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Claire Donse

Head of Pro Bono, EMEA and Asia Pacific

Claire Donse leads the firm's pro bono program in Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and the UK. Claire also works with New Perimeter, DLA Piper's international pro bono initiative and nonprofit affiliate.

DLA Piper provides more than 200,000 hours of free legal services annually, and has provided over £6 million in pro bono legal services to UNICEF, the firm's global partner.

Claire's pro bono practice is focused in the areas of access to justice, child rights and capacity building. She establishes and oversees a diverse range of global pro bono initiatives. She develops high impact international pro bono projects and brings together teams of lawyers from across DLA Piper's global offices to deliver these projects. She works to build partnerships and collaborates with commercial clients, NGOs, academic institutions, government agencies and others to achieve project goals.

Claire has worked in law firms in Australia, China, France, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Professional QualificationsSolicitor of the High Court of AustraliaSolicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales


Claire has conducted a major economic development project in Timor-Leste, assisted in the legal aspects of an app to collect verifiable evidence of atrocities, supported the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in Bangladesh by assisting with legislative reform, supported UNICEF to ensure children are included in the transitional justice programme in The Gambia and instigated projects to release children from prisons in Africa. She has also developed and lead teaching courses for law students and practising lawyers in Brazil, Laos, Malawi, Myanmar, South Africa, Tanzania, Thailand, Viet Nam and Zambia.

Claire has advised/taught courses at the following organisations: Foreign Trade University (Vietnam); Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor Leste; Ho Chi Minh City University of Economics and Law (Vietnam); International Bar Association; Koç Universitesi (Turkey); Law School of Tanzania (Tanzania); Oxfam; Panamerican University (Mexico); UN Global Compact; UNICEF.



    • Who's Who Legal 2014 named DLA Piper at the pro bono law firm of the year
    • Who's Who Legal 2013 ranked DLA Piper as a 'top 10' pro bono practice globally
    • The American Lawyer awarded New Perimeter its inaugural Global Citizenship Award: Lifetime Achievement for our pro bono work through New Perimeter in 2013
    • Legal Week recognized New Perimeter with its The African Legal Awards CSR Award in 2013

    Insight Overview

    Claire speaks regularly on pro bono and access to justice. She has spoken at the PILnet European Pro Bono Forum, the South East Asia Pro Bono Conference and the Pro Bono Institute Conference in Washington DC. She is regularly quoted in the press.

    Media Mentions

    Memberships And Affiliations

    • Association of Pro Bono Counsel
    • Law Society of New South Wales
    • International Bar Association