In the first half of 2016, the National Pro Bono PI Insurance Scheme insured 72 corporate, government and career-break lawyers to do pro bono legal work – 26% more than in the previous six months. Under the Scheme, these lawyers together with 7 paralegals undertook 69 pro bono projects during this period – an increase of 18% – amounting to 1,440 hours of pro bono legal work.
The period also saw a steady growth in the number of corporate teams undertaking pro bono projects, including in-house lawyers at QBE Insurance Group Ltd, Australia Post, Hewlett-Packard Enterprises, Carnival Australia, and Adelaide and Bendigo Banks Ltd.
The Centre established the Scheme in 2009 to encourage in-house, corporate, government and career-break lawyers to undertake pro bono legal work. The Scheme removes one of the key barriers for lawyers who wish to engage in pro bono legal work – the requirement for professional indemnity insurance.
The Scheme is currently available to lawyers and paralegals in New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia, and the Centre continues to advocate for the expansion of the Scheme to other jurisdictions. The Centre wishes to thank the State and Territory governments and the Law Societies is these jurisdictions, for the steps they have taken to facilitate access to justice.
If you are interested in applying for coverage for a potential Pro Bono Project, please see the National Pro Bono PI Insurance Scheme page on our website. A full list of the Pro Bono Projects currently insured under the Scheme is available on the PI Scheme Register.