- New pro bono requirements will apply to all law firms who undertake legal services for government departments and agencies
- Law firms who undertake legal services for Government must subscribe to the National Pro Bono Target, and provide pro bono legal services in WA to the value of at least 10 per cent of the value of their State Government legal work
- Pro bono requirement will take effect from July 1, 2020
The McGowan Labor Government is pleased to announce the introduction of a Pro Bono Model, which will further enhance access to justice for all Western Australians.
The new pro bono requirements will apply to all law firms who undertake legal services for government departments and agencies from July 1, 2020.
Under the WA Pro Bono Model, law firms who undertake legal services for the State Government must subscribe to the National Pro Bono Target - a voluntary and aspirational target of at least 35 hours of pro bono services per lawyer per year.
In addition, law firms will be required to undertake pro bono services for 'approved causes' - which include the provision of legal services for individuals - for at least 10 per cent of the value of its Government legal work, and report annually on the total fee charged to Government and the types of pro bono services delivered.
The WA Pro Bono Model builds on the national approach, but takes it one step further - with its specific focus on individuals.
Comments attributed to Attorney General John Quigley:
"Pro bono services are an adjunct to, and never a substitute for, publicly funded legal aid and do not replace the responsibilities of State and national governments to provide legal assistance.
"The WA Pro Bono Model will focus on helping individuals from disadvantaged and marginalised backgrounds secure access to justice. It will improve access to justice for those in greatest hardship.
"Of course, law firms have been providing pro bono services for a very long time. We are fortunate here in Western Australia to have so many outstanding individuals, not-for-profit organisations and law firms providing pro bono legal assistance to members of our community.
"I would like to acknowledge and thank the many law firms, Community Legal Centres, Law Access, Law Society and the Aboriginal Legal Service for their contribution to the development of the WA Pro Bono Model."
Attorney General's office - 6552 6800