Pro bono

We consider pro bono legal work to be a vital part of our cultural make-up and community spirit and a real opportunity for our lawyers to give back to those in need.

What kind of pro bono work do we do?

We have a strong commitment to the provision of pro bono legal services to those who could not otherwise afford legal representation or assistance.

We have a long history of engaging in pro bono activities and providing pro bono legal services. Our work is focused around supporting disadvantaged or marginalised people who cannot afford legal services; non-profit organisations that work for the public good and/or on behalf of members of the community who are disadvantaged or marginalised; and public interest matters of broad public or community concern that would not otherwise be pursued.

We also maintain a strong commitment to community legal centres through the provision of volunteer lawyers to staff legal clinics focused on supporting marginalised people.

We are a signatory to the Australian Pro Bono Centre’s National Pro Bono Aspirational Target of 35 pro bono hours per FTE lawyer. We are committed to this Target and to growing our pro bono commitment each year.

How can I get more information?

For more information on pro bono at Norton Rose Fulbright in Australia please email our pro bono practice or phone 1800 780 811.

Wayside Chapel

Every Monday, our staff of all ages, experience and background take turns to staff Wayside Chapel’s pro bono Homeless Persons’ Legal Service clinic in Potts Point. The Homeless Persons Legal Service (HPLS) is a joint initiative with the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) and various law firms throughout Sydney.

Wayside Chapel has been providing support to people on and around the streets of Sydney’s Kings Cross since 1964. The legal clinic is one of the many services Wayside Chapel provides to support people in the community, including young people, the homeless, the elderly, victims of domestic violence, abuse and substance addictions and people with mental illnesses. Established in 2007, the legal clinic at Wayside Chapel has evolved into an integral part of our pro bono activities. Each week our solicitors dispense legal advice to Sydney’s homeless and individuals who cannot afford legal advice, in a familiar and safe place, free of charge.

In the past 18 months, we have assisted more than 100 clients, a number of them with continuing claims involving complex legal issues and at times litigation. In turn, the experience brings exposure to diverse areas of law to the staff who are able to help.

As well as the weekly clinic, we take on pro bono matters for clients who have been referred through HPLS. Some of the highlights of the past year have included:

  • Acting for a man who is legally blind and who had consequently lost his train ticket, to successfully overturn a $200 fine imposed by the State Rail Authority for travelling without a ticket;
  • Assisting a client when a telecommunications company withdrew $1500 from his bank account without his authority. The funds were subsequently repaid;
  • Assisting a homeless man to recover lost wages;
  • Providing advice to beneficiaries under wills and assisting them to access their entitlement;
  • Assisting clients obtain identity documents;
  • Assisting clients to access early release of superannuation on the grounds of financial hardship;
  • Successfully making applications for AVOs;
  • Acting for a number of individuals with significant fines with the State Debt Recovery Office to attempt to have these fines written off; and
  • Acting for a number of clients with claims for victim’s compensation.