Pro Bono

We provide free legal advice and representation to individuals, community groups, charities and social enterprises, both in the UK and abroad.

Pro Bono

Overview

Travers Smith is a law firm made up of diverse and talented individuals. It is committed to using its legal capabilities to address environmental risk and promote sustainability, to defend the vulnerable and promote a positive and inclusive global society where opportunities are available to all and the rule of law is respected.

We do this by targeting the most impactful partnerships and legal work in the following sectors:

  1. Climate, environment and sustainability
  2. Diversity, inclusion and social mobility
  3. Vulnerable groups
  4. Rule of Law

 

1.  Climate, Environment and Sustainability 

Our climate and environment focussed work is a growing part of our overall pro bono offering. With newly established relationships with the Chancery Lane Project (a legal movement to speed the UK's journey to net zero), Charity: Water (a leading global clean water charity) and the Kafue Foundation (an anti-poaching charity operating in the 2nd largest national park in Africa) we are putting in place the outline of an impactful and inspiring client list.

Our sustainability work is focussed around supporting impact investing and innovation funds such as the Impact Investing Institute (where we are a founding pro bono panel member) and Social and Sustainable Capital. We are also one of only two pro bono advisers to the Green Finance Institute as they speed the transition to a green and sustainable economy.

​​​​​​​2.  Diversity, Inclusion and Social Mobility 

Diversity and Inclusion is at the heart of who we are as a firm. It is an area where our commitment has grown exponentially over the years. Today we are a leading law firm in this regard as reflected in our Stonewall ranking as the 2nd highest ranking of any law firm in the country. Our commitment to diversity and inclusion is reflected in our deep involvement with numerous organisations, including the following:

  • Just Like Us
  • Giving Time
  • Strive

Social mobility is a cornerstone of diversity. Opportunities should be available to all, on merit alone. Part of our work in this area includes key partnerships with Think Forward, a charity focussed on reducing youth unemployment by providing long-term personalised coaching to young people at the highest risk of unemployment, and Foundervine, an award-winning social enterprise focused on running immersive start-up acceleration programmes that help young people from underrepresented communities imagine and grow new ventures.

For Thinkforward, we recently structured a transformative social impact bond which facilitated the delivery of a new coaching programme specifically aimed at young people with special educational needs. It is a model which we expect to be repeated and when it does, we will be there to lead it.

For Foundervine, we have supported them since March 2019 by providing mentors for their events including hosting an Africa Tech hub over a weekend in October 2019 to support 60 aspiring tech entrepreneurs build start-ups from scratch.  We have appeared at numerous other such events and will be the sole legal mentors in the upcoming 12-week Barclays Black Founder Accelerator programme hosted by Foundervine.  This will offer 25 Black-founder led businesses a series of masterclasses and is an excellent opportunity for Travers Smith to further support this cause.

3.  Vulnerable Groups 

At Travers Smith we are very aware that we are amongst the most fortunate in society. As such, we want to support those who otherwise have nowhere else to go and who would face serious exploitation absent proper support. These groups include:

  • Refugees
  • Victims of domestic violence
  • Victims of human trafficking
  • Those at risk of homelessness
  • Mental health
  • Vulnerable children

Our work in this area is longstanding, innovative and award winning.

4.  Rule of Law

No society, local or global, can thrive where the rule of law is not respected. Travers Smith will stand up against threatened or actual challenges to the rule of law at the local and global levels. An example of our local work is our corporate partnership with JUSTICE whereby we join with an expert panel to investigate the over representation of BAME youth in the criminal youth justice system with a view to producing an extensive written report of structural recommendations intended to make the criminal youth justice system fairer and address the racial bias that currently exists.

 

Read our Pro Bono case studies.

Work examples

Our work

Case studies

Pro Bono: ThinkForward

Case studies

Pro Bono: The Chancery Lane Project

Key contacts

Read Sam Cottman's Profile

Case studies

Read our Pro Bono case studies to find out more about our expertise in action.