Pro bono plumbers and decorators remain elusive, yet lawyers still get scant credit for the hours they spend toiling away gratis. None more so, it would seem, than those altruistic Stakhanovites at Bates Wells Braithwaite, who clocked an astonishing 244.2 hours each in 2015/16.
That’s four times more than anybody else, according to this year’s Trustlaw pro bono index– a prodigious effort that helped push up the annual average for all firms.
Just what we want in these febrile times – a rare, uplifting news story!
But hold on: 244 hours? That’s seven working weeks. Really? Have they taken holy orders?
Alas, alas. A quick call to Thomson Reuters revealed that it was indeed all too good to be true; a misplaced decimal point the culprit. BWB fee-earners actually managed 24.42 hours. Admirable, but it brought the average crashing back down to below 2014/15.
Not such an uplifting story after all.