Thursday, May 12, 2016

Pro Bono

I have always done pro bono work, whether formally or informally instructed since I first went to study law in 1992, and continue to do so, particularly in Social Security cases where there is a  vulnerable client (such as asylum seekers or people with a disability) or an interesting/ important legal point.  Social Security cases are not funded until Court of Appeal level and so it can be very difficult for people of limited means to overturn results which often leave them destitute, or homeless, or both. 

I was a Free Representation Unit (FRU) advocate since my second term of CPE in 1993 (my longest case I picked up in 1993 and finished in 2001!). I was Chair in 1996-97, Secretary in 1994-95, 1995-96, and Treasurer in 1997-98. I recommend that any aspiring advocate could not get better experience than to do cases for FRU and that they would find it a very rewarding experience, personally and in their career. Being an outsider to the law when I was trying to become a barrister I do not think I would have made it had I not had the training I had from the caseworkers and the experience I got doing real cases with real people in real Tribunals.

I have also done other legal voluntary work which includes work with the CRE, Hammersmith and Fulham Law Centre, Inquest and the Rolan Adams Family Campaign (a racist killing in South-East London in 1991). I have also assisted my brother (Satish Sekar) on his cases including the Cardiff 3, Mills and Poole, Satpal Ram and many others.