Goodwin Insights January 21, 2022

Pro Bono Prose: Rebecca Wardle

Summary
Read the pro bono story below from Rebecca Wardle, an associate in the firm's Complex Litigation & Dispute Resolution practice in London, and learn how helping those in need forms an important part of her practice.

Giving back to the community has been a priority for me since university, where I developed a community outreach programme to educate children from under privileged primary schools about the English legal system. Now with my legal degree, pro bono has been an important part of my development and practice as a lawyer and something that I always endeavour to make time for.  

Shortly after joining Goodwin, I became involved in the pro bono representation of a consortium of promoters of eight critically acclaimed ensembles of more than 200 freelance musicians. The promoters were in a dispute with a well-known historical church in London, which had purported to terminate 59 contracts for hire with the promoters on the basis that they were unable to move forward as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

We were able to secure a favourable resolution to the dispute for all parties involved, whereby the church agreed to reschedule (rather than cancel) the concerts. This was a fantastic result, and one that I was proud to have helped achieve, particularly given the significant impact of the pandemic on the arts community. Some of the concerts had been held at the church for more than 30 years and served as a main source of income for both the promoters and musicians involved.  

It is hugely rewarding to apply the skills and experience from my litigation practice toward helping those in the community who would otherwise not be able to access legal services. That is why I have recently set up a new pro bono initiative for Goodwin’s London and Cambridge offices, working with the award-winning South Westminster Legal Advice Centre to provide assistance to members of the public through its online legal clinic. I am sure that I will learn just as much (and in fact, probably much more) from volunteering for this project as the people whose queries we respond to and I am grateful for the fact that Goodwin supports and encourages its lawyers to engage in this rewarding work.