London Pro Bono

The firm’s commitment to pro bono work is global, spanning all offices and all levels. The London office invests considerable resources in understanding the needs of the community in which it operates, employing a qualified lawyer as a pro bono manager to lead the development of suitable pro bono activities. Although pro bono work is not compulsory, Debevoise strongly encourages lawyers joining the firm to assist those who are unable to afford access to high quality legal advice.

Your exposure to pro bono work begins as soon as you join the London office, when you receive guidance and encouragement from the head of the London Pro Bono Committee and Pro Bono Manager to help identify opportunities suitable for your skills and level. The firm provides on-going support when you take on pro bono matters, treating each matter as equivalent to billable work.

Trainee solicitors are exposed to a range of pro bono work during their training contract. In addition to working on your supervisor’s own pro bono caseload, trainees attend the UnLtd social enterprise and Hackney consumer advice clinics with lawyers from across the firm. Pro bono work allows trainees to develop hard and soft skills throughout their training contract. Pro bono work also provides additional opportunities for you to develop work relationships with associates, counsel and partners outside the department you are assigned to, assisting your integration into the firm at an early stage.

Associates work with the Pro Bono Manager to identify suitable opportunities for their skills and capacity. Some pro bono matters may see you join a team, gaining expertise under the guidance of a senior lawyer, or sharing your own expertise with colleagues. Others may be individual, allowing you to develop and maintain client relationships over an extended period of time with some of Debevoise’s most longstanding pro bono clients.

Transactional partners and counsel attend both the UnLtd and Hackney clinics, take on a range of pro bono matters and supervise the casework of others. Litigation partners and counsel are equally active, both supervising associates and acting as advocates at domestic and international level.

If you’d like to learn more about the pro bono programme in Debevoise’s London office, please contact the firm’s pro bono manager on

"One of the deciding factors in my decision to join Debevoise was its commitment to pro bono and its pro bono practice. Pro bono has been part of my legal practice ever since I was a junior barrister and I wanted to work in a firm that would ensure this continued."

—Lord Goldsmith QC, London Co-Managing Partner