Colin Biggers & Paisley has launched its community practice, the Colin Biggers & Paisley Foundation, with initial seed funding of $500,000. The Colin Biggers & Paisley Foundation is comprised of three streams: pro bono legal services, volunteering and charitable contributions.
The Colin Biggers & Paisley Foundation aims to promote and protect the rights of women, children and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and will give priority to requests in these categories. However, all requests for pro bono legal services, professional and general volunteering, community project assistance and in-kind support will be considered and, where possible, placed within the firm.
Managing partner Dunstan de Souza said: "This is a very proud and historic moment for the firm. We appreciate that companies can, and must, do their part to make a meaningful contribution to the community. The Colin Biggers & Paisley Foundation is our way of supporting the communities in which we operate. All of our partners and staff stand behind this initiative."
To encourage and support staff in their work with the Colin Biggers & Paisley Foundation, the firm proposes that:
- all staff are entitled to two days of volunteering leave per year
- all lawyers receive credit for up to 50 pro bono hours per year
- lawyers can receive fee credit for major pro bono matters from a special pro bono pool which has been set at $380,000
"We have the ability to help disenfranchised and disadvantaged people in our community," said Daniel Creasey, Director of Pro Bono and Responsible Business. "We can make the justice system work for individuals who have nothing more to give than their thanks. We can defend them and protect what is rightfully theirs. We can give them a voice. The Colin Biggers & Paisley Foundation is our means of supporting communities in need."
Pro bono legal services and advocacy are at the core of the Colin Biggers & Paisley Foundation. The services it offers include advice, specialised legal clinics, legal research, policy analysis, parliamentary submissions, secondments, legal education, legal skills workshops, strategic litigation and advocacy. The Colin Biggers & Paisley Foundation will also provide professional and general volunteering, in-kind support, fundraising, internships and placements, awareness raising, mentoring and capacity building, staff contributions and corporate donations.