Our Grants

Grants support the provision of legal advice and representation

Grants rounds

The Trustees generally expect to hold two grants rounds a year with deadlines in May and September. Each round will be announced on our website. The trustees may also exercise their discretion to distribute funds outside of these grants rounds on an invitation only basis.

May deadline: The Foundation will usually consider applications from national infrastructure organisations and for strategic projects that may lead to national developments.

September deadline: Applications will usually be accepted directly from local organisations to support local or regional provision of services or the establishment of new services where none exists. The Foundation will work closely with the appropriate Legal Support Trust(s) to ensure the Foundation maintains its strategic focus.

  • Grants Criteria
  • Distribution Principles
  • Final Application Checks

Our Criteria

Our grants round for national projects is now open for expressions of interest. The Trustees will consider requests for funding from organisations undertaking national work which covers one or both of the following key criteria:

  • Assisting those in need of free legal advice on a national level (as opposed to a local area or region) through the provision of specialist second tier advice or training frontline advisers to increase that capacity at a local level.
  • Supporting the advice sector infrastructure organisations in their work to help the pro bono and advice sectors to operate more effectively

The Trustees will look more favourably upon applications which:

  • Ensure our national grants support local and regional organisations delivering specialist legal advice and representation.
  • Increase the availability of access to justice in social welfare law for the most vulnerable people and particularly those living in poverty.
  • Make effective use of resources.

Please note:

  • In deciding what to fund the Trustees will consider the degree of need and the degree of benefit.
  • The Foundation always receives more applications than can be funded.
  • The Foundation may approach particular organisations or projects with a view to encouraging them to submit an application.
  • An invitation to submit a full application is no guarantee of funding.
  • Applications for funding will generally be considered in the region of £20,000 to £30,000.

Please submit expressions of interest of no more than 500 words to grants@atjf.org.uk by 5pm on 2 March 2020.

Invitations to submit full applications will be sent by close of business on 16 March 2020.

The deadline for full applications will be in mid-April (exact date to be confirmed) with final decisions by 15 May 2020.

If you would like any additional guidance at any point please contact Ruth Daniel at grants@atjf.org.uk or 020 7092 3973.

Distribution Principles

Please note that these distribution principles are subject to the discretion of the trustees and may be changed at any time. The trustees do not accept any duty or liability to any person seeking funding.

What we look for:

  • The Trustees will only consider requests for funding from organisations which provide, organise or facilitate the provision of legal advice or assistance provided free of charge to people who are in charitable need.
  • The Trustees may also provide funding to organisations which further access to justice more broadly.
  • The Foundation will not fund individual litigation (including disbursements).
  • Pro bono work is not a substitute for legal aid. The Foundation will not provide funding for services for which public funding is available.
  • Engagement in and involvement with existing local advice communities.

Specific criteria will be published on the website for each grants round.

Final Application Checks

  • You have submitted your request for funding in the format set out within the Grants Criteria
  • You have submitted your application in advance of the relevant deadline published on the Foundation’s website.
  • You have provided any additional information requested, for example annual accounts.
  • You have read our distribution principles available here.


  1. The Foundation is primarily established to provide “financial and other support (including such financial support as is envisaged by section 194 of the Legal Services Act 2007 as amended or re-enacted from time to time) to persons who provide, or organise or facilitate the provision of, legal advice or assistance (by way of representation or otherwise) which is free of charge (that is, otherwise than for or in expectation of fee, gain or reward) and which is provided directly or indirectly to people who are in need of such advice or assistance by reason of youth, age, ill-health, disability, financial hardship or other disadvantage”. (Memorandum of Association paragraph 3.1)
  2. The Foundation is secondarily established to promote “such other purposes aimed at improving access to justice being exclusively charitable according to the law of England and Wales as the Trustees may from time to time determine”. (Memorandum of Association paragraph 3.2)
  3. Monies received from a pro bono costs order may only be applied “to provide financial support to persons who provide, or organise or facilitate the provision of, legal advice or assistance (by way of representation or otherwise) which is free of charge”. (Section 194(10) Legal Services Act 2007, and Memorandum of Association paragraph 3.1)