10 Jan 2013 - by A4ID

A4ID breaks £25 million pro bono ‘milestone’

Advocates for International Development (A4ID), the charity that brokers pro bono legal advice for the international development sector, this month reached a new milestone in its mission to support the fight against global poverty through the law.

As of this month, since its establishment in 2006, A4ID has brokered over £25 million-worth of free legal advice from the world’s top law firms for international development organisations, allowing them to direct their limited resources at the frontline.

The level of free advice given by lawyers through A4ID would be enough to pay for a year’s first-line HIV antiretroviral treatment for 400,000 people in sub-Saharan Africa or 8 million insecticide-treated mosquito nets to prevent malarial infection. A4ID’s development partners include both the International HIV/AIDS Alliance and the Malaria Consortium.

Since 2006 A4ID has grown a network of more than 40,000 lawyers working for 45 legal partners across the world, to whom it advertises pro bono projects from its over 400 development organisation partners. The A4ID legal network, list of development partners and number of projects allocated have all continued to grow considerably year on year.

Yasmin Batliwala, A4ID’s Chief Executive said:

City lawyers aren’t typically the first people who spring to mind as champions in the fight against global poverty. But the fact that lawyers internationally are giving up their essential skills pro bono through A4ID has saved the development sector millions of pounds in the last six years; money that can be directed back into operations on the ground in the developing world.

This is a substantial milestone, but the really important thing is the difference that the legal support provided through A4ID is making to help some of the poorest people in the world. A4ID has a growing list of development partners that includes charities working in every aspect of international development, from the fight against AIDS and malaria, to disaster relief and providing clean water. They rely on us to help them get the legal advice they need for free so they can concentrate on making a real difference. In turn, lawyers are increasingly thinking about how they can use their skills to provide support to charities working in the developing world and to find legal solutions to longstanding global problems.