The Access to Justice Foundation was set up by the legal profession. We are the only national charity solely focused on funding and supporting access to justice. The Foundation give grants to advice agencies across the country that provide legal advice on a range of issues.
To increase funding for the advice and pro bono sectors to ensure we meet the needs of our beneficiaries, to include local and regional fundraising.
To build on the effectiveness of grant making to both local and national organisations within the sector.
To support the sector by providing leadership and encouraging collaboration.
We raise funds and distribute them strategically to those advice agencies who can make the most difference to the lives of vulnerable people.
We fund Law Centres, local citizens’ advice, independent advice agencies, pro bono projects and national charities, which help to facilitate access to justice.
To ensure help reaches those most in need we work in partnership with committees across the regions of England, in Wales and in Scotland. We also work to support the sector in other ways, consulting with sector organisations around what we can most usefully do to support them. This includes exploring new and better ways for the sector to collaborate and to increase the effectiveness of the sector, working closely with other advice funders and working closely with other partners
In 2018, the Access to Justice Foundation distributed a total of £2,080,182 in grants to support free legal help for those in need. The organisations we support work tirelessly to help the most vulnerable in society. Some examples of the work we fund are:
Over the past ten years we have made over 300 grants worth over £7m, providing advice to tens of thousands of people.
The Foundation’s most recent grants round had 100 applications, out of which we will only be able to support around 10% due to the funds that are available.
* Real names not used
A national partnership working together to improve the experience of people facing the legal process alone by improving access to information, practical support, advice and representation.
Sasan Abtahi is the Grants Manager for the Foundation’s Legal Support for Litigants in Person grants programme.
Alice Bettis Marsh is the Network and Development Officer. Alice is responsible for overseeing the Network and its membership and works as support within the Development team at the Access to Justice Foundation.
Sirintiya Booth-Roberts is the Programme Administrator for the Litigant in Person Support Strategy.
Laura Cassidy is the Fundraising and Development Manager at the Access to Justice Foundation.
Laura is responsible for organising fundraising events such as the Legal Walks, the Great Legal Quiz and the Great Legal Bake.
Clare Carter is the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Access to Justice Foundation. Clare is responsible for ensuring the sustainability of the Foundations charitable activities.
Ruth Daniel is the Chief Executive Officer at the Access to Justice Foundation. Ruth is responsible for the overall strategic direction of the charity.
Martha leads the Litigant in Person Network as Network Development Manager, focusing on supporting the access to justice sector to work together more effectively, communicate more easily and work more strategically. She initiated the innovation workstream with a focus on data, design, tools and technology. A law graduate, she has previously worked in fundraising and business development across a number of access to justice organisations and has seven years’ experience in the sector.
Larissa Fischer is a Grants Officer for the LSLIP Grants Programme.
Peter Fruin is the Finance and Operations Manager at the Access to Justice Foundation. Peter is responsible for the Foundation’s Financial records and operations, as well as Legal & Governance matters.
A CIMA-qualified accountant, Peter has extensive experience working in both Finance and Compliance at the trading arm of the Royal Institute of British Architects.
Stacey Lamb is the Grants Director of the Access to Justice Foundation, with oversight of the Foundation’s collective grant-making, including the LIPSS Partnership, Community Justice Fund and Legal Support for Litigants in Person grant.
Stacey has previously worked throughout the access to justice sector in frontline service delivery, volunteer management and fundraising. She is also a trustee of the Artis Foundation.
Ildephonse Nzabahimana is the Data and Learning Manager at the Access to Justice Foundation.
Lynne Squires is the Director of Development at the Access to Justice Foundation.
Lynne joins the Foundation from CILEx where she held the position of Head of Business Development.
Lord (Peter) Goldsmith QC, PC, is the London Co-Managing Partner and Chair of European and Asian Litigation at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. He served as the UK’s Attorney General from 2001–2007, prior to which he was in private practice as one of the leading barristers in London.
Lord Goldsmith acts for a variety of clients in arbitration and litigation around the world. As the UK Attorney General, he represented the government in numerous cases in UK and international courts. He also argued as counsel in the House of Lords two of the 15 cases regarded as the most important British cases of the last 150 years.
Lord Goldsmith has a strong history and life-long support for pro bono assistance to bring legal advice to the disadvantaged. As a young lawyer, he started a legal advice center in the East End of London and, later in his career, founded the Bar of England & Wales’ Pro Bono Unit (of which he remains President) and the Attorney General’s pro bono coordinating committees. Amongst other recognitions, he was awarded the Lifetime Award for Extraordinary Contribution to the Development of Pro Bono Culture in Europe at the 2014 PILnet European Pro Bono Forum.
He was one of the founders behind the Foundation and became the first Chair of its Trustee Board, a post he held until September 2020 when he became the Foundation’s President
Laurence is a solicitor who has practiced in the area of commercial litigation all his career.
He was one of the founder partners of the London office of the international law firm of Cooley. He advises Governments, large corporates and high net worth individuals in complex commercial disputes. Prior to joining Cooley, he had been a Managing Partner of a UK firm, and then the Deputy Managing Partner of a large US law firm.
He is a solicitor-advocate and a Crown Court Recorder. Laurence joined the Board of the Foundation in 2012 and was appointed the Foundation’s second Chair in succession to Peter Goldsmith in September 2020.
Andrew is the Director of Business Development at Citizens Advice, the national membership organisation supporting the local Citizens Advice offices in England and Wales.
With a background in social welfare advice of over 20 years, beginning as a volunteer adviser, Andrew has worked within the advice sector on a range of projects, programmes and initiatives. As Director of Business Development, Andrew works with statutory, corporate and voluntary partners and funding to develop and fund new services to individuals and communities that address the ever increasing information, education, advice and advocacy needs that the Citizens Advice Service responds to through its network of over 3000 outlets in England and Wales.
Nicola is a portfolio non-executive director with over 30 years of business experience. She is a qualified chartered accountant and her business experience has covered a wide variety of sectors including legal services, technology, telecommunications, retail, media, financial services, regulation, housing and charities.
In addition to her role at ATJF she is currently chair at Milton Keynes Development Partnership, chair at CHP Ltd, a board member of the Bar Standards Board, a trustee of the charity Changing Faces, a member of the Managing Partners Forum advisory board and an advisor to LegalTech firm Legl.
Dame MM is a High Court Judge in the Queen’s Bench Division. She is the Lord Chief Justice’s appointed representative on the ATJF.
She was chair of the Bar Council in 2013. She is involved in judicial and advocacy training, nationally and internationally. She is a Guardian of the ‘Support Through Court’ organisation and is committed to promoting access to justice for all groups and individuals.
Natalia Rymaszewska is the Head of Grants at the Leathersellers’ Company, one of the ancient Livery Companies of the City of London where she manages a range of funding programmes providing charitable, educational and trade related grants.
Having originally studied law at Edinburgh University, Natalia has over a decade of experience in the voluntary and funding sectors. Having previously worked at both the Bar Pro Bono Unit (now Advocate) and as Chief Executive of the London Legal Support Trust, she also holds a Masters in Voluntary Sector Management from CASS Business School, with a focus on Grant Making and Philanthropy.
Joe Snape is a human rights and environmental solicitor at McCue & Partners. He has previously worked in corporate law and in several NGOs, and also has experience of climate change litigation in the UK and Latin America.
Joe has several years’ experience of working across a number of organisations providing access to justice to vulnerable individuals and is also a governor of Oldfield Primary School.
Rebecca Samaras is the Director of Pro Bono and Clinical Legal Education at the University of Edinburgh. Rebecca is responsible for the strategic development and leadership of the Edinburgh Law School’s pro bono activity.
A former litigation solicitor, Rebecca specialised in family law and the additional support needs (SEN) of underrepresented vulnerable individuals, and charities throughout her career.She sits on the Law Society of Scotland’s Access to Justice Committee and the Scotland Committee for the Access to Justice Foundation. She is also Chair of the Scottish University Law Clinic Network (SULCN) and a Trustee of the Clinical Legal Education Organisation (CLEO).
Sarah currently works for the United Nations as a civil society and social justice advisor, specialising in grant management, project evaluation and capacity building.
She previously worked as a litigation solicitor in London then specialised in human rights law and access to justice in low income countries. She is passionate about justice sector reform and for the past 25 years has worked as a founder, and advisor on access to justice projects in the UK, Asia and Africa.
Audrey is currently Director Internal Audit and Risk for British Council, the UK’s international organisation for education and cultural relations.
She is a chartered accountant and a qualified internal auditor and holds a Masters degree in Economics. She has 20 years of experience in governance, risk and assurance in the commercial, public and third sector including education, technology and financial services.
Gavin Mansfield QC is a barrister and is Head of Littleton Chambers. He specialises in employment and partnership disputes and related areas of commercial law.
Gavin sits as a Deputy High Court Judge in the Queen’s Bench Division in the Employment Appeal Tribunal. He is a former Chair of the Employment Law Bar Association and is a Master of the Bench of the Honourable Society of Middle Temple.