HSBC will work alongside 20 firms and chambers, including Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Linklaters, Slaughter and May and Fountain Court, in partnership with A4ID, which acts as a broker by putting law firms in touch with governments and development non-governmental organisations such as ActionAid.
An HSBC spokesman said that by supporting A4ID the bank can work towards the UN Millennium Development Goals and network with law firms.
Until last summer insurance restrictions prevented in-house legal teams joining A4ID, but now they can take part by either purchasing their own indemnity insurance or, like HSBC, by working in partnership with law firms, which will sign off on all the work undertaken under their insurance.
“The benefit from our point of view of having in-house teams on board is that they have so many lawyers and offices across the world and they can involve a different type of lawyer,” said A4ID executive officer Katie Hutt, adding that the organisation is in talks with a number of other corporations.
A4ID operates on an opt-in basis, circulating information on new projects every week and leaving it up to individual lawyers to volunteer.