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The National Pro Bono Centre houses the profession’s national clearing houses for legal pro bono work delivered in England and Wales: the Bar Pro Bono Unit, LawWorks (the Solicitors’ Pro Bono Group) and the CILEx Pro Bono Trust (CILEx PBT) alongside six other legal charities. The Centre is designed to be a “hub” for pro bono charities in the sector and will support the wide range of pro bono projects and brokerage which the charities support, helping individuals and community groups all over England and Wales. This has led to other charities joining the Centre: The Access to Justice Foundation, the London Legal Support Trust, Centre for Criminal Appeals, Pro Bono Community, PILnet and TalkingWorks.
The coming together of the three branches of the profession in this way is an unprecedented move. It will improve joined-up thinking, co-ordination, collaborative working and a more efficient service to all stakeholders in pro bono – members of the public, and the lawyers and voluntary sector agencies serving the public. The new offices provide a central resource for people seeking pro bono legal advice and representation, making it easier for people in need to seek and receive help.