Pro Bono in Spain: Responding to Coronavirus and Russia’s War in Ukraine

by DLA Piper Pro Bono team
Friday, 3 February 2023 08:48 GMT

Two years ago, the world changed dramatically as the coronavirus pandemic dominated global headlines and changed the lives of billions of people in just a few months. Law firms’ pro bono activity was to be no different.

Since then, law firms have focused on making themselves available to citizens and NGOs and resolving queries on pro bono matters as diverse as the following: suspension in the payment of housing leases, advice on the creation of associations dedicated to helping people without economic resources, refinancing of credits affected by the economic crisis, requesting personal medical data or vaccination data, conducting board meetings virtually, carrying out temporary employment regulation proceedings, and even advising people sanctioned for not complying with decreed laws that sought the isolation of citizens in their homes without sufficient legal grounds.

Throughout this period, one way or another, law firms have positioned themselves alongside society, and with those with fewer resources who have been trying to resolve all the legal issues that arose from an unprecedented situation.

Following the deployment of coronavirus vaccines and the presumed return to a new “normality”, the reality is, that, unfortunately, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has provoked another completely unsuspected crisis. This saw civil society turning to Ukrainian citizens and law firms (together with bar associations) to take the lead in providing legal advice.

Since the end of February 2022, there has been constant advice on issues including: legal assistance and free advice to displaced people from Ukraine, intermediation to bring health equipment from Spain by air and land and bring displaced persons to Spain, drafting and dissemination of legal guides for emergency assistance to those who have fled, or for the reception of Ukrainian families in private homes and the attendance of children at school, among hundreds of other issues.

Once again, after public administrations were overwhelmed, law firms, through their pro bono departments, and bar associations, have been indispensable in responding to a new social crisis and making an impact where different governments have not been able to do so, all with goal of helping the Ukrainian population return to their homes as soon as possible.

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