European Lawyers in Lesvos, Orrick, Dentons, Italian Coalition for Civil Liberties and Rights

The Practical Guide to Collaborative Access to Justice Pro Bono Projects

The Practical Guide to Collaborative Access to Justice Pro Bono Projects
Published on 19 May 2023 by Fabi Fugazza, Amy Grunske, Phil Worthington and Joanna Khatib The Practical Guide to Collaborative Access to Justice Pro Bono Projects, the first of its kind, comprehensively outlines best practices in the development and management of collaborative pro bono projects to meet the legal needs of disadvantaged and marginalized individuals. Written by: Fabi Fugazza (CILD), Amy Grunske (Orrick), Phil Worthington (ELIL), Joanna Khatib (Dentons)

The last five years has seen a significant increase in collaborative pro bono projects in the UK and Europe, where a number of commercial law firms and NGOs have developed projects together to address the unmet legal needs of disadvantaged and marginalised individuals. These are often referred to as “access to justice” collaborative pro bono projects. Given the acute, unmet legal needs of refugees in the region, there has been particular growth in the number of collaborative projects focusing specifically on providing services and support to asylum-seekers, refugees and other individuals with unstable or at risk migration status. However there are also examples, particularly in the UK, of projects that service other areas of legal need such as social housing, community care and benefits, and domestic violence.

Fabi Fugazza is Chief Operating Officer and Legal Expert of the Coalizione Italiana Libertà e Diritti civili (Italian Coalition for Civil Liberties and Rights - Italian acronym CILD), a human and civil rights coalition with 43 member organisations. A lawyer herself, as part of her work at CILD Fabi oversees 5 collaborative pro bono projects, in which CILD partners with 11 international law firms/ organisations and within which over 200 volunteer lawyers participate. Fabi also works as a lawyer and academic in the human rights sector in Australia, teaching human rights, law and organisational management across 3 universities. Fabi holds undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in law, legal practice, business, and management. 

Amy Grunske is the Head of International Pro Bono, Sustainability & Community Responsibility at law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, leading the pro bono practice in the firm’s 12 international offices across the UK, Continental Europe and Asia. Over the last five years, she has developed 14 collaborative access to justice pro bono projects in the region, working with 33 other law firms and 8 NGOs to undertake high impact work for vulnerable individuals in areas of great legal need. Amy is an Australian-qualified lawyer, holds undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in the areas of law, human rights, and psychology, and has worked in the pro bono sector since 2010.

Phil Worthington is Managing Director of European Lawyers in Lesvos (ELIL), which was established in 2016 and provides free legal assistance to asylum seekers in Greece (four offices), people arriving in Poland from Ukraine (five locations in Warsaw) and asylum seekers crossing the Poland-Belarus border (two offices). In total, ELIL has assisted over 18,000 asylum seekers and worked with more than 400 volunteer lawyers. Phil has helped set up two collaborative pro bono projects, each with six participating firms. Prior to founding ELIL, Phil worked as a commercial lawyer in London. 

Joanna Khatib is a Pro Bono Coordinator at Dentons Europe LLP. Joanna manages and coordinates the pro bono practice of the firm’s 23 offices across Europe, and works closely with Dentons colleagues on multijurisdictional pro bono projects at a global level. She has been involved in the (internal) coordination of several collaborative access to justice projects in Europe. Prior to joining Dentons, Joanna was a member of the legal team at the Dutch Council for Refugees where she provided legal guidance to asylum seekers and refugees in the Hague, Netherlands. Joanna holds undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in the areas international and European law, human rights law and corporate social responsibility.