Advancing Justice for Migrants

Strategic Legal Fund

Relevent Country: United Kingdom

Applications are now open for the Strategic Legal Fund (SLF), a fund to support legal work in the UK that goes beyond securing justice for an individual and makes a significant contribution to law, practice, and procedures to uphold and promote the rights of people seeking asylum, refugees and migrants more generally.

The SLF aims to tackle injustices and inconsistencies in law and practice that disadvantage or discriminate against people as a result of their migration status.

The SLF is an initiative delivered by The Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association (ILPA) in partnership with Trust for London, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, Unbound Philanthropy, and Paul Hamlyn Foundation.


The SLF funds strategic legal work in any area of law where asylum seekers, refugees, and migrants experience disadvantage or discrimination as a result of migration status. This includes (but is not restricted to) potential cases in the areas of:

  • Immigration
  • Asylum and asylum support
  • Human rights
  • Education
  • Housing
  • Welfare benefits
  • Discrimination
  • Access to justice
  • Community care

Funding Information

  • Maximum funding for anyone application will be £30,000 but, given the limited funding available, lower applications are encouraged. The average grant size is around £12,000. You need to demonstrate that your application represents value for money. Grants may be approved for a lesser amount than requested.
  • The SLF aims to complement longer-term funding with short-term grants to respond to legal opportunities. The maximum grant length is 12 months, and most grants are for six months or less.


  • The SLF supports strategic legal work in the UK which benefits asylum seekers, refugees, and migrants. They define this as those:
  • Who are living in poverty, and
  • Who face significant disadvantage or discrimination in connection with their immigration status.

SLF will Fund

Those eligible to apply to the SLF are organizations based in the UK which are:

  • Not-for-profit (NFP) organizations that provide specialist-level legal advice to vulnerable young migrants. If you work for an NFP organization regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) and are applying to undertake work in the asylum or immigration field, you must confirm that staff leading on the proposed work are accredited at Level 3, Advocacy and Representation, in the relevant category of law.
  • Firms of solicitors that provide specialist-level legal advice to vulnerable young migrants. Solicitors’ firms need to demonstrate that the funded work does not include any element of profit and, as for all applicants, that there is a pro bono element included.


In general, the SLF will not make grants where:

  • Funding is sought for pre-litigation research on an issue where work is already in progress by other legal representatives.
  • There is an unreasonably low prospect of a positive outcome for vulnerable migrant children and young people.
  • The funding will not produce any significant positive change to the rights of vulnerable young migrants in the UK.
  • The applicant is based outside of the UK. Partnership applications where the lead partner is based in the UK may be considered.
  • It is judged that the goals of the application may be more successfully achieved through an alternative route e.g. policy work.
  • Organizations have already received two grants from the SLF in the last 18 months, except in exceptional circumstances.
  • Organizations are in serious financial deficit.
  • Not-for-profit organizations have significant unrestricted reserves (including designated funds). Generally, reserves up to the equivalent of six months’ expenditure are acceptable.