Pro bono pressure
My comments on complaints and the pressures of regulation seem to have hit the mark. Thank you for your responses. Strangely no one has written to say ‘let's have more regulation, audits, and KPIs’ or ‘let's make the complaints regime more onerous for us’. I don’t think that is because solicitors want to lower standards but simply because we are struggling. For years those of us on the high street have had to do better and better work for less and less money.
I have, though, thought of an idea to make money. Fine everyone £1 every time they say the words ‘pro bono’. If you think that is fanciful - my first idea was that everyone who says the words ‘pro bono’ should be boiled in their own juices and have a notice attached to them. I have no problems about large firms that can afford it having pro bono departments, and I genuinely admire people who give up time to help others. I have nothing against it in principle. All firms do work for nothing and have always done so and long may it continue.
It is the idea that it is regulated and forced on us that concerns me. Presumably we will all have to keep logs of what pro bono we have done, why, who for, the backgrounds of the recipients and provide examples, and have a written policy which is reviewed every six months. Even worse is the idea that it is the saviour. All that it really does is perpetuate the notion that we are all rich.
There, I owe myself £4 (£5 including the headline).
David Pickup is a partner at Aylesbury-based Pickup & Scott