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Our pro bono work

We work on a wide variety of pro bono (legal) projects, with the main areas of focus being access to justice, social finance, education and employment. This work supports our responsibility to help build a fair and equitable society, as well as our commitment to our people, culture, clients and the wider legal sector.

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Our social impact work

Examples of our pro bono work

Helping victim-survivors of sexual violence and sexual harassment

Helping victim-survivors of sexual violence and sexual harassment

In 2022, our Hong Kong colleagues delivered a training workshop to the Association Concerning Sexual Violence Against Women (ACSVAW) on the practical considerations and challenges that victim-survivors may face in commencing a civil action for image-based sexual violence.

The training originated with our research into the civil liabilities that perpetrators may owe to victim-survivors, and the relevant causes of action. We also examined the civil relief that victim-survivors may seek from the Hong Kong courts, and covered relevant procedural considerations, gaps in the law and areas for potential reform. The aim is to provide ACSVAW with a legal toolkit setting out the rights, protections and remedies that civil law may afford to victim-survivors.

We’re also creating a report on sexual harassment in the workplace for The Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice in New York. The Vance Center has partnered with the Africa End Sexual Harassment Initiative and the Pan Africa Lawyers Union to analyse the local and international legal protections against workplace sexual harassment across 25 jurisdictions in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Promoting reform of investigative interview practices in Kenya

Promoting reform of investigative interview practices in Kenya

We were asked by Fair Trials, an international criminal justice NGO, and the African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum (APCOF) to identify areas of Kenyan law, policy, operations and training related to interviewing by law enforcement officials where there are growing concerns about human rights violations, including torture and other ill-treatment.

We analysed the international legal framework underpinning the Méndez Principles and the East African Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation Standard Operating Procedure, as well as the Kenyan legal framework with the help of Anjarwalla & Khanna, a Kenyan law firm.

In Mombasa in March 2023, we then helped to deliver a training session to senior members of the International Commission of Jurists, Kenyan Section, alongside Fair Trials’ Veronica Hinestroza, Sean Tait from APCOF, and Dr Gavin Oxburgh, who sits on the UN committee on torture prevention that helped create the Méndez Principles.

Our final report – which can be used as a base for advocacy and training purposes – will be completed later this year.

Supporting forcibly displaced people

Supporting forcibly displaced people

Our work for forced displacement projects has nearly tripled in the last three years, and in the last 12 months, we’ve continued to support Ukrainian and Afghan refugees, alongside launching a project to help asylum seekers in the UK at risk of removal to Rwanda.

In the UK, in July 2022, we helped launch a project with our long-term partner Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID) to process bail applications for asylum seekers held in immigration detention and at risk of removal to Rwanda under the UK government scheme. Every asylum seeker helped through the project was successfully granted bail, or bail in principle.

We also act for the UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, as an intervener in challenges to the scheme. The Special Rapporteur was granted permission to intervene before the Court of Appeal and made written submissions to the Court regarding the impact of the Rwanda policy on potential victims of trafficking, and the UK’s existing obligations towards victims. A hearing took place in the Court of Appeal in April 2023 and is currently awaiting judgment.