Please see below a message from the Bar Pro Bono Unit, which you may wish to bear in mind when completing the ATP process this month.

We are now in the Authorisation to Practice (AtP) period and you have the opportunity to donate £30 to the Bar Pro Bono Unit. In 2016 over 50% of the Bar donated to the Unit. This optional donation was only introduced four years ago and it is testament to the Bar’s commitment to pro bono work that over half of all barristers make this contribution. This simple and convenient donation option results in a significant portion of the Bar Pro Bono Unit’s funding.

The £30 initiative has meant that over four years the Unit has facilitated the Bar to: provide advice and or representation on 3,849 pieces of work; help 1,521 people; set up four major duty schemes: Rolls Building, Central London Family Court, Central London Employment Tribunal and Court of Appeal; and collaborate with multiple front line agencies to support litigants in person.

It has also meant that internally the Unit could: hire two new caseworkers; implement a comprehensive database to support better working; upgrade its IT hardware; streamline processes; and begin to digitise its services.

To continue this work in 2017 we invite you to remember the Unit when you renew your practising certificate, and if your chambers renews on your behalf please let them know that you wish to donate to the Unit. All at the Unit are so grateful for your support, and on behalf of all those who secure access to justice through the Unit, thank you. In the words of Ibi, a 2016 applicant, “My pro bono barrister gave me the voice I desperately needed.