Chambers Social Responsibility
As members of chambers are self-employed individuals, many charitable and other good causes are supported on an individual rather than a collective basis. However this page seeks to highlight some of the areas where there is significant involvement from members of chambers and members of staff.
Areas which have drawn particularly strong support from chambers over the years have been the promotion of social mobility in the legal profession, and free (pro bono) representation of litigants.
Social Mobility Foundation
The Social Mobility Foundation “exists to support high-achieving young people from low-income backgrounds into the top universities and professions. We do this by providing a holistic programme of support encompassing internships, mentoring, university application support and skills development to students predicted to achieve ABB or above at A-Level who have been eligible for Free School Meals”
The Foundation provides support for students wishing to consider careers in different areas. The Bar hosts a week long summer placement scheme which matches aspiring legal students to a set of chambers. Each year members of chambers host one or more students in chambers during the Bar’s summer scheme.
Cystic Fibrosis Trust
The Cystic Fibrosis Trust is a charity which is working towards a brighter future for all those with cystic fibrosis, the UK’s most common inherited fatal disease, by funding cutting-edge research and driving up standards of care. They also support people with the condition and their loved ones.
Young Persons Project
Each year a group of members of chambers supports the Young Persons Project which is an outreach project run by students from Van Mildert College at Durham University. The beneficiaries are local children in the North East from less privileged backgrounds. The aim is to encourage those children to consider higher education as an achievable and attractive aim. It works primarily through confidence building exercises which focus on public speaking, creativity, leadership and teamwork. Examples include a Dragons Den day, a Murder Mystery Night, a trip to an outdoor activity centre, a formal dinner and a silent disco.
KidsOut is a charity which aims to bring fun and happiness to the lives of disadvantaged children across the UK. Whether they have escaped domestic violence or live daily in poverty, KidsOut provides these children with memories to cherish.
Bar Pro Bono Unit
The Bar Pro Bono Unit is a charity which helps to find pro bono (free) legal assistance from volunteer barristers. The assistance can cover advice and/or representation at mediation or hearings. Pro bono assistance is only available to those who cannot afford to pay and who cannot obtain public funding.
Through voluntary contributions from members, Chambers has agreed to make a significant annual contribution to the funding of the Unit.
Additionally, on an individual basis, members of chambers have provided legal assistance through the Unit.
Personal Insolvency Litigation Advice and Representation Scheme (PILARS)
PILARS was founded in June 2006 to pair up barristers specialising in insolvency work with unrepresented litigants facing creditors’ petitions in the High Court. Since 2006 the service has expanded to providing training to various front-line pro bono organisations and to providing a “helpline” for those organisations to seek advice from specialist counsel. The Scheme is administered by the Bar pro Bono Unit. Helen Evans of chambers was a founder member of the Scheme.
Pro Bono Representation at Inquests
David Turner QC has acted in several inquests for the families of service personnel killed in Afghanistan. These include acting for the widow of a soldier who died after a training incident.
Walking With the Wounded
Walking With The Wounded is a UK based charity which:
“funds both the re-training and re-education of wounded servicemen and women with the aim of helping them find long term employment after they have left the Armed Forces.”
The Charity stages extreme expeditions such as:
- the record breaking progress of injured servicemen to the North Pole (accompanied for the first few days by HRH Prince Harry, who is the Charity’s Patron);
- the (ultimately unsuccessful) attempt to climb Everest;
- the successful scaling of Mt Denali in Alaska, in which the two summiteers have two operational arms between them;
- a race to the South Pole;
- carrying the match ball for a Lions v Wallabies test match from Melbourne to Sydney on bicycles. The team of cyclists included ex British & Irish Lions (Winterbottom, Teague, Utlley, Howe) as well as former Australian players (Poedevin, Waught, Heath, Cockbain).
Chambers is proud to have hosted a presentation attended by founders of the Charity and a number of the team members who have taken part in or will be taking part in expeditions.