2020 Global Citizenship Review

Action Against Corona

A professor of voice at a Paris music conservatory teaching an online class. © Richard Kalvar/Magnum Photos
A professor of voice at a Paris music conservatory teaching an online class. © Richard Kalvar/Magnum Photos

Action Against Corona

Social investment for COVID-19 solutions 

The response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been multifaceted, and organizations like our pro bono client the Norrsken Foundation have been investing in solutions to the crisis. We worked with the Norrsken Foundation to facilitate a range of initiatives supporting the elderly, small businesses and artists. 

The Stockholm-based Norrsken Foundation supports and invests in for-profit and nonprofit entities it believes will benefit society. As COVID-19 spread quickly around the world, the Foundation realized it had the experience and resources to support projects designed to help tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, so it launched its Action Against Corona initiative.

Action Against Corona works to accelerate the implementation of solutions designed to fight COVID-19 and its fallout by providing grants or investments to projects, connecting projects with the right partners and highlighting the good work being done. Individuals or groups list their ideas on the initiative’s website to tap into its offering. 

We serve as legal advisor for Action Against Corona

Norrsken asked us to come on board as its first legal advisor, advising on the viability of projects and then supporting individual groups as they brought those projects to life.

“From the start, the initiative attracted a high level of interest with a lot of ideas,” said Magnus Wennerhorn, partner in our Stockholm office who led our work with Norrsken. “Many of these ideas were directed to us so that we could perform an initial assessment regarding their feasibility and appropriateness for this project. We subsequently were able to help six initiatives, with teams in Stockholm and London providing pro bono legal support on issues including contracts, permits, employment and fundraising.” 

The projects we worked on included a platform for short film festivals, initially in the Nordics, to support actors and other professionals working in the arts whose livelihoods were affected by the pandemic. Another project helped to connect elderly people needing support with student companions. A third project helped African businesses access flexible capital. 

More than 900 projects identified

The Action Against Corona website hosts a database with, as of December 2020, 944 initiatives listed, varying from education to food management to research and located all over the world. Projects identify the additional support they need and are connected with relevant specialists who are willing and able to help, creating a low-cost, highly efficient process for bringing these projects to fruition. 

Magnus Wennerhorn and associates Marcus Halling and Kajsa Sundklev carried out the initial project assessments, and a total of approximately 20 partners and associates took on the legal work for the initiatives we helped. 

“Pro bono and social responsibility are part of our culture, added Magnus. “This initiative allowed us to support projects designed to mitigate the impact of the new coronavirus on individuals and communities, which was very important for our teams.”