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Ron and Raea ODAThanks to Lawyers Weekly for publishing another great article on the joint venture between One Direct Advisory and Priority Business Lawyers.
Advisory joint venture leading the way in pro bono service offering
By Tony Zhang
26 July 2020

An NSW advisory joint venture which, in line with the Australian Pro Bono Centre’s push on the National Pro Bono Target, has been leading the way with their pro bono service offering are encouraging others to follow suit.
One Direct Advisory (ODA) and their partner law firm Priority Business Lawyers (PBL) – with advisers through ODA provided upwards of 450 hours of pro bono services in the last 12 months.
In the 2019/2020 financial year alone, more than 450 hours of collective pro bono work were provided by advisers at One Direct Advisory across areas such as business strategy, law, finance, and corporate governance
PBL’s managing director Raea Khan is one of ODA’s advisers, having provided his legal expertise pro bono to the firm long before the joint venture.
Both he and ODA’s chairman, Ron Thomsen, said to expect an increase in the demand for legal advice post-COVID-19.
Mr Thomsen noted the importance of the role lawyers will play moving into the virus recovery period, and the importance of other advisories following ODA and PBL’s lead when it comes to pro bono work.
“It is a fact that lawyers have a big role to play in the recovery post the virus – not only in terms of the economy but also in such areas as workplace law circumstances, in addressing relationship problems, and even construction and infrastructure expansions,” explained Mr Thomsen.
“Our team is excited to see the Australian Pro Bono Centre (APBC) further encouraging legal professionals to get involved in offering pro bono services, and hope many lawyers will follow in the footsteps of our [advisers] who have already made a significant contribution to the community through their pro bono work.”
The advisory said that in the 2019/2020 financial year alone, more than two full months of collective pro bono hours were provided by advisers across areas such as business strategy, law, finance, and corporate governance.
ODA and PBL are encouraging lawyers to get behind the National Pro Bono Target, spearheaded by APBC chief executive Gabriel Christian-Hare, which aims to encourage lawyers to provide the community with upwards of 20 hours of pro bono work a year.
The target is aimed at both closing the justice gap by creating opportunities for the community to access high-quality legal services and providing lawyers with a unique opportunity to make a real difference in achieving social justice objectives.
Through ODA, the joint venture with PBL said they have established pro bono runs on the board but are committed to increasing their support efforts in the coming months, as necessary – particularly in the area of legal advice.
“Over the course of two years, the advisory firm has provided the local community with high-quality advice across a wide range of complex areas, and – due to [advisers] providing their services free of charge to ODA – we’ve been able to do this at a discounted rate with all receipts going directly to MoWCC without any overhead administration withdrawal,” Mr Thomsen said.