IBA announces £180k fund to support international frontline legal aid providers

Wednesday 17 June 2020

The International Bar Association (IBA) and its United States-based charitable arm, the IBA Foundation, have announced a new funding programme to support frontline legal aid providers across the world that are struggling during the Covid-19 crisis. The two entities have allocated GBP 100,000 and USD 100,000 respectively.

Horacio Bernardes Neto, IBA President and Senior Partner at Brazilian law firm Motta Fernandes Advogados, commented: ‘As the global voice of the legal profession, the IBA has a responsibility to demonstrate leadership in these turbulent times and maintain our focus on the wider international community. The worldwide economic downturn caused by the ongoing pandemic is sadly having a negative impact on charitable contributions. Our new outreach programme aims to address this potentially catastrophic financial gap and help legal aid entities to continue providing their vital services to those in need.’

Established in 1947, the IBA’s membership now spans 170 countries with many of the world’s most prominent law firms having signed-up all of their lawyers as members. These IBA Group Member firms will work with the IBA to identify frontline legal aid entities in their respective jurisdictions that are assisting victims of domestic violence, child abuse, civil rights violations and employment and housing discrimination to be awarded a portion of the funding.

IBA Executive Director, Mark Ellis, said: ‘There is no doubt that vulnerable populations are facing unprecedented, often life-threatening, challenges because of the Covid-19 crisis. Despite our own personal struggles, we must not lose sight of the fact that many elderly, homeless and other disenfranchised people desperately need help. Legal aid is a lifeline and the IBA is committed to supporting organisations that provide such services.’

Hansel T Pham, President, IBA Foundation, commented: ‘We are pleased to be partnering with the IBA to provide assistance to frontline legal aid groups at this most critical time when their work is needed more than ever in our communities. The IBA Foundation looks forward to working with IBA Group Member firms to identify and support these worthy legal aid providers.’


Notes to the Editor

  1. The International Bar Association (IBA), the global voice of the legal profession, is the foremost organisation for international legal practitioners, bar associations and law societies. Established in 1947, shortly after the creation of the United Nations, it was born out of the conviction that an organisation made up of the world's bar associations could contribute to global stability and peace through the administration of justice.

    In the ensuing 70 years since its creation, the organisation has evolved from an association comprised exclusively of bar associations and law societies to one that incorporates individual international lawyers and entire law firms. The present membership is comprised of more than 80,000 individual international lawyers from most of the world’s leading law firms and some 190 bar associations and law societies spanning more than 170 countries.
  2. The International Bar Association Foundation is a US-based charitable foundation, established in 1986 by members of the IBA to engage in educational and charitable activities related to advancing the rule of law. The Foundation was reorganised in 2017 to be a supporting organisation of the IBA. Under the new structure, the Foundation now focuses its efforts to help fund major IBA rule of law initiatives initiated by the IBA.

For further information please contact:

Romana St. Matthew - Daniel
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IBA website page link for this news release:
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