ACC HK opens door on pro bono policy

Association of Corporate Counsel Hong Kong (ACC HK) Amin Kassam Julia Mayerhofer Davyd Wong Katherine Henzell
Clockwise from top left: Amin Kassam, Julia Mayerhofer, Davyd Wong, Katherine Henzell

The Association of Corporate Counsel Hong Kong (ACC HK) conducted a webinar on 24 March on the current opportunities for in-house counsel to do pro bono work and the issues they need to consider before starting. The event explored Hong Kong’s current legal regulatory regime, limitations, alternative arrangements and the practical challenges for in-house counsel to do local pro bono work.

The speakers included: Davyd Wong, director of ACC HK and founder of a local charity Pro Bono HK; Julia Mayerhofer, executive director of global non-governmental organisation PILNet Hong Kong; and Katherine Henzell, a specialist legal counsel for the Global Banking unit of UBS Investment Bank in Hong Kong, who started a pro bono programme at the bank. The webinar was moderated by Amin Kassam, head of Bloomberg’s legal department, Asia Pacific.

“It is important and very helpful to have a pro bono programme policy for your organisation,” said Wong. “Having a written policy helps you concentrate on where to start and promotes future sustainability because it helps you communicate with the stakeholders exactly what your programme is about.”

Building on the information in ACC HK’s “Pro Bono Legal Work In Hong Kong – Guide For In-House Counsel”, which provides a full guide to how in-house counsel can get involved in pro bono services in this jurisdiction, the specialist panel also shared some success stories from in-house lawyers who have been able to build programmes in their organisations and highlighted the currently available resources to be aware of.