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Lawyers 'not motivated by greed'

A leading barrister has said lawyers must make the public realise that they are not "motivated by financial greed".

Maura McGowan QC, chairman of the Bar, said the unpaid work lawyers do has "gone unnoticed or ignored" for too long.

She said - in an article in a legal magazine - that barristers do "vast amounts" of work on a pro bono basis.

"A recent survey shows that more than 42% of the Bar carry out pro bono work," she wrote in Counsel magazine.

"That is a remarkable testament to the social conscience of the profession. It is a fact that has gone unnoticed or ignored by the public and Government for too long.

"At a time when the publicly-funded profession are under attack, and not just through fees, we should be educating the public to the realisation that we are not motivated by financial greed."

She said lawyers are often viewed in a "totally false and incredibly unfair light" and added: "It is unacceptable that the pro bono contribution that the profession makes should go unrecognised."

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