We know how well-positioned we are as lawyers to have a positive impact on society. So, we use our expertise and experience, with our passion for justice that made us want to be lawyers in the first place, to do good.
For many people, there are many barriers that influence their ability to access the law. This could be understanding legal information, accessing lawyers, participating in the legal profession and accessing justice.
Our key projects to increase access to law, and we will continue to offer free legal and professional services to individuals and organisations that cannot otherwise afford them.
We want everyone who works at Mishcon de Reya to have this kind of positive impact from their first day with the Firm.
Legal advice clinics
Queen Mary Legal Advice Centre
We are proud to have a long standing pro bono partnership with Queen Mary University of London and their Legal Advice Centre, with initiatives including:
Black Justice Project
We offer free legal advice for members of the Black community on employment discrimination, actions against police and immigration matters relating to the Windrush scandal.
Our lawyers supervise law students advising clients on family and immigration matters.
SPITE (Sharing and Publishing Images to Embarrass)
SPITE provides victims of revenge porn with specialist free legal advice in matters of criminal law, civil law, privacy law, family law, as well as extensive practical advice. Lawyers and law students work closely with the Revenge Porn Helpline to ensure that clients have full assistance in removing images which are posted online.
RCJ Advice Centre
Our lawyers volunteer for the RCJ Advice Bureau, London's largest Citizen's Advice Bureau, providing free advice to litigants in person in the civil and family courts.
Pro bono highlights
New North London Synagogue Asylum Seekers Drop In Centre
Our lawyers volunteer at the monthly drop in centre and support asylum seekers who are destitute. The centre is run by a large team of volunteers who offer signposting to legal advice, medical treatment, counselling, food and clothing.
Tusk Trust supports and fosters projects which seek to provide the greatest conservation benefit across the continent of Africa, protecting endangered wildlife and investing in local communities. The charity was restructured in order to make way for a new protected framework and registered a new charity entity with the Charity Commission, which would then merge with the existing charity. The Charity Commission reviewed and approved the application within 46 hours.
Azeem Rafiq became the youngest captain of Yorkshire County Cricket Club in 2012 and was also the first player of Asian origin to take up this mantle. However, Azeem faced significant racial discrimination at Yorkshire, which ultimately led to his cricket career ending prematurely.
In 2020, Azeem spoke out about the racism he and others had suffered at Yorkshire. In 2021 he appeared before a parliamentary committee to discuss his experience at Yorkshire. In 2022 he was the main witness in the disciplinary proceedings brought by the regulator against Yorkshire and seven individuals. Charges against seven of the eight defendants were upheld and Yorkshire admitted to institutional racism.
We have assisted Azeem with pro bono legal advice relating to the ECB proceedings. We have also advised in relation to media attacks against Azeem. We are very proud to have worked for such a brave man who has made such an enormous difference in cricket and beyond.
APPEAL is a charity and law practice dedicated to fighting miscarriages of justice and demanding reform. We provided pro bono assistance with a wider pro bono team on Andrew Malkinson's two-decade fight to clear his name.
We acted for 27 member of the Afghan judicial system, who are seeking leave to enter the UK following the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban. We have provided strategic advice in relation to the process for obtaining visas and have lobbied the Home Office through correspondence. Unfortunately, after receiving negative responses from the Government Legal Department, we combined our campaign with potential litigation, including by reference to judicial review. Many of our clients were female members of the judiciary who faced increased threats. We applied under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP), the Afghan Citizens' Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) and for Leave Outside the Rules (LOTR). After receiving negative responses from the Government Legal Department, we sent Pre-Action Protocol letters on behalf of individuals who we believed were at particular risk; two high profile judges, one of whom was male and the other one female. Our team engaged in lengthy pre-action correspondence with the GLD, but a viable resolution was not forthcoming. As a result, we issued judicial review proceedings in early December 2022 challenging the Defendant's refusal of our clients' applications under the ARAP policy and refusal to consider our clients' applications under LOTR.
Access to law projects
Working Families is the UK’s work-life balance charity. Their mission is to remove the barriers that people with caring responsibilities face in the workplace. They provide free legal advice to parents and carers on their rights at work. Our volunteers assist with legal queries that families might have on their rights as workers.
Open University / St Giles Project
St Giles helps people held back by poverty, exploited, abused, dealing with addiction or mental health problems, caught up in crime or a combination of these issues and others through support, advice and training. We assisted Open University students to produce handouts containing guidance on setting up a small business to support St Giles' work with their clients.
We are pleased to partner with the charity Young Citizens for the Big Legal Lesson 2023, a national campaign offering free classroom resources to allow more young people to learn about the law.
We also volunteer for the Legal Experts in Schools programme which partners our volunteers with young people from local secondary schools to help with their understanding of the law and how it relates to their lives.
We are proud to support a new project from leading youth charity, The Mix, which provides young people with accurate information about their rights when interacting with the police.
The project delivers accessible and engaging resources to provide young people with the knowledge they need to feel safe and empowered.
We are a member of LawWorks, the leading pro bono charity for solicitors in England and Wales. In conjunction with LawWorks, we support the Mind the Gap Project which sees legal volunteers observe MP surgeries to record the types of legal problems that arise to assess any unmet legal needs.