Cloisters were Advocate’s Pro Bono Chambers of the Year 2018, recognised for their consistent and outstanding contribution to pro bono for over 10 years


Cloisters’ devotion to pro bono activities over the years is incredibly admirable. All members of Cloisters take at least five days per year to undertake pro bono work and in 2017, they took on the highest number of pro bono cases through Advocate of all sets of chambers nationwide, going above and beyond to dedicate time to pro bono. Awarding Cloisters the title of Pro Bono Chambers of the Year 2018 is the perfect way for us to celebrate their ongoing commitment to pro bono, setting the bar high for this year’s nominees.

“We do it because it needs to be done” – Adam Ohringer, Cloisters' Barrister and Advocate Pro Bono Champion

It is undoubtable that Cloisters has fostered a chambers-wide commitment to pro bono. From taking pro bono cases through Advocate, to volunteering their services at law centre advice sessions, all the way to providing training on legal issues, pro bono is part and parcel of the culture at Cloisters.

Since September 2017, 33 Cloisters members have taken 161 new pro bono instructions, and their specialty in employment law is particularly noteworthy. Cloisters is at the forefront of legal work seeking to improve workers’ rights in the ‘gig economy’, and they have extended employment laws to taxi drivers, cycle couriers, delivery drivers, foster carers and the like. This has proven crucial in attempting to protect the rights of individuals carrying out low-paid work whilst being denied worker status in the UK. Jason Moyer-Lee, the General Secretary of the Independent Workers Union of Britain, has stated that without the help of Cloisters, many low-paid workers “would have struggled to achieve justice in the face of unlawful discrimination and exploitation”, demonstrating the contribution Cloisters has made in championing pro bono in the employment law sphere.

“I think pro bono is more about priority-setting than about finding time. However senior or junior you are, when there’s a will, there’s a way” – Joel Donovan QC, Cloisters' Barrister and former Head of Chambers

The prioritisation of pro bono by Cloisters members and staff members is evidence that it can be done alongside paid work. Adam Ohringer and Joel Donovan QC, both barristers at Cloisters, highlight the necessity of pro bono; with access to justice under attack, the importance of pro bono in today’s world is paramount.

“If the rule of law is to be upheld, while the government considers funding of legal services to be an optional extra, then pro bono work is necessary” – Adam Ohringer


Pro Bono Chambers of the Year 2019 is kindly sponsored by the DX. If you would like to nominate a set of chambers for recognition of their pro bono work this year, click here!