Pro Bono at Clayton Utz

Pro Bono is a fundamental part of Clayton Utz.


From the beginning, our Pro Bono work has always been about access to justice. We act for low income and vulnerable people who cannot obtain Legal Aid, and for not-for-profit organisations which support them. Over a quarter-century, we have made pro bono work a part of every lawyer's everyday practice.

We are serious about pro bono best practice. We were the first large Australian law firm to establish a formal pro bono practice; appoint a pro bono partner and pro bono senior associate; and sign the National Pro Bono Target. In 2018 we became one of only three firms in the world to appoint a second pro bono partner. Our dedication to pro bono has helped to shape what it means to be a leading Australian law firm.

In the 25 years since we launched our Pro Bono practice in 1997, we have acted for over 6,000 people as pro bono clients of the firm, and helped thousands of others at external legal clinics. We have advised more than 1,600 not-for-profit organisations. We have provided 815,416 hours of pro bono legal work. We have acted for 622 First Nations people and organisations, and over 2,000 people who were homeless or at risk of homelessness. We have pioneered compensation pathways for people held in slavery in Australia, and championed the Health-Justice Partnership model. We have recovered $11,149,440 in statutory compensation for over 600 survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

The numbers are not the whole story, and cannot show the real difference our work makes to our clients' lives.

FY23 Snapshot

FY23 is the 8th year in a row that Clayton Utz has averaged more than 50 pro bono hours per lawyer. Here is a snapshot of our practice in FY23:

Pro bono infographic FY22

Life-changing Pro Bono work

At the end of 2022, we are sharing just a few of the stories from the pro bono work we do every day at Clayton Utz. We can't tell every story of how we have helped to change lives. The 12 tiles below represent a tiny fraction of our 1,236 pro bono files this year. None of these clients were eligible for Legal Aid's assistance. Without pro bono representation, they would have been on their own. (We have changed the names of the people in our stories).

In 2022, Clayton Utz marked 25 years of our pro bono practice. Our lawyers provided around 45,000 hours of pro bono work this year, with 90% of our lawyers and partners involved.

Clayton Utz is proud that acting on a pro bono basis for low-income and vulnerable people is a real part of who we are as a firm.

Recent Pro Bono examples

Slavery exists in Australia

Towards truth

Fighting exploitation of older Australians

Scams, scams, scams

Stealing wages from migrant workers

Accessing insurance after a cancer diagnosis

Standing up to unfair evictions and homelessness

Addressing the trauma of child sexual assault

Breaking re-engagement with the justice system

Trauma-informed lawyering for victims of violent crime

Winning back control of your decisions

Environmental projects

Wherever you are in Australia, there are resources near you that can help you get access to justice. How to get help

Get in touch