New Panel To Strengthen Pro Bono Contributions And Support Gender Equality

Attorney-General Martin Pakula today announced the new Victorian Government Legal Services Panel will include a minimum pro bono contribution from participating private law firms of 10 per cent (up from 5 per cent).

The new Panel will strengthen pro bono legal services, support gender equality in the legal profession, and provide new opportunities for small and medium law firms across Victoria

Panel firms will be required to regularly report on their briefing of female barristers, comply with the Victorian Bar’s Equal Opportunity Briefing Policy, and report on their equal opportunity arrangements in the workplace.

The Panel will also provide opportunities for small and medium-sized Victorian law firms to provide services in single areas of law in which they have particular expertise.

Arrangements for the panel will be for a fixed term of three years and four months.

The Request for Tender was released today, with the new panel to begin on 1 March 2016. Tenders close at 2:00pm on 30 July 2015.

Quotes attributable to Attorney-General, Martin Pakula

“Our Community Legal Centres, who help so many disadvantaged Victorians access the justice system, will be among the major beneficiaries of the new pro bono requirements.”

“Firms participating in the new panel will also be required to regularly report on gender equality in the workplace, including how regularly they brief female barristers.”

“The new Panel will make it easier for small and medium law firms, and firms in regional Victoria, to tender for work.”