I read the Gazette front page of 8 November, ‘Pro bono hours dip as funding cuts loom’, with interest and, as an old-fashioned professional, a degree of concern. I do some pro bono even in my tiny firm but it did provoke a question. In the modern competitive world where many professionals, including solicitors, are at the lower end of the qualified pay scale, why should we ever work for nothing?

Underground train drivers earn about twice as much as me these days with a secure pension I cannot afford. Do they ever drive a few trains for free for the public good? BBC executives who make a real mess of things do not do anything for nothing and go to their next sinecure with a £450,000 handshake. Are we being daft bothering with pro bono in the modern world? Who actually gives us credit for it? I never see anything in the media.

Peter Mason-Apps, Mason-Apps Smallmans & Co, Maidenhead