We support our communities not only through financial support and volunteering but also by offering our legal expertise. As part of our Corporate Responsibility (CR) Policy we have taken on a number of projects that we have supported by providing pro bono (free) legal advice. In 2019/20 our employees devoted over 1,100 hours of volunteering and pro bono work to CR projects and not for profit businesses/charities.
For example we have provided pro bono (free) legal advice to:
- Unite Students – we provided free advice and support to Unite Students in relation to a free, 2-year lease of office space to a multi-agency project run by Bristol City Council designed to deal with street-based anti-social behaviour. The scheme aims to refer people to support allowing the immediate tackling of the causes behind abusive behaviour on the streets of Bristol.
- Sunshine & Smiles and Café 21 – specialist real estate lawyers provided Sunshine & Smiles with free legal advice on a lease for their new café development, Café 21.
- Children’s Heart Surgery Fund – Walker Morris has provided pro bono advice and support to Children’s Heart Surgery Fund (CHSF) to enable CHSF to move to a new city centre location near to the Leeds General Infirmary.
- Emmaus Potteries – specialist Real Estate lawyers at Walker Morris provided free legal advice to Emmaus, a charity that supports people who have experienced homelessness. The Team assisted Emmaus Potteries with the real estate aspects of its acquisition of the assets of Furniture Mine, a recycling charity based in Staffordshire, with assets that included the charity’s main warehouse store in Stoke-on-Trent.
- Ilkley Community Enterprise Limited – the Real Estate Team put in place a pro bono lease of a property in Ilkley for a Trustee of the Ilkley Community Enterprise Limited.
- Sports Resolutions Pro Bono Panel – the Walker Morris Sports Team has been accepted onto the Sports Resolutions Pro Bono Panel. The panel service was created to provide a safety net for unrepresented athletes, coaches, team officials and individuals who do not have the means to fund their own representation.
- Holbeck Elderly Aid (HEA) – Planning specialists from Walker Morris have provided free advice and support to the South Leeds based charity, HEA. Planning permission was recently secured for the new HEA offices at the Old Picturehouse in the centre of Holbeck, which were opened on Friday 20 January 2017 by the charity’s Patron, the Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP.
- The Growing Zone – providing pro bono regulatory support to local allotment garden project, the Growing Zone. The team drafted waivers and visitor sign in sheets for the Growing Zone, helping the project to deliver its services to the wider community. The aim of the Growing Zone project is to bring together people of all ages and abilities in a safe environment where they are able to learn from each other, build their confidence and be taught about the land, growing vegetables, flowers and fruit whilst being out in the fresh air having fun.
- Ilkley Community Enterprise Limited – providing pro bono corporate support to local charity, Ilkley Community Enterprise Limited (ICE), on its acquisition of Carers and Companions Limited, which enabled the charity to expand its services to people within it’s local region. ICE is a charity rooted in the local community, which provides help and support to adults and young people with learning disabilities, to enable them to lead more independent and fulfilled lives. The Charity runs a number of community projects including Outside the Box Café in Ilkley, which was recently voted the best hospitality business in Ilkley, and The Arthouse, which provides courses in arts, craft, music, drama and photography for people with learning disabilities. We have subsequently provided them with real estate advice on a pro bono basis.
- Yorkshire Man of Steel – provided pro bono legal advice as part of the Team of Steel supporting the construction of the Yorkshire Man of Steel.
- Beeston Broncos Junior Rugby League Club – provided pro-bono support to local junior rugby league club, the Beeston Broncos, on their entry into a licence to use council changing rooms.
- The Haven – to help the cancer care Charity complete on the acquisition of a long lease for their premises at The Gateway in Leeds. As a result, The Haven will make significant savings in their monthly outgoings, which they estimated would enable them to treat three additional women each month.
- NSPCC – as part of our ongoing support for the NSPCC we have provided pro bono commercial legal advice.
- Shine – our lawyers provided pro bono finance advice to SHINE – a community interest company owned, inspirational meeting space in Leeds, offering conference, event, meeting rooms, cafe, gallery, office & hot-desking space.