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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance

Community & pro bono

Sits at the heart of our firm

Around the world, our pro bono and community outreach practice is focused on widening access to justice, finance, education and a healthy environment.

In pursuing this aim, we align our work with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We seek to contribute to the achievement of goals 4, 8, 10, 11, 15, 16 and 17 in particular.

At the heart of our approach is a commitment to working in partnership with NGOs who share these aims. We think that we can achieve more by working alongside, and trying to enhance the capacity of, outstanding organisations with track records in making improvements in these areas that are integral to the ability of people to lead secure, sustainable and fulfilling lives. 

We are guided in pursuing these ambitious aims by our pro bono strategy and, uniquely amongst international law firms, a theory of change. The CEO of one of our global strategic pro bono clients commented:

"The Clifford Chance theory of change is the best explanation of a corporate contribution to wider goals that I have seen.

Clifford Chance launches inaugural Sustainable Development Goals Award, targeting environmental causes

The Award is open to NGOs around the world, and this year its focus will be on the environmental focused SDGs 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15. These SDGs are, respectively, sustainable cities and communities; responsible consumption and production; climate action; life below water and life on land.

The firm will donate £50,000 and 500 hours of pro bono support to the winning NGO.

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Clifford Chance partners with The Sparkle Foundation

Clifford Chance has partnered with The Sparkle Foundation (Sparkle), an award-winning UK-registered charity, as one of its global pro bono charities.

Sparkle focuses on creating a future in which every community has equal opportunity to live a life of health and self-sufficiency in Malawi. Across the 17 villages that currently comprise Sparkle communities, the charity adopts an integrated approach that incorporates four main pillars: Community, Education, Nutrition and Healthcare.

Find out more about Clifford Chance partners with The Sparkle Foundation

Progress in 2019/20

115 collaborations with clients and significant civil actors

as part of our long-term strategic pro bono and community outreach relationships.

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61,456 in-kind hours through pro bono and volunteering

to help strengthen the capabilities of our people and our relationships and help our pro bono clients achieve their mission.

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140 employees sitting on boards for 177 not-for-profit organisations

invested to support the widest range of civil society organisations from small community-based organisations to international NGOs.

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Strategy in action

Solid foundations for growth

With the coronavirus pandemic wreaking so much damage, many businesses have sought to direct their core skills, as well as their financial resources, towards addressing the consequences of the crisis.

We were able to support many of the most vulnerable individuals and communities affected by the pandemic and its effects through a number of our pre-existing pro bono relationships. On a local level, we continued to run our free legal clinics remotely and provide vital pro-bono legal advice to individuals and communities on a variety of areas of law including employment, welfare entitlement and housing issues.

Tackling structural discrimination

"Through our partnership with the International Center for Advocates Against Discrimination (ICAAD), we've worked together to tackle discrimination linked to gender-based violence in the Pacific Islands; to develop strategies for three Pacific Island nations as they prepare to renegotiate Compact of Free Association (COFA) agreements with the United States; and to find ways to hold tea gardens in India accountable to the fair trade employment standards under which their tea is marketed.

While ICAAD is a relatively small organisation, its appetite for taking on large-scale, international issues to drive meaningful change is hugely inspiring."

Celeste Koeleveld, Partner, New York

More insights

Reporting library

View our 2019/20 and historic reporting

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Our insights

The latest points of view from our people on our responsible business activities

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Our commitments

Mapping our objectives

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Related information