By Oscar Tang, 2 June 2023

The writer is a senior associate at Clifford Chance, specialising in advisory and information law 

I've worked on pro bono matters since I was a trainee solicitor. It's a well-worn phrase, but I believe in giving back to society and supporting community initiatives where I can.

Ten years on from my days as a trainee, I still like to put my hand up to support charities and non-profits. And working at Clifford Chance means there's always pro bono opportunities to get involved with.  

Importantly, Clifford Chance do a fantastic job of promoting these opportunities and there's an internal team who help to coordinate these projects, making it easy to sign up for more purpose-led work.

I hadn't been at the firm long when I heard about Clifford Chance's unique partnership with Social Business Trust, one of our charitable and foundation partners. I was drawn to learn more about SBT and its practical model of matching corporate expertise with social enterprises that are looking to grow.  

The first project I worked on through SBT was with DFN Project Search, a charity that supports young adults with a learning disability or autism make their way into work. With my Clifford Chance pro bono hat on, I reviewed and advised on various contractual matters for DFN.    

Most recently, I have worked with another SBT social enterprise, Jamie's Farm, an organisation that run programmes for young people at their five farms across the UK. A typical day at Jamie's Farm for a young person would include farming, forestry, cooking, horse work, hiking and gardening. Their programmes offer practical and fulfilling work alongside therapeutic support that is all geared toward tangible outcomes.

Oscar at Jamie's Farm in Waterloo, known as Oasis Farm

My connection with Jamie's Farm was serendipitous, too, because I had visited one of their sites in Waterloo, London a few years ago. Little did I know that a few years later I'd be volunteering with them. But from that moment when I first came across them, I was impressed with the guiding philosophy of the organisation and struck by how beneficial their programmes are – especially in today's increasingly digitised world. I also kept thinking how a younger me, having grown up in the city, would have really taken to Jamie's Farm and benefited from its mix of pragmatism and support, its back to basics approach in the surrounds of wholesome nature.  

It's been rewarding to help Jamie's Farm with its legal and contractual work centred on the development of their new app. Knowing that the app will spread the word and increase the charity's reach, while also helping to connect teachers and parents, brings me a feeling of collective accomplishment. The app, too, will make it easier for those involved with Jamie's Farm to access important resources. 

Lastly, I want to add that I look forward to future work with DFN Project Search and Jamie's Farm, all made possible thanks to the fruitful partnership between Clifford Chance and SBT. 

Jamie's Farm has sites in Bath, Hereford, Monmouth, Lewes, Skipton and Waterloo

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If you work at Clifford Chance, or any of SBT’s corporate partners, and are interested in putting your skills and expertise to good use in support of a social enterprise, contact us at [email protected]