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Pro bono

Global pro bono 2022-23

51% of the firm’s fee earners took part
>80,000 hours 
471 mandates for 257 clients
>1,300 lawyers across 29 offices

In our 2022-23 financial year we contributed over 80,000 hours of pro bono on over 470 mandates.  Here are some illustrative examples from the different areas of our practice.



We supported SCI with the contractual negotiations around its cash and voucher assistance programme as part of its Ukraine response in Poland which has helped 300 Ukrainian families receive a total of US$225,000 in cash assistance.


We advised on 22 social impact bonds and development impact bonds, unlocking >£100m funding for social purposes, including advising Bridges on its investment into a SIB designed to tackle homelessness in Greater Manchester and help up to 200 of the city’s most entrenched rough sleepers off the streets.


We continue work on a class action benefitting >7,600 Iraqi and Afghan refugees who after assisting the US military waited over 1.5 years for visas in a process supposed to take 9 months.


Since 2013, we have worked on 26 interventions and amicus briefs for charities supporting survivors of trafficking. The UK Secretary of State for Justice has also recently promised to introduce prison policy on the treatment of survivors of trafficking in custody, following a successful judicial review in which we represented the Anti-Trafficking and Labour Exploitation Unit – a case in which the Court ordered the Justice Secretary to pay £130,000 to charity for Freshfields’ time on the case (the UK’s largest ever pro bono costs order).


Our global research to support Stonewall’s workplace briefings has been downloaded over 20,000 times.


50 of our lawyers across 16 countries contributed to the World Bank’s report, Women, Business and the Law 2022 which identifies the laws and regulations that affect women’s economic opportunity in 190 countries.


Reunited our client, a trafficking survivor, with her child after the had been seperated for 10 years.


Collaborated with the Brussels Bar Association and Vluchtelingenwerk Vlaanderen as part of a volunteer taskforce of 292 lawyers from 30 law firms to set up an award-winning refugee legal helpdesk in Brussels which has assisted over 5,000 destitute asylum seekers since April 2022.


Continued support of CourtNav within the Finding Legal Options for Women Survivors project, helping 1,000 women per month to apply to court for protection from domestic abuse.