Peter Aldous commends the work of Advocate, formerly the Bar pro bono unit, for its work on advising constituents and promotes Pro Bono Week in November.
7. What steps he has taken to encourage legal professionals to undertake pro bono work in the last 12 months. 
May I start by acknowledging the work of my hon. and learned Friend the Member for South Swindon (Robert Buckland), my predecessor in this role? I wish him well in his new post in the Ministry of Justice.
I would also like to acknowledge the tremendous work that legal professionals up and down the country do for free every day to help people who are in need and require legal support. The Attorney General and I are the Government’s pro bono champions—I am delighted to take up that role. Earlier this month the Attorney General’s pro bono committee met and discussed how the Attorney General’s Office can help to raise awareness of pro bono work, and I am greatly looking forward to building on this work.
I thank the Bar pro bono unit for its work advising constituents who have found themselves in some very difficult situations. The unit is being rebranded as Advocate, and it would be great if the Minister could support Pro Bono Week in November and encourage MPs and their caseworkers to make referrals as early as possible.
I am pleased that my hon. Friend has mentioned the work of Advocate, which used to be called the Bar pro bono unit. As a barrister, I was pleased to volunteer for the unit. In fact, more than 3,500 barristers are now registered as volunteers for Advocate and, like my hon. Friend, I would encourage Members to refer cases to it. I do so as a constituency MP. I know that Advocate, among others, is involved in the planning of this year’s Pro Bono Week, which will commence on 4 November.
View Waveney in a larger map