David Hillard has led the Pro Bono practice at Clayton Utz since 1997, and was appointed as the firm's first Pro Bono Partner in 2005.

The Clayton Utz Pro Bono practice is focused on providing assistance to people who are disadvantaged and cannot obtain Legal Aid, and to the not-for-profit organisations which support them. David oversees more than 600 pro bono matters each year.

David has written and spoken extensively on the importance of recognising pro bono work as an inherent professional responsibility of being admitted to practise law.

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Litigation and Dispute Resolution

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Community Connect

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Pro Bono

Collaborative programmes: David works collaboratively with community legal and other not-for-profit organisations, with government, and with other members of the legal profession, in order to ensure that the Pro Bono practice is responsive to community needs.

Current collaborative pro bono projects include the Sexual Assault Communication Privilege program, which sees the private profession, Women's Legal Services New South Wales, and the New South Wales Director of Public Prosecutions working together to protect the rights of victims of sexual assault. David has also co-ordinated pro bono secondment relationships with 10 community organisations across Australia, including placing Clayton Utz lawyers at Kimberley Community Legal Services in Kununurra, and in the Clayton Utz/Legal Aid Western Australia Regional Pro Bono Outreach Program.

An effective community legal sector is essential to the provision of pro bono legal services by the private profession, and David has helped ensure Clayton Utz' support for the community sector in a range of mentoring and professional support services, by building their capacity through secondments and the Clayton Utz Foundation Fellowship, through shared training and resources, and through working jointly on matters.

In late 2006, Clayton Utz was a Foundation Signatory to the National Aspirational Pro Bono Target, which commits the firm to performing an average of at least 35 hours of pro bono work per lawyer per year. Clayton Utz currently averages more than 40 hours of pro bono work for each lawyer each year.


Discrimination law: David's core pro bono practice is in discrimination law, particularly in cases involving discrimination against people with disabilities in such fundamental areas as employment, housing and public transport. He has advocated for clients in various jurisdictions, including the Federal Court and Federal Magistrates Court, the New South Wales Anti-Discrimination Board, and the Australian Human Rights Commission. 

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