What is the pro-bono fund?
The Pro-Bono Fund brokers free legal advice from the legal panel framework firms to small NGBs and sport and recreation organisations.
Each firm on the panel has committed to provide up to £5,000 worth of free advice per year to the sport and recreation sector.
Who is eligible to apply for the fund?
Organisations must meet the following criteria to be eligible to apply for the pro-bono fund:
- The organisation must have a turnover of less than £500,000 (this is inclusive of grant income)
- The organisation must have no budget set aside for legal expenses
- The organisation must have no paid legal staff
- The organisation must be a member of the Sport and Recreation Alliance and/or be funded by UK Sport, Sport England, Sport Wales or Sport Northern Ireland
Please Note: Organisations who meet the eligibility criteria aren’t automatically entitled to an award from the fund. Decisions to make an award are at the discretion of the collaborators (Sport England, UK Sport, the Sport and Recreation Alliance, Sport Wales and Sport Northern Ireland).
What areas of the law will the fund assist you with?
Small NGBs and sport and recreation organisations who meet the eligibility criteria will be able to apply to the fund for free legal assistance with the following areas of law:
- Charity and trust law including CASC registration
- Child protection/vulnerable groups (DBS, Protection of Freedoms Act)
- Simple contracts/grant agreements
- Corporate law/governance/constitutional affairs
- Employment law
- Insolvency law
- Property law (such as leases, licences and security of tenure).
Please note: The pro-bono fund won’t be available for assistance with disputes or contentious matters and organisations will only be eligible to receive one successful application per year.
How do you apply to the fund?
Access to the free legal assistance is managed through a central application route coordinated by the Sport and Recreation Alliance.
Once an application is successful, the legal panel framework firms are contacted to confirm who’s available to provide advice on the matter.
When a firm confirms they’re able to help, the Sport and Recreation Alliance puts the organisation in touch with the firm and they liaise directly with each other from that point.
A unique reference number will be given to the organisation which they must provide to the firm at the outset of the matter.
Applications to access the free legal advice must be submitted to the Sport and Recreation Alliance Governance team.
To apply, organisations must download and fill in the application form and send it along with a copy of the organisation’s latest audited annual accounts, business plan or financial information.
When will you find out if your application has been successful?
Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis - the timescales are outlined below:
- Application deadline – 20th of each month
- Application reviewed – 30th of each month
- Decision notification – two weeks after 30th.
Applications received after the 20th of the month will not be considered until the following month.
Is there any more information on the fund?
Please read all of the downloadable documents at the bottom of this page before submitting an application. They include:
If you’d like to discuss your application, please contact the Sport and Recreation Alliance Governance team.