TrustLaw hosts annual Café Pro Bono in London

by Maeve Halpin
Tuesday, 29 May 2018 12:20 GMT

Café Pro Bono co-hosted by TrustLaw and Shearman & Sterling

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“Through TrustLaw's assistance Internews has received vital pro bono support in key operational areas such as human resources and GDPR Compliance. This has been invaluable in building our corporate partnerships and strengthening our capacity to achieve our mission to ensure access to trusted, quality information that empowers people to live healthy, secure, and rewarding lives.” - Daniel Bruce, Chief Executive, Europe, Internews

Last week TrustLaw, the Thomson Reuters Foundation's global pro bono legal programme, hosted its annual Café Pro Bono with legal partners Shearman & Sterling. The event saw over 50 members of our London based NGO & social enterprise community gather to obtain free legal advice on topics ranging from contracts, data protection, structuring and advocacy.

Lauren Meyer, Regional Lead and Legal Manager, Europe for TrustLaw opened the event by saying: “In 8 years, TrustLaw has facilitated free legal assistance, worth some $109m, for NGOs and social enterprises across 175 countries. That’s huge. Those savings can be put back into your organization and towards having an impact: saving lives, tackling climate change and protecting human rights.”

The TrustLaw legal team and Shearman & Sterling lawyers led a series of table discussions on legal issues that most impact our social sector community. Members were also reminded of our Legal Health Check, a checklist that covers a broad spectrum of legal topics and helps readers identify matters relevant to their organisation and where legal advice might be needed.

Café Pro Bono isn’t beneficial to just our social sector community: after the event, Sherman & Sterling Associate Solicitor Camilla Hunter said: “It was rewarding not just giving our views but learning at the same time about the difficulties of fundraising for these amazing charities”.

Nina Garnham, European Pro Bono Manager with Shearman & Sterling said "Shearman & Sterling were delighted to partner with TrustLaw on Café Pro Bono and share our legal expertise with not-for-profits and social enterprises. It was great to see our lawyers sharing their knowledge as well as the not-for-profits also learning from each other's experiences."

What is your TrustLaw story?

TrustLaw continues to grow its membership and expand the number of projects we support: in 2017 the team facilitated 253 pro bono projects in the UK out of 993 worldwide, and offered its service free of charge to 890 UK-based NGOs and social enterprises. At Café Pro Bono, the TrustLaw team were curious to find out about our members’ journey with us and the impact that legal pro bono has had on their organization and mission.

“We, at IKWRO, are extremely grateful for the TrustLaw enormous help when we needed legal support from a Pro bono lawyer. IKWRO are helping and providing intensive casework to women and girls from MENA communities who are at risk of “honour” based violence, forced and child marriage, FGM and domestic abuse and saving lives.  As a charity we are unable to offer lawyers cost, therefore it is a huge help through TrustLaw providing Probono help. We very much appreciate your support; thank you.” - Diana Nammi, Executive Director, IKWRO (Iranian & Kurdish Women's Rights Organization)

If your organisation is interested in receiving pro bono legal advice or if you’re a law firm interested in developing your pro bono work, please contact our TrustLaw team here.