On 21 November 2023, PILnet held a very special edition of the Hong Kong Pro Bono Roundtable, as part of Hong Kong’s first ever Pro Bono Week! Hosted by Allen & Overy and moderated by PILnet’s Co-Executive Director, Julia Mayerhofer. The Roundtable assembled a group of Hong Kong lawyers involved in pro bono to discuss how to start and grow a pro bono practice: Catherine Husted from Allen & Overy, Alfred Ip from Hugill & Ip Solicitors, Makiko Harunari from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, and Francis Chung from Rede Chambers.

Given the diversity of the speakers, the audience was able to understand what a pro bono practice looks like from various perspectives: an international firm, a local firm, a firm with a recently-launched practice, and a barrister. They discussed the administration of pro bono work, sources of pro bono matters, and thematic priorities under different models; and each speaker offered helpful suggestions on how to maintain relationships with the NGO community, and build interests in pro bono within their firms/chambers. Finally, they also emphasized the importance of pro bono collaboration across the legal community – and this very Roundtable is definitely a great starting point for that.