Pro Bono Profiles: Hogan Lovells

By Julianne Hughes-Jennett, partner, Hogan Lovells

In honor of Global Pro Bono Week, the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) is highlighting pro bono profiles from previous and current partners and volunteers. As part of this series, we recently reached out to our friends at Hogan Lovells, and asked them to write about their experience about working with ABA ROLI. In August, ABA ROLI honored the dedicated work of Hogan Lovells by presenting them with the 2016-17 International Pro Bono Rule of Law Award at the American Bar Association's Annual Meeting in New York City.

In 2016, Hogan Lovells worked with ABA ROLI's Balkans Regional Rule of Law Network (BRRLN), to train them on how to represent victims of gender-based violence.

Hogan Lovells are signatories to the UN Women's Empowerment Principles, and in May 2015 launched a firmwide "Empowering Girls and Women initiative" to address gender-based violence (GBV) and to support educational and work-related opportunities for girls and women. In the first of its kind for the region, during the course of 2016 we worked with the Balkans Regional Rule of Law Network (BRRLN), part of ABA ROLI, to deliver training on GBV to lawyers and civil society members in Albania, Bosnia, Macedonia, and Serbia. GBV is a particularly pervasive problem throughout the Western Balkans and there is often little legal advice available to victims of GBV. This is an area of focus where we felt we could create real impact and systemic change to the lives of individuals by addressing international standards to improve access to justice and strengthen the rule of law. Working with local and international experts, using research and our extensive experience of obtaining domestic violence injunctions both in the U.K. and the U.S., we developed a comprehensive programme on international standards connected to domestic violence and how to obtain a domestic violence injunction. 

Through this innovative project we have collaborated to increase awareness in the region, and encourage local lawyers to take on GBV cases, and identify potential strategic litigation in the region. Positive outcomes are already being seen in the Balkans with participants increasingly taking on cases for GBV victims. One lawyer, who had not acted on a GBV casebefore, successfully obtained protection for a victim, despite reluctance byauthorities to act. We have also been working with the local experts on considering avenues for strategic litigation in the region. London lead relationship partner Julianne Hughes-Jennett said, “this work demonstrates how you can connect with law firms and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) around the world to try to enhance capacity in those areas.  This work chimes with what we are trying to do as a firm, not only in terms of women and young girls but also in advancing the rule of law."

To learn more about our work in the Balkans region, please contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at