11 Indian law firms ponder ‘long overdue’ pro bono start with new UK tech NGO

Eleven law firms, including six of India’s largest, Ashoka and the UK’s former attorney general Lord Peter Goldsmith QC have discussed how to develop a pro bono culture in Indian law firms as i-Probono, a UK not-for-profit and online portal seeking to connect lawyers to social sector projects, will launch in India to encourage law firms to do that which is “long overdue”.

At the 29 July event in Delhi 11 Indian law firms, Goldsmith, and co-organisers i-Probono and social entrepreneur supporting organisation Ashoka discussed for two hours the challenges and ambitions of implementing pro bono programmes.

i-Probono was started two years ago in the UK, is backed by several law firms and connects non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that require legal support on projects, which can then be accepted online by law firms.

i-Probono executive director Shireen Irani, who founded the organisation with the support of her firm Field Fisher Waterhouse where she was a solicitor, says that India was always on the horizon when setting up the organisation, partly as her parents are from Mumbai and she has worked and studied in the country.

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