Ninth annual TrustLaw awards celebrate ground-breaking pro bono work

by TrustLaw
Friday, 29 November 2019 09:44 GMT

TrustLaw, the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s global pro bono legal service, celebrated its annual TrustLaw Awards ceremony on November 11th  at London’s iconic OXO Tower.

Now in their ninth year, the Awards celebrate groundbreaking pro bono projects undertaken by legal teams on behalf of NGOs and social enterprises in the TrustLaw network. They are an opportunity to reflect on and celebrate some of the very best legal pro bono from around the world – pro bono at its most innovative, most collaborative, and most impactful.

TrustLaw members travelled to London from around the world, arriving from countries including India, Kenya, Brazil, the Philippines and Australia. The global TrustLaw network now includes more than 4,700 NGOs and social enterprises receiving free legal assistance from 950 law firm and corporate counsel members.

The event was opened by the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s CEO Antonio Zappulla, who announced that the total value of legal assistance facilitated through TrustLaw since July 2010 is now $172m.

“We know the true value of critical legal support extends far beyond figures. Pro bono work, be it day-to-day support or cross-border research, can have a ripple effect in communities, creating impact far beyond the scope of the initial project. And it’s this, combined with our goal of raising the profile of pro bono globally, that we’re celebrating tonight,” said Antonio.


Giulia Corinaldi, Global Head of Programmes at TrustLaw, was then joined by Cherie Blair, Founder of the Cherie Blair Foundation, and Karuna Nundy, Supreme Court Advocate in India, for an insightful discussion on “Human Rights and the Power of Pro Bono”.

Innovation award-winner Jane Weru, CEO of Akiba, said: “The power of pro bono links brains, it links lawyers and NGOs around the world to create impact. I have seen the power of pro bono and I can say that it is amazing!”

“Pro bono makes a difference, it is about bringing change to thousand and millions of people across the globe. Working alongside lawyers and law firms, is crucial to bring about a better world,” said Jaf Shah, CEO of ASTI, winners of the 2019 Impact Award.

2019 TrustLaw Award Winners

The range of projects awarded this year showcased the global impact of TrustLaw and the spreading of pro bono in regions where it has not traditionally been practiced.

IMPACT AWARD: Acid Survivors Trust International (ASTI)Linklaters: Acid Attacks in the UK

TrustLaw Awards 2019 - Impact Award from Thomson Reuters Foundation on Vimeo.

COLLABORATION AWARD: Asylum Access, HOST InternationalRefugee TalentNokia Singapore, DLA Piper, SyCip Salazar Hernandez & GatmaitanBTG Legal, Bae, Kim & Lee, Baker & McKenzie: Right to Work for Refugees.

TrustLaw Awards 2019 - Collaboration Award from Thomson Reuters Foundation on Vimeo.

INNOVATION AWARDAkiba Mashinani Trust & Pandya & Poonawala, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP: Land Rights in Kenya.

TrustLaw Awards 2019 - Innovation Award from Thomson Reuters Foundation on Vimeo.

INTERNATIONAL LAW FIRM OF THE YEAR: Dentons, in recognition of its assistance with more than 30 pro bono projects through TrustLaw this year.

TrustLaw Awards 2019 - International Team Award from Thomson Reuters Foundation on Vimeo.

DOMESTIC LAW FIRM OF THE YEAR: Uría Menéndez deserving winners of the most engaged local firm in the TrustLaw network.

TrustLaw Awards 2019 - Domestic Lawyer Award from Thomson Reuters Foundation on Vimeo.

IN-HOUSE LEGAL TEAM OF THE YEAR: Dentsu Aegis Network, in recognition of its active membership in the TrustLaw network and the pro bono projects completed by its in-house legal team.

TrustLaw Awards 2019 - In-house Lawyer Award from Thomson Reuters Foundation on Vimeo.

LAWYER OF THE YEAR AWARD: Dolores Paschetta, Maria Florencia Guevara, Camila Guerini, Martina Monti, Cecilia Brissolese Vivino| Bruchou Fernández Madero & Lombardi.       

Lawyer of the Year 2019 from Thomson Reuters Foundation on Vimeo.

For photos of the event, please click here.