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TBD helps launch new pro bono scheme for business operations teams


TBD is honoured to have been asked to work on the ‘Fifth Day’ project by long-term friend, Fred Banning.

Founded by Fred, Fifth Day is a new initiative that aims to promote pro bono opportunities for ‘non-lawyers’ within the UK legal sector, connecting highly skilled people with high-calibre volunteering opportunities.

The non-profit organisation, sets out to encourage the 30,000 professionals working in areas such as IT, BD & Marketing, Finance, HR, Facilities and Secretarial Services in the top 100 UK Law Firms, to undertake pro bono assignments from third sector organisations in much the same way as lawyers across the profession typically do.

As part of this, it will connect talent with projects and Trustee roles through its website, developed in partnership with leading skills-based volunteering organisation Reach Volunteering.

Additionally, Fifth Day will establish a voluntary ‘Corporate Membership’ programme under which law firms commit to promoting pro bono opportunities among their business operations teams.

Simon Marshall, founder of TBD says: “It’s been a pleasure to support and develop the concept of Fifth Day with Fred, we really saw his vision for this and wanted to make sure that we did everything we possibly could to support him on the project.

“Outside of their legal expertise, law firms hold so much talent and specialisms from digital to finance to HR, and each of these well-trained experts could be of huge benefit to charities who at the best of times are under-resourced in these areas. Fred has a stellar reputation as a force for good comms in the legal sector, and I would encourage anyone in my network to look into incorporating Fifth Day in their business.”

Fred Banning, founder of Fifth Day, says: “I am really proud of what we have achieved working together with TBD. The initial response from the market has been overwhelmingly positive and I am so pleased that already we are helping connect City-calibre professionals with non-legal pro bono opportunities.

“I was effectively forced by circumstances to finish work in 2020 after a terminal cancer diagnosis. One of my great regrets was that, while I derived a huge amount of satisfaction from my career, I wished I had done more to use my skills and experience to benefit others.

“In speaking to friends and colleagues from several professional services firms, it seems clear to me that I’m not alone in this. The experience of the pandemic has given people a chance to step back and re-evaluate what they want from their lives and careers. It’s no secret that, even before the pandemic, firms were responding to desire for greater purpose among their employees. That has only been accelerated by Covid. Skills-based volunteering is one way to achieve that.

“It isn’t necessarily about asking people to do more; it’s about asking them to use what they have. Most law firms offer their people a number of volunteering days a year, and Fifth Day aims to make it easier to use them. I think there is an impression out there that charity work is too time-consuming, however most of the opportunities I see are from organisations asking people to offer whatever time they can spare. There is huge flexibility.”

Fifth Day has been launched by Pinsent Masons’ former Head of Communications, Fred Banning. He is being assisted by an Advisory Board comprising Jeremy Ford (Senior BD & Marketing Leader, Skadden), David Halliwell (Partner, Pinsent Masons), Nicola Sawford (Portfolio Non-Executive Director and former Chief Executive of Serle Court chambers) and Moira Slape (Chief People Officer, Travers Smith).

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