New partnership between Trust Law and the Alliance
The Thomson Reuters Foundation is a global leader in supporting free, independent journalism, human rights, women’s empowerment and the rule of law. One of the Foundation’s key programmes, TrustLaw, is the world’s largest legal pro bono platform, facilitating free legal advice and research for 3600 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and social enterprises worldwide. By connecting these organisations with over 120 000 individual lawyers pro bono lawyers, TrustLaw strengthens civil society, helps enshrine human rights at the heart of lawmaking and improves the lives of the world’s most vulnerable people. In 8 years, TrustLaw has facilitated free legal assistance, worth some £77m, for NGOs and social enterprises in more than 175 countries.
TrustLaw is an essential service for 900 NGOs and social enterprises based in the UK. Our lawyers work with these organisations to help them understand and identify their legal needs and to scope and draft requests for legal assistance that are then connected to law firms and in-house legal teams via TrustLaw’s secure online platform.
Last year, Micro Rainbow International (MRI), a social enterprise that supports LGBTI refugees, established the first LGBTI safe house in the UK. TrustLaw connected MRI with Weil, Gotshal & Manges, who spent over 210 hours working on the structuring of MRI’s social investment plans, tax matters, property negotiations and planning permits. MRI and Weil, Gotshal & Manges were recipients of the recipients of the 2017 Innovation Award at the annual TrustLaw Awards.
“TrustLaw’s input facilitated both a groundbreaking initiative and a successful partnership between MRI and Weil Gotshal.” Sebastian Rocca, Founder of MRI
In addition to strengthening civil society by helping NGOs and social enterprises navigate their day-to-day legal needs, TrustLaw facilitates pioneering pro bono legal research and develops legal best practice guides for the social sector. Our published research programmes are powerful advocacy tools that enable members to achieve.
Unique Pro Bono Events and Training
TrustLaw facilitates training and events around the world, building the capacity of pro bono lawyers to support a growing community of NGOs and social enterprises. In March 2017, TrustLaw hosted a legal workshop in Edinburgh, partnering with CMS and Inspiring Scotland. The event was well attended by the Scottish social sector including Alliance members.
“TrustLaw was created to spread the practice of pro bono to drive social change, and we are eager to continue engaging with our community in Scotland. We believe there is strong potential for growth for TrustLaw in Scotland as we understand that pro bono legal services are becoming an increasingly important focus for law firms here, coupled with a great Scottish history of a thriving and impactful third sector. “ Sarah Farrelly, Legal Manager, TrustLaw