Head of Legal, TrustLaw

Full-time position

Thomson Reuters Foundation

We are the corporate foundation of Thomson Reuters, the global news and information services company. Established in 1982, the Foundation has 100 staff members in 17 locations around the world, and works to advance media freedom, raise awareness of human rights issues, and develop initiatives to support more inclusive economies.

We believe in the power of information and collaboration to shape a more fair and equal world. Through global news coverage, media development, free legal assistance and our convening authority, we seek to inform, connect and empower people around the world. Our mission is to inspire collective leadership by building global awareness of the challenges facing humanity, and empowering others to shape free, fair and open societies.


TrustLaw is the world’s leading pro bono legal service. The service and wider programme helps high-impact NGOs and social enterprises by connecting them with the world’s best law firms and in-house legal teams that provide free legal assistance.

Legal requests range from everyday operational and commercial matters – such as corporate structuring, intellectual property, non-profit governance or employment advice – to large-scale cross-border legal research projects. Research projects are based on NGO priorities across social or policy issues ranging from human trafficking and slavery, to domestic violence laws, health and social innovation policy, with a growing number in Thomson Reuters Foundation focus areas of media freedom, inclusive economies as well as human rights.

Launched in 2010, TrustLaw has grown to include more than 5,000 members in 175 countries, including over 950 law firms and in-house legal teams and over 4,750 NGO and social enterprise members.

Job Summary

Thomson Reuters Foundation is recruiting for a Head of Legal for TrustLaw. The position would be based in London in Thomson Reuters’ office.

The Head of Legal, TrustLaw leads a team of lawyers that works closely with NGO and social enterprise members to identify their legal needs and finds lawyers who offer pro bono legal assistance. The Head of Legal oversees TrustLaw’s relationships with its law firm and in-house legal team members worldwide, identifies strategic opportunities and partnerships and oversees the development and publication of legal research and guides for the social sector.

As a member of TrustLaw’s senior management team, the Head of Legal will help build our global strategy and manage regional teams (North America, South Asia and Asia Pacific) to ensure key objectives are achieved.

The ideal candidate will be a lawyer who is a dynamic, organised and passionate leader, with excellent knowledge of how the law affects civil society organisations and is used to achieve social and environmental change.

Reporting to the Director of TrustLaw, the successful candidate will work closely with TrustLaw’s team of 20 people across 9 countries.


  • Manage a team of legal and programme managers and officers based around the world.
  • Work with other colleagues in the senior leadership of TrustLaw (Director of TrustLaw and Head of Programmes) to define and implement a global strategy with clear team objectives, outputs and targets along with support for regional strategies and plans.
  • Generate, scope and manage cross-border research projects that address the critical social, policy and advocacy issues NGO and social enterprise members seek to address, including in the Foundation’s focus areas of media freedom, inclusive economies and human rights.
  • Oversee the team’s handling of pro bono requests from our global community of NGOs and social enterprises, from the scoping of the pro bono legal requests, placing projects with lawyers and follow up with the parties involved.
  • Devise and implement strategies for TrustLaw globally to ensure quality and growth metrics are met as TrustLaw’s monitoring and evaluation, accountability and learning (MEAL) system is developed.
  • Work with the Director of TrustLaw and the Foundation’s CEO on key strategic initiatives and convenings, including the Trust Conference influential gathering of corporations, lawyers and pioneers in the field of human rights.
  • Assist with the design and hosting of events on key themes and focus areas to engage a range of clients and stakeholders.
  • Represent the Foundation at major events and present TrustLaw to a variety of stakeholders.
  • Build and maintain relationships with our law firm and in-house legal team members globally and support team members to do this in their respective regions.
  • Monitor key metrics and allocate resources as needed to manage project supply and demand, and ensure smooth engagement online and offline with the TrustLaw service.
  • Work with the team, Director of TrustLaw and other Foundation Directors to develop working groups, events and collaborations on the Foundation’s focus areas of media freedom, inclusive economies and human rights.
  • Work closely with the team to manage regular communications with our global network of members to promote pro bono participation.
  • Ensure the TrustLaw offer evolves with changes in pro bono practices, key laws and policies.
  • Maintain and develop best practice resources in relation to research and the project development process.
  • Oversee key initiatives including the TrustLaw Index of Pro Bono and training courses, and contribute to Foundation thought leadership on pro bono and how law firms can support social progress through working with NGOs, social enterprises and others.
  • Work with the Foundation’s business development team to develop partnerships with donors and companies and special projects that increase TrustLaw’s reach and impact. 
  • Cultivate a high-performing, healthy team ethic, with strong communication and an enabling environment including for learning and developing knowledge and expertise on the key areas of focus for the Foundation.    

Key skills, knowledge and experience:

  • A highly qualified lawyer (at least 4 years of experience as a practising lawyer in any jurisdiction) with significant experience in a commercial legal environment (law firm or in-house at a corporation).
  • Experience in pro bono or human rights law, and an interest and/or experience in international development.
  • Proven organisational and project management skills and experience of managing competing priorities in a fast-paced environment, preferably in managing complex cross-border matters around the world.
  • Experience working with diverse teams and strong people management skills.
  • Preferably some experience working on social or policy issues.
  • A good understanding of the legal industry internationally.
  • An excellent communicator with first-class written and verbal communication skills, capable of presenting to professionals from diverse backgrounds and cultures (given TrustLaw works with the best law firms, NGOs and social enterprises in the world).
  • A creative, quick thinker who is also a highly motivated self-starter, with an ability to work independently and contribute ideas to the team.
  • Fluent in English, other languages highly desirable.
  • Have the right to work in the UK and be willing to travel internationally.

Deadline for applications: 7th February 2020 

Salary: The salary is relative to the charitable sector and will be commensurate with experience.

At Thomson Reuters, we believe what we do matters. We are passionate about our work, inspired by the impact it has on our business and our customers. As a team, we believe in winning as one - collaborating to reach shared goals, and developing through challenging and meaningful experiences. With more than 25,000 employees in more than 100 countries, we work flexibly across boundaries and realize innovations that help shape industries around the world. Making this happen is a dynamic, evolving process, and we count on each employee to be a catalyst in driving our performance - and their own.

As a global business, we rely on diversity of culture and thought to deliver on our goals. To ensure we can do that, we seek talented, qualified employees in all our operations around the world regardless of race, color, sex/gender, including pregnancy, gender identity and expression, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, citizen status, veteran status, or any other protected classification under applicable law. Thomson Reuters is proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer providing a drug-free workplace.

We also make reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities and for sincerely held religious beliefs in accordance with applicable law.

Intrigued by a challenge as large and fascinating as the world itself? Come join us.

To learn more about what we offer, please visit thomsonreuters.com/careers.

More information about Thomson Reuters can be found on thomsonreuters.com.

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