LawWorks Practice Guidance: In-house solicitors and pro bono - regulatory issues

This guidance helps in-house solicitors to understand the rules and regulations that apply when providing pro bono legal services - in a variety of ways and settings.

The number of practicing solicitors working in-house is growing, as is their capacity to undertake pro bono work.

According to Law Society figures, the number of solicitors working in-house is growing faster than those in private practice, having doubled over the past 10 years, predicted to reach 35 per cent of the profession by 2020.

There are many ways in-house solicitors can volunteer. This guidance explains regulatory and professional rules which are not always clear or easy to apply:

"There are specific rules for in-house solicitors but - as this guidance shows - a broad range of legal pro bono can be undertaken to the benefit of many individuals, charities and communities. In fact, so long as other practice requirements are in place, there is little by way of pro bono which an in-house solicitor can’t do – if they have the time and enthusiasm." 

It is a live document which will be updated to reflect developments, including the Solicitor Regulation Authority's (SRA) new rules (the ‘SRA Handbook’) which are due to come into force in November 2019.  

This guidance does not deal with the regulation of paid work of in-house solicitors.

Please contact Richard Pitkethly, LawWorks’ Head of Learning & Practice, with any comments or questions concerning this guidance.

If you are interested in supporting LawWorks or LawWorks membership, please contact James Sandbach.

Download the guidance:


Further information about our work on regulatory issues is availble through this link.


Year of Publication

Type of Resource

Date of publication

Friday, March 15, 2019

Date last reviewed

Friday, March 15, 2019