HSBC's Involvement in the Access to Justice Scheme
In House Pro Bono Stories
We sat down with Tessa Svennevik, Chair of the Global Legal Volunteering Committee at HSBC, and Jane Blackwood, Lead for Global Pro Bono Communications at HSBC, to learn about their involvement in the Access to Justice Scheme.
Tell us about a pro bono initiative that you are involved in
We are proud of our longstanding involvement with the Access to Justice scheme, which is done in partnership with Simmons & Simmons. We have been participating in this scheme since 2016. The scheme involves lawyers representing clients who are appealing decisions of the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) in respect of disability benefits.
What do lawyers gain from participating?
The work involves interviewing the client, gathering medical evidence, preparing submissions for the tribunal, and representing the client in person or online at the appeal hearing.
The scheme has a 98% success rate and is a hugely rewarding pro bono initiative to be involved in. Volunteer lawyers gain critical thinking, legal research, case management, and advocacy skills.
What made this particular project successful in your view?
From an HSBC point of view, we consider the project is successful because lawyers move out of their comfort zones and away from what they do on a day-to-day basis. We are very grateful to Diane Sechi of Simmons & Simmons, who facilitates our involvement and drives this scheme with enormous enthusiasm, knowledge and skill.