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History of TrustLaw

Updated: Thu, 27 Nov 2014

OverviewBack to top

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Today, TrustLaw is the world’s largest global pro bono market place with legal teams providing free legal assistance to NGOs and social enterprises in over 170 countries. See the journey of how TrustLaw has grown to connect over $54m worth of free legal assistance globally. 

2009Back to top

Monique Villa, CEO of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, has the first concept of a vehicle to spread the practice of pro bono worldwide following a conversation with Jim Jones, founder of the Pro Bono Institute in Washington DC.

The idea that lawyers would give their brains and volunteer their skills to help NGOs and social enterprises around the world develop their mission and help social progress struck her as very powerful.

She then met with many lawyers, NGOs and social enterprises in different countries and continents to better understand their needs and start to give flesh to the concept.

2010Back to top

Monique’s team begins to informally connect lawyers with organisations in need of legal advice to advance their work. 

TrustLaw is officially launched on 21 June 2010 with a mission to spread the practice of pro bono worldwide to drive social change.

TrustLaw connects its first cross border legal comparative research programme.

TrustLaw connects 63 projects across 32 countries and generated a total of $3.5 million of pro bono assistance.

2011Back to top

TrustLaw connects 180 projects across 57 countries in 2011 and had generated a total of $13 million of pro bono assistance since launch.

TrustLaw establishes its first regional hubs in New York (USA) and Beijing (China).

TrustLaw hosts the inaugural TrustLaw Awards in London. 

2012Back to top

TrustLaw connects 268 projects across 52 countries in 2012 and had generated a total of $25 million of pro bono assistance since launch.

The TrustLaw Advisory Board is established.

The TrustLaw Awards are hosted in London.

2013Back to top

TrustLaw connects 364 projects across 66 countries in 2013 and had generated a total of $35 million of pro bono assistance since launch.

The TrustLaw team is expanded to include regional hubs in Mumbai (India), Rio (Brazil) and Johannesburg (South Africa).

TrustLaw connects its 500th pro bono project.

The TrustLaw Awards are hosted in New York City. 

2014Back to top

In 2014 TrustLaw connected over 450 projects across 71 countries and has generated a total of $54 million of pro bono assistance since launch. 

TrustLaw has grown to become the largest pro bono market place in the world connecting over 450 law firms with NGOs and social enterprises in 170 countries.

TrustLaw connects its 1000th pro bono project.

TrustLaw employs 18 staff across six countries.

TrustLaw launches the TrustLaw Index of Pro Bono, the world’s first global index of pro bono that looks at trends on the pro bono sector globally and data on pro bono legal assistance on a country-by-country basis, acting as a benchmark for the whole pro bono industry.

TrustLaw launches TrustLaw Training, an innovative legal training course on social innovation and impact investing.

TrustLaw hosts the TrustLaw Awards during National Pro Bono Week in London.

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