News | Gadens signs MoU with one of the largest community legal centres in Australia
18 September 2019
Gadens has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Peninsula Community Legal Centre (PCLC) to support a Family Law Pilot. The pilot will see Gadens extending its existing relationship with PCLC to provide additional pro bono support to the Centre.
PCLC services a population of almost one million people, and through
this partnership, PCLC will be able to continue to work towards its mission “to
empower and support disadvantaged and vulnerable people in their community”.
Gadens Head of Operations Julien Bain explains “Given the strong interrelationship between family law and family violence, this partnership will mean more vulnerable women will have access to legal assistance that could result in a secure future for them and their children”.
“Given PCLC’s increasing demand for family law services, our team saw the opportunity to support not only on individual cases, but this MoU outlines how our team can support the ongoing professional growth of the PCLC lawyers,” said Julien Bain.
Over the next six months, Gadens Family & Relationship Law team will
provide free legal assistance in family law related matters, with a focus on
disadvantaged clients living in the community.
Because of the depth of experience in Gadens’ team, the MoU outlines a
series of projects including:
Mentoring. Through a
‘phone-a-friend’ hotline, PCLC lawyers will have a direct line to Gadens where management
of cases can be discussed, as well as related opinion, advice and strategy on
Professional Development. Gadens team will be providing the PCLC lawyers with
the benefit of their experience through tailored training.
pathway. Where women are experiencing family violence and have no other recourse
to justice, Gadens will take on the management of specific cases.
Having such a strong, dedicated, Family & Relationship Law team in a
national law firm the size of Gadens allows for partnerships such as this with
PCLC to be formed.
“PCLC is thrilled to be building on our relationship with Gadens. Partnering with them will strengthen our capacity to help more vulnerable people resolve their family law issues,” said Jackie Galloway, CEO, PCLC.
Creating a safer future for Australian women and children, and empowering them to have their voices heard, is vital for the future well-being of Australian society. And for this reason, forms one of the five key priority areas under Gadens Pro Bono Program.
A pro bono program
with grassroots approaches
Three years ago, Gadens recruited a specialist Pro Bono Manager to
develop a refreshed strategy and reinvigorate the pro bono program within the
Under the aim to develop a program that makes a true difference to some
of the most vulnerable people, who would not otherwise have access to legal
support, the strategy was to develop a grassroots program.
Deepening the partnership with PCLC is not only the next step for Gadens’
Pro Bono Program, but it represents the community partnership that the strategy
hoped to secure.
Since joining Gadens as the Pro Bono Manager, Sophie McNamara has seen “a substantial increase in pro bono activities across the firm which are making real differences in the communities in which we live and work”.
“Built around community need, and working directly with a number of our partners, our teams are very close to the outcomes of their pro bono work and this is not only rewarding but helps us to offer well-rounded support to our partners,” said Sophie McNamara, Pro Bono Manager, Gadens.
Recently Gadens Pro Bono Program was recognised as a finalist in the 2019 Australian Law Awards.