Devoting our specialist legal expertise and skills to drive meaningful sustainable change and give back to our communities.
As a founding signatory of Pro Bono Pledge Ireland, we are committed to promoting access to justice by providing free legal assistance to those in need.
The Pro Bono Committee, led by Matheson's Pro Bono partner, Niamh Counihan, is supported by volunteers throughout the firm.
Pro Bono partner Niamh Counihan and Managing Partner, Michael Jackson.
We have a number of ongoing pro bono initiatives supporting Environmental Sustainability, CSR and D&I to benefit our communities, including the following:
Public Interest Law Alliance (PILA)
Collaborating with PILA in providing legal advice and assistance to not-for-profit organisations working with groups and individuals who cannot afford to pay for or access legal services.
Irish Rule Of Law International (IRLI)
We are proud to continue and further develop our long-standing partnership with the IRLI by providing pro bono services that enhance and promote the rule of law and access to justice. A recent example of our collaboration with the IRLI involved designing and delivering a bespoke Commercial Drafting Training and Education Course to lawyers from disadvantaged backgrounds in South Africa with a view to building their capacity to become commercial legal practitioners.
Cairde: The Open Community Allies Network
We are a signatory to The Open Community Cairde Allies Partner Pledge and support Ireland’s Community Sponsorship Programme for refugees. As part of a dedicated panel of 4 expert legal firms, Matheson lawyers use their legal and business skills to help refugees and their families arriving in Ireland, and the communities and host families that assist them at a time when they need it most to help them rebuild their lives. The legal panel is live on the Cairde website.
One of our most recent pro bono initiatives is as FLAC Volunteer lawyers on the FLAC Telephone Information & Referral Line, where a team of 30+ Matheson lawyers provide legal information directly to members of the public and answer their legal queries through FLAC's phone service each week.
Matheson was delighted to advise Sensational Kids in relation to the purchase of its new site for the construction and development of the National Child Development Centre and support its aim to help children with special needs by providing subsidised assessment and children’s therapy services.
Irish Refugee Council
Matheson lawyers provided free legal assistance to Afghan nationals located in Ireland to apply to the Irish Government under the Afghan Admission Programme for temporary immigration permission for their family members to enter and reside in Ireland.
Matheson trainees were seconded to the IRC's Independent Law Centre. The secondment supports the Irish Refugee Council meeting the unmet legal needs of people seeking international protection in Ireland in a strategic manner, promoting and delivering early legal advice and representation to people from the early stages of the asylum process. The Law Centre also provides legal representation to people with refugee status and people granted subsidiary protection in their applications for family reunification.
The Chancery Lane Project (TCLP)
A collaborative effort of legal professionals from around the world in (i) creating new, practical contractual clauses ready to incorporate into law firm precedents and commercial agreements to deliver climate solutions and; (ii) seeking to ensure effective and impactful implementation of the clauses, across industries, practice areas and jurisdictions.
Irish Red Cross and Ukraine Ireland Legal Alliance (UILA)
Matheson is proud to collaborate with the Irish Red Cross and UILA in providing assistance to Ukrainian refugees in Ireland. In addition to providing information clinics, our volunteers also provide assistance with locating suitable accommodation for members of the Ukrainian community and identifying support individuals and families requiring immediate medical or additional special needs.
Matheson's Recent Pro Bono Wins
Outstanding Firm at the Chambers Europe Awards 2023
Matheson was announced as the Pro Bono: Outstanding Firm of the Year at the Chambers and Partners Europe Awards 2023 in Milan on 25 May 2023. The Pro Bono: Outstanding Firm award celebrates the fantastic achievements of firms and individuals who are furthering the advancement of diversity, inclusion and pro bono across Europe. Chambers Europe said that, "In an intensely competitive field, Matheson are rewarded for outstanding commitment and impact of their pro bono work. Their impressive statistics on hours dedicated had a real world impact, from supporting refugees to children from lower socio-economic backgrounds."
The legal community's collaborative effort to support Ukrainian refugees in Ireland won the Partnership with Charity (LIC) / Volunteering award at the Chambers Ireland Sustainable Business Impact Awards 2023. Led by Matheson and A&L Goodbody LLP, with the involvement of six other firms, the project was delivered in partnership with the Ukraine Ireland Legal Alliance (UILA) and the Irish Red Cross to provide critical access and supports to Ukrainians who had recently arrived in Ireland, having fled the conflict in Ukraine.
National Pro Bono Firm Award: Women in Business Law Awards
Matheson was awarded the Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year award at the Women in Business Law Awards, EMEA 2023. The award recognises the impact of our pro bono initiatives, which are lead by pro bono partner, Niamh Counihan, and supported by our team of dedicated volunteers across the firm who consistently go above and beyond to provide free legal assistance to those who need it most.