Pro Bono

 

We’re committed to giving back to our communities by doing work for the public good. Our pro bono practice embraces our ethical responsibility as a firm to help those in need, and enriches the personal and professional lives of the Hall & Wilcox lawyers who get involved.

There is a compelling, unmet need created by access to justice issues and unrepresented litigants in the courts. That’s why we encourage everyone at the firm to do pro bono work and give them full credit for the time they spend doing it.

We currently receive pro bono referrals from several inspirational organisations, including:

It is our pleasure and privilege to present the annual report for the Pro Bono & Community practice for the 2021 financial year.

Bushfire disaster relief fundraising and pro bono update

Devastating bushfires are enveloping much of our beautiful country destroying everything in their wake and sending potent smoke across the nation and the world.

Our purpose as a firm is to support our clients, our people and our communities to thrive. In the midst of the unprecedented bushfire activity affecting many parts of Australia, we believe we have a responsibility to these same clients, people and communities to support relief efforts however we can.

As we write this, nearly 11 million hectares have burned, and there are still two months of bushfire season left to go.

We are working with the communities and our pro bono clients affected. We’re also working with Justice Connect to provide free legal help to people and communities in need and making lawyers available at recovery centres.

For a comprehensive article on the tax relief available to ease the pressure on individuals, families and businesses affected by the bushfires, please see our article here.

In addition to the firm’s donation to the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund, we are encouraging our staff (and our families and friends) to collectively donate to support those affected by the crisis.

For those willing and able to make a donation, we encourage you to do so as we look to help those who truly need it during this time.

For more information and to donate, please visit our fundraising page by clicking here.  

Our Pro Bono & Community Committee

Our Pro Bono & Community Committee comprises representatives from all areas of the firm, including legal professionals and corporate services. Our pro bono practice is managed by Nathan Kennedy.

The committee considers requests for pro bono legal assistance that are referred by a number of organisations and our people. The committee actively seeks out opportunities to partner with organisations to provide pro bono legal assistance and establish long-standing relationships.

In this video, Nathan Kennedy explains how important pro bono is to our purpose as a firm and talks about some of the areas we are involved in.

Recent Pro Bono Activities

  • Hall & Wilcox is an active member of Justice Connect (New South Wales and Victoria), Law Access (Western Australia) and LawRight (Queensland). These organisations provide us with a steady flow of challenging and compelling referrals from not-for-profits, local Aboriginal Land Councils and individuals. The pro bono advice given comes from all practice areas of the firm.
  • Hall & Wilcox lawyers regularly attend the Seniors Rights Service clinic to provide legal advice to older people in NSW. Common areas of advice include consumer issues (debt management, unfair contracts), human rights (elder abuse including financial, discrimination), planning ahead (wills, power of attorney, guardianship) and accommodation issues.
  • Hall & Wilcox has been the primary legal advisor for over five years in connection with the establishment of Australia’s first Pride Centre, the Victorian Pride Centre. This has involved our full-service team assisting with organisational and governance structuring, financing, site selection, construction, leasing and sponsorship/partnerships.
  • Our people volunteer monthly on the Australian Centre for Disability Law telephone advice line.
  • We provide motor vehicle specialist assistance at the MVA clinic, which is run by the Marrickville Legal Centre.
  • Our lawyers provide advice at the Homeless Persons’ legal clinics in Sydney and Raymond Terrace in partnership with the Public Interest Advocacy Centre. Our lawyers in Melbourne also provide advice through the newly established Homeless Law service in partnership with Justice Connect.
  • Hall & Wilcox assists clients with self-representation services in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, helping people tackle bankruptcy, employment, administrative law and human rights matters in the various Courts.
  • We assist workers who have been subjected to wage theft, sham contracting and discrimination through our partnerships with Marrickville Legal Centre and the Fitzroy Legal Service.
  • Our people volunteer on the Queensland Advocacy Inc. telephone advice line, advising on guardianship, administration and mental health legal matters.
  • We have provided a secondee lawyer to Mirrabooka Community Legal Centre to advise clients on minor civil, debt and restraining order matters.
  • Our people appear as Respondent Duty Lawyers in the Magistrates Court for restraining order matters in Western Australia.
  • We are currently supporting the Older People’s Rights Service, a multidisciplinary program offering advice to those experiencing Elder Abuse perpetrated by people of trust.
  • Hall & Wilcox is assisting Indigenous victims of institutional abuse by working with knowmore to prepare legally valid Wills.
  • We regularly contribute to law reform initiatives on issues of the public interest.
  • We provide lawyers on secondment to our community legal centre partners to promote access to justice in our communities by assisting vulnerable groups, such as asylum seekers and those going through the Queensland Mental Health Tribunal process.
  • Hall & Wilcox exceeded the national target of 35 hours of pro bono work per lawyer in the 2020-2021 financial year and we look forward to continuing to do so.

Key contact

Nathan is an experienced insurance litigator with over 18 years' experience advising insurers on workers compensation, CTP and liability claims.

More about Nathan