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Lawyers ‘have a duty’ to better support CLCs

Eidan Havas recently made a sizeable donation to the Toongabbie Legal Centre – and is now encouraging other lawyers to make similar investments in legal aid across the country.

user iconJerome Doraisamy 20 June 2022 SME Law
Eidan Havas
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A short time ago, Eidan Havas (pictured) – principal at Sydney-based First Choice Legal and chief executive of medical cannabis businesses The Entourage Effect and MiDispensary – donated $10,000 (for fundraising purposes) to the Toongabbie Legal Centre, located in north-west Sydney.

The reason? “They don’t get recurring funding for any government body and the work they do is phenomenal,” Mr Havas said.

In conversation with Lawyers Weekly, Mr Havas proclaimed his intention to support the community legal centre, and other community initiatives, as much as he and his businesses can.

 
 

“The work I’ve done with legal aid and the things I learned has put me in a position to become the CEO of a medicinal cannabis wholesaler. I feel blessed for what the law has given me and family,” he mused.

“As a result, I feel it is incumbent on me to give back to my community, in particular CLCs, especially when so many individuals are not able to do so.”

Mr Havas noted that he would ensure that The Entourage Effect sponsors fundraising opportunities for a number of CLCs across the state of NSW, in particular the Toongabbie Legal Centre.

When asked if he feels that more lawyers and law firms across the country should be making similar contributions to community legal efforts – and whether they have a responsibility to do so – he said yes.

“As officers of the court, I believe we have a duty to be supporting CLCs, particular the lawyers who are on the legal aid panel. They should know, more than anyone, the great work CLCs do,” he argued.

“CLCs act pro bono for people who do not qualify for legal aid. What they do, is critical to the fair and proper administration of justice.”

Thankfully, Mr Havas added, lawyers and firms are likely to be more community-minded in a post-pandemic landscape.

“There are people in our community really struggling, financially, emotionally and mentally since the pandemic. We are privileged to be in our profession and as role models, we need to be leading by example and setting a standard for the community to be proud of,” he said.

To those lawyers and firms across the country, Mr Havas stressed that any contribution, to any CLC, “is a great thing”.

“Even a donation of as little as $20 helps,” he noted.

“Go out and support your local CLC. If you don’t have a local CJC, the Toongabbie Legal Centre is a great place to start!”