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Firms offer pro bono advice to social enterprises

Firms offer pro bono advice to social enterprises

Law firms are getting involved in a government-run pro bono initiative designed to connect social sector organisations with expert advice from professional services.

The NSW Government’s Social Impact Investment initiative launched pro bono scheme Expert Advice Exchange (EAX) earlier this year and 18 law firms have already signed up.

Firms that participate commit themselves to a certain amount of pro bono work, which they will provide to a range of eligible non-profits and social enterprises.

Since EAX was launched, 40 organisations have received advice from law firms, professional services firms and financial institutions, and a second round of organisations are being admitted to the program in September.

One firm that is involved in EAX is Allion Legal. The firm's principal Stephen Byrne and Isabelle Whelan, one of the firm's solicitors, are both part of the scheme.

“We are excited to be able to support non-government organisations and social enterprises who often rely on volunteers, and which will benefit from the level of legal knowledge and experience we have at Allion,” Mr Byrne said.

“In our day-to-day work we advise organisations on contracts, funding, project management, regulatory and governance matters and workplace and safety law, and we believe that expertise can be of benefit to NGOs and social enterprises, as the EAX envisages,” he added.

The 18 law firms involved are Allen & Overy, Allion Legal, Ashurst, Baker & McKenzie, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, DibbsBarker, Henry Davis York, Holding Redlich, K & L Gates, Kemp Strang, King & Wood Mallesons, Mayweathers, Minter Ellison, Norton Rose Fulbright, Prolegis, PWC, Thomson Geer and TressCox Lawyers.

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