Twelve chambers recognised for charity contributions

24 March 2015

Twelve chambers have received the Friends in Law special award in recognition of their generous support to both the Bar Pro Bono Unit (BPBU) and Free Representation Unit (FRU). 

Friends in Law is a joint initiative between the FRU and the BPBU that recognises the financial contributions made by chambers to both organisations, neither of whom receive government funding and therefore rely solely on donations of the legal profession in order to continue their important work. 

At a special ceremony this week at the Bar Council's headquarters, chairman of the Bar, Alistair MacDonald QC, presented the eleven chambers with their awards. 

Of their vital role in supporting the two charities, the Chairman said: "Now more than ever, at a time when access to justice is so limited, the FRU and BPBU have critical roles to play in providing a valuable service to people who would otherwise have to represent themselves in courts or tribunals.  These financial contributions sit alongside a significant amount of pro bono hours generously undertaken by many barristers within these sets. Without this support from chambers to these two charities, many people risk being completely locked out of the justice system when they need it most." 

2015 is the sixth year that the scheme has been in operation. Joining the Chairman of the Bar at the presentation was Simon Lawson, chief executive officer at FRU as well as representatives from the BPBU. 

In alphabetical/numerical order, this year's Friends are: 

One Crown Office Row 

One Essex Court (Chambers of Lord Grabiner QC) 

5RB 

11KBW 

12King's Bench Walk 

20 Essex Street 

39 Essex Chambers 

Blackstone

Brick Court 

Cloisters 

Serjeants' Inn 

South Square 

Additionally, One Crown Office Row, 5RB, 11KBW, One Essex Court (Chambers of Lord Grabiner QC) and South Square have been conferred with special Platinum Friends in Law Awards to signify their significant financial contributions to both charities.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

1. Further information is available from the Bar Council Press Office on 020 7222 2525 and Press@BarCouncil.org.uk.

2. The  Bar Council represents barristers in England and Wales. It promotes:

  • The Bar's high quality specialist advocacy and advisory services

  • Fair access to justice for all

  • The highest standards of ethics, equality and diversity across the profession, and

  • The development of business opportunities for barristers at home and abroad.

The General Council of the Bar is the Approved Regulator of the Bar of England and Wales. It discharges its regulatory functions through the independent Bar Standards Board