01. 04. 2015 Corporate responsibility

Helping out civil association Ulita with irresponsible suppliers, received an Honourable Mention fro

What is bnt attorneys-at-laws' experience with the program Solicitors Pro Bono?

Free assistance in resolving a dispute
The evaluation committee has decided to grant a special mention for the effective pro bono legal solution to the urgent problems faced by people in the Kopčany area of Bratislava.

The law firm has provided over the past year a number of free pro bono services. One of the successes was the co-operation with the Ulita civic association, working with children and young people from marginalized groups in Bratislava. Lawyers helped in the case of a breach of contract by a supplier, who failed to finish the building of a playground. Although they had begun the construction, they failed to finish the work. The company gradually ceased communicating with the association. The association in co-operation with bnt managed to win the court case. We hear more on the experience of working with the Lawers Pro Bono program from Vladimír Kordoš, lawyer and partner of bnt attorneys-at-law, Bratislava.

You earned an Honourable Mention from Via Bona as a Promoter of Volunteering for 2014. How did you get into volunteering as you are a law firm?
As a law firm since its foundation, we also provide pro bono legal services, namely legal services without compensation to those who cannot afford our services. In 2011, we participated in the Lawyers Pro Bono project with the Pontis foundation and started to provide pro bono legal assistance to non-governmental and non-profit organisations. Since then, our pro bono work gained certain regularity. We fully support volunteering within our firm, our staff and lawyers are happy to be involved, while as an employer we support them also in that their time spent on pro bono legal aid is paid in full.

Do you think that Slovakia is a space for free pro bono legal aid?
Definitely, everything depends on the internal settings of the lawyer and of course from the options. It is necessary to look at it, that each hour of pro bono assistance from a financial point of view for the lawyer is a loss, because this time is not given over to paid consulting. They do so at the expense of free time. Personally I would be happy, if our example has inspired our peers to participate in the Lawyers Pro Bono program, or at least to offer another form of pro bono legal assistance. This will help society and certainly improve the image of lawyers in the eyes of the people, because the media is showing our vocation in a negative light.

Lawyers are mostly known to be overworked and a lack of free time. How do you have it set up in your company? Are managing it?
Yes, it is true; a lack of time is always an issue. Each pro bono client we take full responsibility for their needs as we do any other client. What is important is good organisation; so that we know who is on what pro bono projects are currently in process and how many more of them can we manage. Colleagues choose pro bono projects either according to their specialisation or by time, like how long they know they can dedicate to the project. I then try to coordinate it in its entirety.

What was for you the challenge over the years with respect to pro bono activities?
I think the biggest challenge we have before us right now, when there is more focus on the topic of homelessness in terms of changes to legislation, as well as in terms of debt relief solutions for specific people. We see this as a great challenge.


Thanks to you OZ Ulita won a court case. What would you say to non-profits, which are afraid to through litigation?
We won the lawsuit, and the case has gone to execution. Despite various negative reports in the media, I would say that law enforcement is improving. The courts do not work perfectly, but things are not as dark as they seem. Whether to go to litigation is always for consideration, and it would be good to always to consult with a lawyer, depending on the strength of the evidence, but also by the numbers involved. There is no need to be afraid of that at all.

Do you have any vision for the pro bono services you offer? Where do you see the benefits for you?
From the beginning our goal was to help society as a whole. The Program Lawyers Pro Bono we will focus on non-profit and non-governmental organisations providing space, within volunteering activities to gain maximum benefit from our professional experience and expertise. By helping non-profits in a pro bono capacity, they can better concentrate on their main activities and help more their clients. It does a lot for us. In addition to the personal and comfortable feeling in helping others, we gain a professional site for new experiences, often in areas of law that we usually don’t pay attention to.

From 2014 you also collaborate with the Law Faculty of Comenius University in Bratislava. What is it that you want students to learn?
In 2014 we joined the Legal Clinic for the non-profit sector, where we are with the students trying to tackle the real problems faced by non-profit associations. We see how important it is for students to experience this during their studies and we would like them in this to help where is required.

Law firm bnt attorneys-at-law in 2011 joined the program Solicitors Pro Bono at the Pontis Foundation and has since worked with several non-governmental and non-profit organisations such as the League for Human Rights, the Union of the Blind and Visually Impaired, and OZ Ulita. And currently are focused on the theme of homelessness.

”The law firm bnt helps foreigners with subsidiary protection to become familiar with the duties, which entrepreneurs have when beginning their businesses. Thus contributing to the integration of people with international protection in the business environment,” says Mirka Mittelmanová from the League of Human Rights. The League as an organisation have been very helpful, that their financial coordinator in cases relating to public procurement and turn to bnt for advice and consultation procedures, which must be followed. “Bnt were for us very helpful at a time when the League ran a government audit,” added Alexandra Malangone, a lawyer from the League of Human Rights.

Who we are

We create strong and meaningful linkages between the corporate, civic and public sectors in our three strategic topics – social innovation, philanthropy and responsible entrepreneurship. We build expertise our expertise in these issues, bring trends, promote long-term impact, and inspire.

Pontis Foundation
Zelinarska 2821 08

Phone: (+421 2) 5710 8111
Contact for media:
Phone: (+421 2) 5710 8113


Už odchádzate?


Na email vám budeme posielať inšpiratívne
novinky či informácie o aktuálnych výzvach.