Case Studies

Saving Faces

January 2023 | UNITED KINGDOM

“iProbono and its network of highly talented lawyers have been an incredibly valuable resource for a small charity like Saving Faces. They offer a seamless process connecting us with highly skilled lawyers who provide us with expert advice. Funding pressures from the impact of COVID-19 mean that accessing programmes like iProbono have been an important lifeline to small organisations like ours. Thank you.”
Samantha Merrett, Administration, and Finance Manager, Saving Faces.

Every year, 1 million people in the UK are treated for facial diseases, injuries, and disfigurement. These can cause life-changing physical scars and difficulties with eating and speaking, resulting in a lifetime of emotional and sociological harm.

iProbono has worked with Saving Faces over the last seven years, strengthening the organisation through legal support. Saving Faces, the facial research foundation, leads in education and research to improve the physical and psychological treatment of patients with oral cancer and other facial diseases.

Saving Faces funds and administers “The National Facial, Oral and Oculoplastic Research Centre” (NFORC), works with several surgical professional organisations including the Royal College of Surgeons of England and the British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (BAOMS), and leads clinical trials and national audits to determine the best treatment for conditions affecting the face, head, and neck. They also manage their biggest project to date, the National Head and Neck Audit for England and Wales (HANA). This audit focuses on patients who have cancer of the head and neck, of which there are 9,000 cases each year. The findings from HANA aim to contribute to changes in clinical practice and ensure that patients receive the best care possible and experience an improved quality of life. Besides this, they run a patient-to-patient helpline, a rapid diagnostic advice service for dentists for patients with suspicious lesions and fund Ph.D. studentships and clinical fellowships.

Rebecca pre- and post-operation. At the age of two, she underwent surgery after her mother reached out to Saving Faces. A discreet scar is all that remains now where the haemangioma once was. (Part of the Saving Faces Art Exhibition painted by Mark Gilbert).

Saving Faces first approached iProbono for legal support in 2015 and since then we have provided the organisation with sustained legal support with our community of pro bono lawyers in the UK. iProbono’s lawyers advised Saving Faces on the following legal issues:

  1. Trademarking a cancer audit – “HANA-the Head and Neck Cancer Audit”. The lawyers from Fieldfisher LLP assisted them with this process and filed an application with the UK Intellectual Property Office.
  2. Advice on an issue involving the charity insurance and pension scheme. Herbert Smith Freehills LLP assisted them on this novel issue and provided detailed responses to all the queries.
  3. Review of a data protection agreement with a key partner organisation. Fieldfisher LLP assisted them and ensured the agreement is also in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
  4. Advice on a Royalty-Free Licence Agreement with an American entertainment studio. Dentons LLP assisted them with an urgent legal review of the agreement to ensure that their interests are protected.

“The legal agreement was extremely time sensitive and iProbono quickly located the help of two exceptional lawyers who were professional, diligent, and provided excellent legal advice.”
Professor Iain Hutchison, Chief Executive & Founder, Saving Faces

iProbono continues to provide relevant legal support to Saving Faces on several important matters. The charity is leading research of the highest quality and pursues its mission by delivering ground-breaking research projects, clinical audits, and outreach programmes with real-life improvements for patients in the UK and across the globe. It gives us immense pleasure to be able to contribute to this cause and we hope to continue this association in the future.

iProbono enables charities to focus resources on their core work, without having to worry about legal difficulties by providing them free advice through our experienced and accomplished community of lawyers.  Advice includes legal support on intellectual property disputes, regulatory compliance, drafting contracts or internal policies to name a few. If you are a charity that needs legal support, please register with us here.

Photos by Saving Faces.



Join Us
Civil Society Organisations

If you are in need of pro bono legal assistance

Register with us
Legal Community

If you are interested in providing pro bono legal services

Join our network