“For the clients, for the courts and for society” – Jamie Goldsmith, winner of Pro Bono Innovation of the Year 2018 with Pro Bono Connect, on why lawyers do pro bono


Pro Bono Connect

Alongside his work at One Essex Court, Jamie Goldsmith is the leader behind Pro Bono Connect: the pioneering collaborative scheme helping to link barristers and solicitors to work together on pro bono cases. Last year, the scheme was awarded Pro Bono Innovation of the Year, recognised for successfully facilitating several collaborations for pro bono in a matter of days. Pro Bono Connect has already been established as the status quo for pro bono collaborations amongst participating firms since its conception in 2017, setting an exciting precedent for the future of the scheme in connecting more and more barristers and solicitors in the name of pro bono.

“We match barristers and solicitors acting pro bono on civil matters for individuals, charities and community groups who cannot afford legal advice or representation” – Pro Bono Connect

The cutting edge scheme, run by an executive committee including Jamie, aims to improve the efficiency of pro bono work by sharing the workload between barristers and solicitors, making the most of their differing expertise. The long term goal is to encourage a greater uptake of pro bono work by both solicitors and barristers, by strengthening the relationship between solicitors and barristers undertaking pro bono through the scheme. Currently, there are nearly 50 participating law firms and chambers; the aim is to take the London-based scheme nationwide, reaching more areas of the UK and other areas of law.

“I know of no other innovation that is more deserving of this award” – Emily MacLoud, Associate at Etic Lab

Pro Bono Connect has been instrumental in assisting barristers and solicitors alike with complex pro bono cases that they are unable to handle alone. Being able to access a lawyer with complementary skills to work collaboratively on pro bono cases has proven invaluable, with collaborations having been successfully facilitated for 20 pro bono cases in 2018. We are excited to see what the future holds for Pro Bono Connect!

Nominations are now open for Pro Bono Innovation of the Year 2019. If you would like to nominate an individual, a team or a project for this year’s award, enter here!