dedicating time to pro bono work, compared to 28 percent recorded in 2016. Similarly, the average number of hours partners devoted to pro bono work increased from an average 5.1 hours in the previous index to 11.4 hours during this reporting period.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
A&A Studio Legale 60 60%
Allen & Overy LLP 0.55 2.6%
Ashurst LLP 57.97 65.6%
BE-COME S.r.l. 8.33 33.3%
Chiara 140.00 100.0%
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP 20.36 19.1%
Dentons 4.08 13.2%
DLA Piper 11.89 20.5%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer 5.13 9.8%
Hogan Lovells 7.09 21.6%
K&L Gates LLP 0.97 3.1%
Latham & Watkins 29.33 50.0%
Legance - Avvocati Associati 3.67 8.7%
Linklaters 7.93 13.5%
Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP 30.03 71.7%
Shearman & Sterling LLP 19.98 77.8%
Simmons & Simmons LLP 2.23 4.1%
White & Case 27.00 93.2%
Country average 20.92 33.77%

Luxembourg

Luxembourg has well-established and extensive legal aid protection, which has meant that historically there has been low demand for pro bono work in the country. Legal aid in Luxembourg is managed by the Luxembourg Bar Association and is particularly efficient: trainee lawyers in Luxembourg are obligated to accept legal aid cases to qualify for the Luxembourg Bar, and lawyers cannot refuse to work on legal aid matters once they are appointed by the Bar.

There is no similar requirement to engage in pro bono work and the country has very strict rules on advertising for lawyers, meaning that in many cases they would not be able to promote pro bono work. These limit the incentives for lawyers to engage in pro bono work, although it is undertaken – mostly led by international law firms with offices in the country.

A comparative analysis between 2016 and 2020 has not been carried out for this 2020 Index due to the samples in each year being significantly distinct. We received six submissions, all from international law firms. Fee earners performed an average of 17.2 hours of pro bono, with 41 percent carrying out 10 or more hours. Approximately half – 51 percent – of partners at respondent firms reported that they engaged in some type of pro bono work in the 12-month reporting period, performing an average of 11.7 hours.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Allen & Overy LLP 12.22 19.8%
Dechert LLP 34.44 87.5%
DLA Piper 33.72 73.1%
Hogan Lovells 7.07 28.6%
Linklaters 1.92 7.6%
Simmons & Simmons LLP 13.37 31.6%
Country average 17.12 41.36%

Netherlands

There is a thriving pro bono culture in the Netherlands. The country has a well-funded and comprehensive legal aid system, which has historically limited the demand for pro bono work. However, so called ‘social impact organisations’ do not benefit from the publicly funded legal aid system, and there has been a growing awareness of their need for pro bono legal support.

In 2014 and 2015, a group of leading local and international law firms got together to create the first Dutch clearinghouse to meet the needs of the social impact sector. Pro Bono Connect was launched in 2016 and has contributed significantly to the development of pro bono culture in the Netherlands. An increasing number of local law firms report their pro bono and corporate social responsibility activities on their websites, and Dutch law firms were among the organisers of the first European Pro Bono Week, held in 2019.

A comparative analysis between 2016 and 2020 has not been carried out due to the samples in each year being significantly distinct. Data was received from nine law firms with offices in the Netherlands – two were local firms and the remaining seven were international firms. Fee earners performed an average of 12.77 hours of pro bono work over the 12-month reporting period for the 2020 Index. The percentage of fee earners doing 10 or more hours of pro bono over the period stood at 26 percent. Partner engagement continues to be strong in the country, with 41 percent of partners performing an average number of 10.40 hours of some type of pro bono work.
Firm Name Average Hours per Fee-Earner Fee Earners with 10+ Hours of Pro Bono
Allen & Overy LLP 8.71 19.8%
De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek N.V. 22.60 33.8%
Dentons 11.60 25.8%
DLA Piper 16.13 41.0%
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer 19.27 34.7%
Hogan Lovells 10.86 26.8%
Linklaters 0.77 3.6%
Simmons & Simmons LLP 14.66 27.6%
Stibbe B.V. 10.33 22.6%
Country average 12.77 26.19%