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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.

Scaling up our impact

During the coronavirus pandemic, the protection of human rights and civil liberties has been even more important than ever before. Brussels-based Partner Dorothée Vermeiren and Prague-based Senior Associate Jan Dobrý discuss the firm's work with global criminal justice watchdog, Fair Trials.

Read the interview

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

Responsible Business Report

As we try to build a better, more sustainable future, it is the fundamental principles of the law that guide us, as a responsible business: equality and fairness, access to justice, effective regulation and government, and the promotion and protection of human rights.

Our 2020 report demonstrates our commitment to sustainable growth and how it has endured and been strengthened during a period of uncertainty and change.

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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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