PILnet serves as the Secretariat of the Hong Kong Pro Bono Roundtable, which was created in 2014 to connect, activate, and coordinate pro bono lawyers in Hong Kong to maximize the impact of their efforts, such as mobilizing legal services, organizing joint interventions, and building a pro bono community.
This year Hugill & Ip Solicitors is collaborating with OUTLET to organise a series of Estate Planning legal talks – held as webinars and live seminars.
OUTLET aims to enhance social justice and equality through empowering the needy and helping to prevent legal problems. Under the supervision of legal professionals, law students design their own talks and deliver their insights to groups in community centres. Throughout June and July 2021, five different meetings have been held at HKSKH Western District Elderly Community Centre, The Salvation Army Chuk Yuen Centre for Senior Citizens and HKYWCA Ellen Li Elderly Community Centre. Each session was complemented by a Q&A session where solicitors from Hugill & Ip answered questions and interacted with the audience.
Students and solicitors introduced key legal issues to the elderly, specifically on matters related to areas of Estate & Probate law: including reversed mortgage, Wills and Probate, Advanced Medical Directives, guardianship, co-ownership, Enduring Power of Attorney, and annuity.
Alfred Ip – Partner at Hugill & Ip – commented: “It’s been amazing to help this project and contribute to the growth of many talented HKU students in terms of knowledge of Estate Planning matters, as well as supporting the local community with better awareness about the necessary steps to take in protecting themselves and their loved ones.”
Jacqueline Cheng – Associate at Hugill & Ip’s Private Client team – added: “I’ve been extremely excited to be part of this pro bono initiative and have relished the opportunity to answer questions, face-to-face and online, about real-life situations that many individuals face in their daily lives.”
Marco Raccuia – Head of Finance & Operations – noted: “This outstanding initiative not only fits Hugill & Ip’s commitment to social responsibility, but also adds tremendous value by spreading legal knowledge. Local elderly communities and their carers have been provided (and will continue to be provided) information on tools and protections available to achieve proper Estate Planning”.
Outreach Legal Talks main components are:
- The need to bring information from online platforms directly to affected communities, and explain legal issues in plain language;
- “Train the Trainer” effect: lawyers have limited time for pro bono legal talks, OUTLET instead invites them to train law students who are in the course of their legal studies and are more available to deliver talks;
- Interactive Social workers educate students about community needs. Discussion and interaction with the audience during the outreach talks have a further empowerment effect for OUTLET participants.
Hugill & Ip will offer internships in Summer 2022 to a group of OUTLET students from The University of Hong Kong who have participated in this year Estate Planning legal talks. The firm will also continue to collaborate with the organization on future pro bono activities that benefit the community – in particular the elderly and their carers.
OUTLET (Outreach Legal Talks Initiative) is an innovative project that provides free talks delivered by law students directly to underprivileged communities in Hong Kong. They have developed educational materials and have held several talks. The team was also invited to share their experience at PILnet Global Forum in 2018, as well as to showcase their projects at PILnet Virtual Global Forum in 2020. They are currently conducting their 4th cycle of talks.
About Hugill & Ip Solicitors
Hugill & Ip Solicitors is an independent law firm providing bespoke legal advice and exceptional client service to individuals, families, entrepreneurs and businesses, in Hong Kong and internationally. Hugill & Ip provides high quality legal services with integrity, professionalism and respect for clients and the community. For more information, visit https://www.hugillandip.com
PILnet connects lawyers and civil society organizations to improve access to justice for vulnerable communities, such as children, refugees, and displaced people. It provides organizations with high-quality free legal assistance and resources, and develops opportunities for lawyers to provide meaningful pro bono. Moreover, PILnet trains law students, public interest lawyers, and corporate lawyers, including through its annual Student Competition in Hong Kong and fellowship programs. For more information, visit https://www.pilnet.org