We take the role we can play in society seriously

In addition to our for-profit work, we recognise the contribution we can make in improving the environment and society. We do this by doing what we do best: providing legal advice to organisations that have a great positive impact on society and the environment, and to people who have limited access to the justice system. We also support our clients in developing, launching and strengthening their own social responsibility initiatives and projects.


The pro bono cases we take on contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Our Pro Bono practice focuses is on no. 16: Justice and Strong Institutions. This way, we promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels


Our Pro Bono practice is among the largest in Europe, with over 9,000 hours spent on 99 matters by 220 of our lawyers over the course of 2021. We always create opportunities to work for pro bono clients during normal working hours.

Contact

Marjolein Portman

Senior Associate

Recent Matters

2 December 2020

Dutch government issues public apology to transgender and intersex community

We feel privileged that we have been able to assist the transgender and intersex community in obtaining acknowledgement, apologies and financial compensation from the Dutch government for the pain and suffering inflicted by the former Transgender Act.
19 July 2019

Supreme Court confirms Dutch State liability in Mothers of Srebrenica ruling

The Supreme Court announced its final ruling in one of De Brauw's ongoing pro bono matters: the Mothers of Srebrenica versus the Dutch State.This landmark ruling confirms the decision of The Hague Court of Appeal that the Dutch State is liable for the losses suffered by the relatives of the 350 Muslim men that were forced to leave the compound of Dutchbat on 13 July 1995. However, the Supreme Court limited the State’s liability to 10%. Both the Dutch State and the Mothers of Srebrenica had appealed this decision, arguing the extent to which the Dutch State had control over the situation and thus was responsible for protecting the Muslim men from being murdered by the Bosnian Serbs, with the consequence of holding the State liable for either more or fewer deaths. The chapter now closes on the battle we started out on together with the Mothers of Srebrenica in 2017 to defend the Court of Appeal's decision to keep the Dutch State accountable for Dutchbat's actions. Johan Valk was involved from an early stage and reflects on this ruling: "This matter was extremely complex and inherently emotional. At the same time, chances of survival in different scenarios were boiled down to percentages. The experience and expertise of our firm have been key to be able to navigate this playing field in front of the Supreme Court. Being able to give access to that level of the justice system is a responsibility we need to take seriously as a firm, and I think we do. I am grateful that we were able to help give these brave women a voice and the possibility to confront the Dutch State with its actions. We are glad that the Court of Appeal's decision to hold the Dutch State responsible still stands, even though we aimed to extend the State's responsibility much further than ten percent. I sincerely hope the Mothers of Srebrenica will now find a sense of closure." The De Brauw team working on this matter consisted of: Jan de Bie Leuveling Tjeenk, Maarten Schenck, Johan Valk and Christiaan Russcher.

Pro Bono Programme of the Year

Chambers Europe Awards, 2019
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UNICEF

UNICEF is the world's leading organisation for children, no matter who they are or where they live. To protect the rights of every child, UNICEF brings together more than 70 years of field-tested expertise, a network that spans more than 190 countries and territories, a passion for innovation, and a commitment to make every euro count.


The partnership with UNICEF the Netherlands focuses on child rights issues. Therefore, De Brauw is committed to provide ongoing pro bono legal advice and guidance on several projects that contribute to the enhancement of children's rights. De Brauw has participated in several legal matters, from the Dutch government's duties regarding youth care, to the issue of domestic violence and child abuse in the Dutch Caribbean.

LEARN MORE ABOUT UNICEF
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The Invictus Games 2022

The Invictus Games is an international sporting event for current and former military members, whether wounded, injured or sick. Harnessing the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and ignite a wider understanding and a deeper respect for those who serve their country, the Invictus Games is a platform that enlarges mindsets and inspires society. We are proud to play our part.


Our collaboration with the Invictus Games started shortly after the initiators (Mart de Kruif, Conny Wanting and Pim Versteeg) succeeded bringing this inspiring and international event to be hosted in the Netherlands. The international, public and specialist nature of this event makes legal support a challenging responsibility, notwithstanding the additional layer of complexity contributed by the pandemic. We are committed to providing pro bono legal support to oversee the Games' contractual arrangements with the Netherlands, commercial partners and suppliers. Our aim is to act as a strategic sounding board for the organisers while they navigate the logistical and legal framework as the Games approach.


Learn more about the Invictus Games
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The Ocean Cleanup

Over 5 trillion pieces of plastic currently litter the world’s oceans. The purpose of The Ocean Cleanup – whose founder received the United Nations Champions of the Earth Award winner – is to rid the oceans of plastic. We are proud to play a role in this ambitious goal.


Our collaboration with The Ocean Cleanup dates back to early 2015, when it was still a startup. We act as trusted adviser to their General Counsel and Management Team. We have been involved in various legal matters, from document drafting and intellectual property issues, to corporate restructuring and contacts with public authorities. Our work has included a landmark agreement with the Netherlands on the legal status, operation and protection of the Ocean Cleanup's systems, which enabled them to actually launch its systems. Further, we have been involved with patenting the new technology, and insuring risky ocean survey operations.

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Impact Hub

Impact Hub is a locally rooted and globally connected entrepreneurial network of 17,000+ members in 100+ locations. All members work towards enabling tangible positive impact, guided by the Sustainable Development Goals. Impact Hub aims to strengthen entrepreneurial ecosystems around the world, inspire collaboration around key issues between unlikely allies, and support impact-driven entrepreneurs on their journey from idea to impact at scale.


For over five years, De Brauw has been a partner of the Impact Hub Amsterdam. Within this programme, our youngest cohort of associates help several startups each year, as part of their training programme. They support the startups with their legal expertise and help them start, grow and scale their business and increase their impact. Since the associates are mentored by De Brauw's senior associates, it is an unrivalled opportunity to learn "on the job".

Learn more about Impact Hub

Team

Marjolein Portman

Senior Associate

Simone Kooij

Chief HR Officer

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