Ingrid Gubbay is a partner at Hausfeld and conducts strategic public and private law litigation. In this blog post, Ingrid discusses her work with individuals tackling period poverty, which was funded through CrowdJustice.
1) Why were your clients raising funds on CrowdJustice?
My clients are Amika George and the Free Periods campaign. They are calling on the Government to tackle the issue of period poverty by providing free menstrual products in schools across England and Wales.
This is an Equality Act case, one in seven children in London are not fully participating in education because of the hidden barrier of being unable, or struggling, to afford sanitary products.
2) Do you have any thoughts about the underlying issues?
The issue of period poverty is outrageous and should have been addressed a long time ago. We still have the tampon tax, with sanitary wear categorised as a luxury item, whereas this has been phased out in many other countries. We still have inequity in access to education, with young women being discriminated against. The equality case is well overdue.
We lawyers and our clients can see people pledging funds on CrowdJustice to support the challenge, and their comments are hugely powerful. People from all walks of life and genders agree that this is an issue which needs addressing and it has been incredible seeing them all come together through the CrowdJustice campaign.
3) Which costs were funded through CrowdJustice?
Funds raised on CrowdJustice are going to Free Periods as part of the legal campaign. As the campaign is growing so quickly in prominence, our client’s priority at the moment is to increase operational capacity within the campaign by, for example, bringing in campaign managers and funding through CrowdJustice is providing significant assistance with that.
4) Did raising funds on CrowdJustice make a difference to the legal action?
Fundraising on CrowdJustice has been helpful in a number of ways. The experience has emboldened the client to know they have a great deal of support behind them. It has also allowed the wider community to own the issue. People can participate in the campaign and the legal arguments in a way they would not otherwise be able to, and this gives them some ownership of the case.
The funding has also created the opportunity to build capacity within the client’s organisation and has given it much-needed funds to look at the issue in the longer term, if necessary. It has been a great thing for the organisation and assists hugely with bringing the legal case itself.
5) What was your favourite part of the case?
From a lawyer’s point of view, my favourite part of a case is when you see it all start to light up - when you get your instructions, focus in on the legal issues, and see how legal action becomes possible. The other exciting part is seeing other people’s faces lighting up with the possibility of making a difference. It’s funding which makes that possible. It’s also been great working with CrowdJustice who have been hugely supportive throughout!
6) What did you find most surprising about funding on CrowdJustice?
We were pleasantly surprised when we realised funds could go to the campaigning organisation itself. Before speaking with the team at CrowdJustice, it was a bit unclear how that could work. The funding set-up that has been arranged gives us a chance to investigate the legal issues properly while increasing operational capacity within the campaign.
You can see Ingrid's clients' CrowdJustice page here.
Want to learn more about funding for legal action?
Questions? Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org.