Bell Gully is a strong supporter of the community - sharing time, skills and financial support with those in need. One way we do this is through our pro bono programme.
Over many years we have made major pro bono contributions to a wide range of individuals and organisations. In 2009, we formalised our pro bono programme which is overseen by a Committee of five partners and two senior associates. Since then, we have won two awards recognising the far-reaching benefits of our pro bono commitment:
As part of our programme, we have established specific criteria to ensure our pro bono work reaches those who need it most, with our focus on enhancing access to justice for those who can't afford to pay for it, and to promote the public interest in cases where an individual or group has no other feasible means of gaining access to the legal system. Our policy provides structure and processes around how we source, manage and promote pro bono work.
Our pro bono work falls into three categories:
If you are seeking pro bono assistance for a matter that meets this criteria and have no other means of legal assistance available, please email our pro bono programme manager Rachel Gowing.
Our pro bono programme in action:
We're nurturing long-term relationships, confident in the knowledge that when we do pro bono work, it's going to the most useful and deserving places. A selection of our pro bono clients are referred to below.
Community law centres
We have built close relationships with the Grey Lynn Neighbourhood Law Office, the Waitakere Community Law Service and Community Law Wellington and Hutt Valley (the CLCs). The CLCs provide a much-valued service to those in the community without the means to pay, assisting with a wide range of issues including employment, consumer credit and tenancy matters. As a substantial component of our pro bono programme, we:
In addition to this, we have logged nearly 750 pro bono hours assisting all 26 of New Zealand's community law centres on two major matters:
We support numerous charitable organisations doing great work in the health sector, including The New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation, Diabetes NZ Auckland, Arthritis NZ, Auckland Regional Charity Hospital and Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand.
Local and global aid organisations
Last year saw the celebration of 125 years of Bell Gully's support of the Salvation Army. Among others, we also support ChildFund New Zealand and Red Cross New Zealand with pro bono legal advice.
We are also pleased to support a number of charitable organisations with a focus on youth support and development. These include Parents Inc. and Plunket.
In addition to supporting the local community through our relationships with the CLCs mentioned above, we also support local community-focused charitable organisations, including Habitat for Humanity and the Ranfurly Trust.
We are pleased to also have a number of environmentally focused pro bono clients, including Project Litefoot and the Environmental Defence Society.
We support a variety of charitable organisations with a cultural focus, including Asia New Zealand Foundation.