Members of Chambers are committed to pro bono work, frequently providing legal advice and representation without charge for individuals and organisations who would otherwise be unable to access legal assistance, in all our specialist fields. In addition, Katie Gollop KC and Sebastian Naughton are members of Advocate‘s review panel, considering applications received on a monthly basis. Serjeants’ Inn is shortlisted for Pro Bono Set of the Year at the Advocate Awards 2022 alongside nominations for Mark Harries KC, Olivia Kirkbride and Tom O’Connor for Pro Bono KC of the Year, Young Pro Bono Barrister of the Year and Pro Bono Chambers’ Professional of the Year, respectively.
Since June 2021, seven of our barristers have dedicated at least 25 hours to pro bono work and completed the ‘25 for 25’ Challenge for Advocate:
We accept pro bono instructions through Advocate and other accredited organisations, including pro-bono teams run by solicitors’ firms.
Examples of recent cases we have handled on a pro-bono basis are detailed below:
- representing the first respondent mother in a case involving a serious medical treatment application where declarations were sought that it was lawful and in the best interests of a 19 month old child who sustained a profound neurological injury at birth for ceilings of care to be imposed; including any form of invasive ventilation, escalation of intensive care support or CPR.
- assisting a small human rights charity working towards obtaining civil compensation or alternatively compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority for child victims outside the jurisdiction (in countries such as Cambodia, for example) who are used to make and sell internet pornography which is live streamed across the world, including in the UK;
- representing a doctor in in his successful appeal against conviction for indecent assault;
- appearing for the family of Roger Goswell, who murdered his wife and killed himself while in a disturbed mental state;
- representing the family in an urgent withdrawal of treatment hearing in the High Court;
- representing the claimant in a case concerning unfair dismissal and redundancy;
- acting for a female GP who had qualified overseas in respect of allegations of dishonesty in MPTS proceedings. The allegations were found not proven;
- appearing for two doctors who did not have cover from their medical defence organisations at the GMC’s registration committee;
- acting for an African and Caribbean elderly charity in four-day discrimination proceedings in the Employment Tribunal;
- advising on the question of a claim for unlawful detention under the Mental Health Act;
- representing a doctor originally trained overseas, who after a 19-year career break wished to continue his training in the UK. The Panel decided that his fitness to practice was impaired and on that basis his registration was declined;
- appearing for the claimant in a two-day unfair dismissal and disability discrimination proceedings in the Employment Tribunal; and
- representing a junior doctor accused of dishonesty after she had knowingly continued to practise whilst unregistered. The lapse in the doctor’s registration and her subsequent failure to correct it had occurred during a time when she was suffering domestic abuse from her partner and pressure from a deeply religious family: counsel successfully argued against the charges of dishonesty, leading to a decision which allowed the junior doctor to continue her career unhampered.
Like many other sets and law firms, we participate every year in the London Legal Walk, a fundraising event organised by Advocate.