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We strongly believe in the importance of access to justice as a fundamental aspect of upholding the rule of law. Through our pro bono work, we provide free legal advice and representation to organisations and individuals who lack the opportunity or means to obtain our level of legal services.

Our lawyers and business support professionals actively support a wide range of pro bono activities. These include providing legal advice to non-profit organisations on a range of legal issues, working with non-profit organisations to advance their work, and assisting with strategic litigation - including representing clients in the Supreme Court. In strategic litigation in particular, we see our pro bono work as fundamental to who we are as a firm: we can make a real difference by using the law as a tool for change.

Bridging the access to justice gap

Our pro bono work focuses on three themes - human rights, sustainability, and support for the cultural sector. We assign cases to teams of lawyers who are experts in the relevant areas of law to ensure that we provide the highest quality pro bono legal services. In addition to our own initiatives, we support Dutch clearing house Pro Bono Connect - that connects NGOs in need of pro bono legal support with law firms. In 2022, our team dedicated over 1,000 hours to pro bono work, demonstrating our ongoing commitment to bridging the access to justice gap.

  • Pro bono matters

    Our Supreme Court litigation team helps bring marriage equality in Aruba and Curaçao
    The Court of Appeal of the Dutch Caribbean held that the discrimination of same-sex couples in Aruba and Curaçao is unlawful. This affirmation and recognition of LGBTI+ rights means a lot, as it should lead to the opening of actual marriage. It should also lead to equality in terms of property rights. Our Supreme Court litigation team assisted on a pro bono basis in this historic public interest litigation.

    With law firm Höcker we set a legal precedent with the historic Urgenda climate case

    We argued for the fundamental legal principle that the justice system has a duty to protect the human rights of Dutch citizens against the dangers posed by climate change. The Dutch Supreme Court stated that the Dutch government had to reduce emissions immediately in line with its human rights obligations. A historic victory for climate justice.

    Our Supreme Court litigation team assists in Sri Lankan adoption case

    We assisted a Dutch law firm in a Sri Lankan adoption case against the Dutch state and an adoption organisation. Due to malpractice associated with adoptions from Sri Lanka the adopted person could not obtain information regarding their heritage. The Hague Court of Appeal ruled in favour of the adopted person and declared that the Dutch State and the Dutch adoption organisation acted unlawfully and that the adopted person is entitled to compensation. This case is ongoing: the Dutch state filed an appeal in cassation.

    We assisted Stichting Vluchtelingenwerk (Dutch Council for Refugees) in several urgent impact projects:

    • Assisting in a pending appeal before the Hague Court of Appeal against the Dutch State concerning the State's human rights infringement against refugees.
    • Advising on various legal issues related to the specific status of Ukrainian refugees in the Netherlands.
    • Assisting to process refugees' flight stories (together with other Dutch law firms).

    We help Siréas to support people in social difficulty or in search of citizenship

    In Brussels, we work for Siréas, a non-profit association that provides assistance to people in social difficulty, in particular refugees and immigrants.

    repatriation of women and children from Syria

    repatriation of women and children from Syria

    repatriation of women and children from Syria

    Our Sustainable Business & Climate Change team advised GOGLA on its ESG policies

    GOGLA helps the off-grid industry build sustainable markets to deliver quality products and services to customers with little or no access to electricity. Its members power millions of homes, businesses, and public services. We advised this global association on updating its ESG policies.

    Supreme Court ruling on the repatriation of women and children from Syria

    We advocated for the repatriation of women and children from Syria

    We represented 23 Dutch women who went of their own accord to IS-held territory and their 56 children before the Supreme Court, asking the Dutch state to facilitate their return from detention camps in northern Syria.

  • Qualifying for pro bono assistance

    Requests for pro bono assistance are carefully evaluated by our Pro Bono Committee based on the following criteria:

    • The matter relates to one or more of our focus areas: human rights, sustainability or the cultural sector; is of significant importance to society or involves serious injustice.
    • The individual or organisation has limited financial resources.
    • Our firm has the appropriate legal expertise.
    • Our firm is not conflicted.
  • Contact

    Would you like to submit a request for pro bono assistance? Please send an email to our Pro Bono committee [probonocommittee@nautadutilh.com]. The committee is made up of lawyers, legal professionals, and support professionals with different expertise from our Benelux offices and is chaired by partner Teun Struycken. We will send you a pro bono intake form and let you know as soon as possible whether your case is eligible for assistance.

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