Gowling WLG makes five-year $125,000 commitment to Pro Bono Ontario and access to justice

23 October 2019

Gowling WLG is pleased to announce that it has made a five-year $125,000 commitment to Pro Bono Ontario (PBO), kicking off the charity’s #InvestInJustice campaign and illustrating the firm’s unwavering dedication to access to justice initiatives across the province.

Founded in 2001, PBO is an essential charitable organization that seeks to increase access to justice for low-income Ontarians by helping them resolve their civil, non-family legal problems at no cost. Funds raised through #InvestInJustice will help ensure that PBO has the resources it requires to continue to deliver direct, pro bono legal services to Ontario’s most vulnerable citizens.

“PBO’s vital role in protecting and promoting access to justice cannot be overstated. Its province-wide services make an absolutely critical difference in the lives of people who lack the means to pay for legal advice,” said Peter Lukasiewicz, CEO of Gowling WLG Canada. “We are hopeful that our five-year financial commitment will help PBO continue to advance its important mission – and that other large law firms will follow our lead and make similar contributions.”

Gowling WLG has been a staunch supporter of PBO for the past 15 years. The firm’s professionals routinely donate time and expertise to such PBO programs as its court-based help centres for unrepresented litigants, its medical-legal partnerships with the province’s hospitals, and its recently established free legal advice hotline, which provides just-in-time assistance for people looking to address everyday legal issues over the phone before they escalate.

So far this year, Gowling WLG lawyers have answered hundreds of hotline calls alongside the in-house counsel teams of various key clients, including large power operators and major financial institutions.

“PBO cannot survive without leadership from the profession,” added Lynn Burns, executive director of PBO. “Through its generous gift of time and money, Gowling WLG exemplifies the commitment all law firms should have to access to justice. We are grateful for their support.”

Pro bono work has always been an integral part of Gowling WLG’s culture. Through the firm’s national pro bono program, legal professionals give their time, expertise and resources to a diverse range of cases and causes. Last year, some 303 lawyers and agents donated 5,380 hours of time equivalent to $2.1 million in legal fees.