The Bar Pro Bono Unit
The Bar Pro Bono Unit is the national charity of the Bar and organises pro bono legal assistance for those who need it, from volunteer barristers.
Anna* applied to the Unit seeking advice on a potential claim in respect of failure to disclose water-related problems in her flat. Anna’s insurance provider refused to investigate because there was no formal contract between her and the managing agent. Facing debt and cuts to her disability living allowance, Anna struggled in a difficult situation with little idea of how to proceed and applied to the Unit for help. Through the Unit Nicholas Maciolek of Atkin Chambers agreed to advise Anna on her options and what remedies were available to her. This meeting with a legal expert made quite an impact. A week later she wrote back to say thank you: ““As a result I have a much better understanding of the problem I asked for assistance with. You have all gone some way to restore my faith in human nature.”
*Names of applicants have been anonymised.
How we make a difference
The Unit is the only pro bono charity to provide access to specialist legal advice and representation in every area of law in all courts and tribunals across England and Wales. In 2017, the Unit received over 2,000 applications from people who needed legal help. Each was referred by an advice agency, law centre, solicitor or MP. Every application is managed by our casework team and reviewed for eligibility by volunteer senior barristers. Our panel of 4,000 volunteer barristers give up to three days of their time a year, although many give much more. In 21 years the Unit has helped over 8,000 people.
How you can help
You can help by fundraising for the Unit in the London Legal Walk, being a sponsor of one of our events or awards, or by your employees joining us for a personal or sporting challenge. Please contact Mary Dobson Head of Fundraising and Communications, for more details at firstname.lastname@example.org.