In a rare show of solidarity, 10 trainees from nine international law firms have banded together under the newly-formed Brussels Pro Bono Project to investigate and initiate pro bono opportunities for UK lawyers and trainees based in the European capital.
The project, a collaboration between Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw (MBR&M) and the Solicitors Pro Bono Group (SPBG), was initiated by trainees from Clifford Chance, CMS Cameron McKenna, Coudert Brothers, Dechert, Eversheds, Linklaters, Lovells MBR&M and Nabarro Nathanson.
MBR&M trainee Andrew Jackson said the project was created in response to the lack of pro bono work available for the 100-plus UK lawyers and trainees based in Brussels.
Jackson, whose past pro bono work has included starting his firms now permanent association with the Islington Law Centre, was interested in continuing his pro bono involvement during his seat in Brussels but found there were limited opportunities.
Jackson is now writing a business plan after establishing that there is support and a need for pro bono. The plan will be launched at the European Convention for Volunteering in Europe in November.
Jackson said: Once the project is up and running, and all lawyers in the UK have access to our website, it could mean that high street solicitors could get involved in international pro bono work coordinated from Brussels.