A directory to fund pro bono work in the UK is due to go live in March, as part of the Commercial Court’s 125th birthday celebration. 

The service provider directory will be aimed at litigation lawyers and list different legal recruiters, litigation funders, consultants and translators, among other professionals. Service providers will have the option to sponsor the directory  – thus gaining more space for their logo and contact details  – with sponsorship money going to the National Pro Bono Centre. 

The initiative, which is backed by more than 100 commercial litigation firms, the Commercial Bar Association, the GC100 and Commercial Court judges, will be formally announced at a reception event at the Royal Courts of Justice on March 26. 

Mr Justice Robin Knowles, judge of the Commercial Court and trustee of the National Pro Bono Centre said: ‘This important initiative sees our commercial law firms, the general counsel of our major companies, and our commercial bar all working together to support the new National Pro Bono Centre. It is a show of leadership to which I pay tribute. This active, practical, support for the legal system as a whole, and specifically for access to justice, is a welcome part of the celebrations of 125 years of our Commercial Court.’ 

Sir robin knowles qc

Mr Justice Robin Knowles

Hilton Mervis, head of commercial dispute resolution for Europe at global firm Arnold & Porter, added that the directory is a ‘a game changer’ and will be ‘hugely useful’ for the litigation community. 

The Commercial Court’s 125th anniversary will also be marked with a display in the Rolls Building commemorating the court’s history, a mock trial to encourage a diverse range of students to enter commercial law and a number of other celebratory events.