Fifth Day set to continue founder’s legacy

Charity founded by late Fred Banning to continue promoting pro bono opportunities for ‘non-lawyers’
Close up of Fred Banning

Fred Banning

The charity founded by the late Fred Banning, former head of communications at Pinsent Masons, is set to continue following his death according to its advisory board.

Fifth Day was founded in July 2022 by Banning to enable fellow law firm business services professionals to help use their skills for good, with 12 law firms including Pinsents, Clyde & Co, Kennedys, Reed Smith and Watson Farley & Williams signing up to support the venture in the first few months.

As many as 20 law firms are now chartered supporters of Fifth Day. At the same time the charity, which matches interest to opportunities identified by Reach Volunteering, said in a post on LinkedIn that it had recorded “hundreds of hits from people interested in using their professional skills for good”.  

Moira Slape, chief people officer of Travers Smith and a member of Fifth Day’s board, said the opportunities for volunteers to use their skills in rewarding trustee and pro bono roles were similar to traditional pro bono avenues accessible to lawyers. 

Banning passed away in May 2023 following a lengthy battle with cancer. 

“As you will imagine, the last few months have been tough on those closest to Fred personally, and [members] have been discussing how best to continue his work and legacy,” the charity wrote on LinkedIn. 

It confirmed that it would continue its mission to promote volunteering, partner with law firms and encourage staff to engage with vacancies.

“This will ultimately help many non-profits and charities access the very best business professionals who can make a real difference in the work these organisations deliver,” the charity wrote.

Slape said Fifth Day’s board, established by Fred, remained “committed to providing access to interesting and rewarding skills-based opportunities for our business services professionals. Fifth Day shares relevant roles for this community regularly on their LinkedIn page and website”.

Tim Skipper, a director of Totum Partners, said: “I’m delighted to see that Fifth Day is active again after a short period of reflection following Fred’s sad passing. As supporters of this initiative, we’re delighted to see the opportunities for legal industry professionals to serve their communities – from finance to HR, PR and business development; there is something for everyone to contribute at many levels of seniority. We wish them every good fortune.”

David Halliwell, a partner at Pinsent Masons Vario and member of Fifth Day’s board, commented: “When Fred set up Fifth Day, it clearly struck a chord with people from across a whole range of law firms, who have fantastic business services professionals who want to use their skills to give something back.”

The charity, he said, wanted to expand the number of firms involved and would continue to connect volunteers with good causes. “Keeping Fifth Day going is the best thing we can do to honour Fred’s legacy,” he concluded. 

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