2018 Year in Review & Success Stories

 
Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation News
January 2019
  Leveraging the Power of the Lex Mundi Network for Impact
Pro Bono Statistic
2018 Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation Year in Review
With 2019 already off to a great start, the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation would like to thank the 40 Lex Mundi member firms that provided pro bono assistance to 72 social entrepreneurs on 111 unique matters in 2018.

Since inception, the Foundation has connected 99 Lex Mundi member firms with 687 social entrepreneurs on 1,407 individual matters in 71 countries across the globe! The Foundation is grateful for the consistent, high-quality, critical pro bono legal support that Lex Mundi member firms provide to the world's leading social entrepreneurs each day.

In addition to a strong year of pro bono matchmaking, the Foundation also expanded its network of collaborators - organizations that provide capacity building and support opportunities to the growing community of social entrepreneurs throughout the world. In 2018, the Foundation added 10 new collaborators to its network, bolstering the number of fantastic social entrepreneur clients seeking high-quality legal assistance from Lex Mundi member law firms. These new collaborators include: Danone Communities, MIT Solve, Vital Voices, Hearts on Fire, Opportunity Collaboration, Care Social Enterprises, Conveners, the AARP Purpose Prize, the Edwin Gould Foundation, and Seed Spot. You can read more about the great work of these, and all of our collaborators here.

The following stories from this past year illustrate the powerful impact the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation has in serving social entrepreneurs globally.
 
 
20 Lex Mundi Member Firms Have Supported Kiva's Work to Provide "Loans that Change Lives"
Driven by a mission to expand financial access to help underserved communities thrive, Kiva works to transform the landscape of microcredit and entrepreneurship in the developing world by offering a web-based system of microfinance that empowers individuals to lend to entrepreneurs across the globe.

Through its website, www.kiva.org, micro-entrepreneurs in developing countries make loan requests to create or expand their business enterprises to improve their lives and their families' futures. After browsing loan requests, individual lenders select projects - funding as little as $25 and as much as the entire amount of the loan - and receive regular progress reports from the entrepreneur until the loan is repaid.
Kiva
The Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation and 20 Lex Mundi member firms have played critical roles in helping Kiva carryout its innovative mission for more than 10 years. Lex Mundi member firms have provided advice and support on projects including compliance, research, and registration in several countries. With the Foundation's help, Kiva has successfully grown in every major region of the world.

Most recently, five Lex Mundi Member firms generously provided counsel to Kiva as they explore a new lending model in six jurisdictions. Peroni Sosa Tellechea Burt & Narvaja (Paraguay), Rajah & Tann LLP (Singapore and Cambodia), Prez Bustamante & Ponce (Ecuador), Moghaizel Law Office (Lebanon), and Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & de los Angeles (Philippines) all provided Kiva with detailed research and guidance on local regulations to consider as they think through expanding their lending programming in these countries.

The Foundation's work with Kiva clearly shows the power and breadth of the Lex Mundi network which Kiva's General Counsel, Austin Choi, recognized stating: "[The Lex Mundi] network of global law firms has been extremely valuable in our efforts to expand and deepen our international operations."

"Work by Lex Mundi is always top notch and pro bono work provides important benefits to the community that may not be readily obtained," said Gianella Gallegos, an attorney at Prez Bustamante & Ponce who recently assisted on the Kiva project. "All lawyers should be involved in pro bono work not only because of professional responsibility but because of the great experience and the opportunity to assist people, thus enriching legal knowledge. I hope that our work for Kiva will allow the people of Ecuador and of other places to access funds that otherwise would not be available."
 
 
Lex Mundi Member Firms in the U.S., UK, Singapore, and Thailand Assist Prominent Organization's Effort to Combat Modern Slavery Globally
The International Labor Organization estimates that nearly 25 million children and adults of all ages and backgrounds are victims of human trafficking, including forced labor and sex trafficking, worldwide. It will take a widespread effort by governments, businesses, and other stakeholders to stop these heinous crimes.

The Global Fund to End Modern Slavery (GFEMS) is a bold public-private partnership developing a $1.5 billion fund to coordinate a coherent, global strategy to end modern slavery by making it economically unprofitable. GFEMS works across sectors and geographies focusing on three core programmatic pillars: rule of law, business engagement, and sustaining freedom. With impressive funding commitments from the governments of the UK, U.S., and Norway, GFEMS is scaling up its strategy of proactively engaging governments and private sector partners to fund transformative programs and technologies to reduce the prevalence of modern slavery.

Global Fund to End Modern Slavery
To date, Lex Mundi member firms in four countries have worked to assist GFEMS to expand its critical mission. Jenner & Block LLP, Steptoe & Johnson, Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP, and Tilleke & Gibbins have all provided pro bono legal advice and counsel to the GFEMS team on a variety of topics including detailed guidance on compliance with government contracts in the U.S. and UK and advice on establishing potential branch entities in Singapore and Thailand.

"GFEMS is grateful to the member firms of Lex Mundi for their partnership and expertise," said Jean Baderschneider, CEO and Founding Board Member of GFEMS. "We continue to be inspired by our partners around the world who are mobilizing to help build and execute a global strategy to end modern slavery by making it economically unprofitable."
"Our pro bono work on behalf of GFEMS has been positive on all accounts," said Paul Hurst, a Partner in Steptoe & Johnson's Government Contracts practice. "Our team has been able to utilize our expertise in government contracting to help GFEMS establish innovative and impactful programs. Being a partner with an organization with such an important mission and impressive reach has been inspiring."
 
 
The Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation Thanks Lex Mundi Member Firms for Their Generous Financial Support
On behalf of the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation and all of our clients, we would like to express our gratitude to the supporters that make our work possible. More than 100 Lex Mundi member firms and 60 individuals funded the Foundation's startup costs and set the organization on a successful path. Since 2014, every Lex Mundi member firm has made a commitment to support the work of the Foundation through annual dues. The stability provided by their commitment has allowed us to work with additional collaborators and extend our reach to serve an increasing number of clients.

We would like to extend a special thanks to those member firms that committed to additional contributions to the Foundation. In 2018, 58 Lex Mundi member firms made financial commitments to support the Foundation's work through 2020. Enormous thanks to each of the following firms for their additional generosity and support!
Adler Pollock & Sheehan P.C. (USA - Rhode Island)
Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS (Norway)
Afridi & Angell (UAE)
Akerman LLP (USA - Florida)
Ali Budiardjo, Nugroho, Reksodiputro (Indonesia)
Alston & Bird (USA - Georgia)
Arthur Cox (Northern Ireland)
Basham, Ringe y Correa, S.C. (Mexico)
Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP (Canada)
Butzel Long (USA - Michigan)
Brigard & Urrutia Abogados (Colombia)
Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP (USA - Ohio)
Chrysostomides (Cyprus)
COBALT (Estonia)
Crowe & Dunlevy (USA - Oklahoma)
Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP (USA - Colorado)
Day Pitney LLP (USA - New Jersey)
Demarest Advogados (Brazil)
Dudly Topper (USVI)
Ellex Klavins (Latvia)
Estudio Olaechea (Peru)
Faegre Baker Daniels LLP (USA - Minnesota)
Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy LLP (Canada BC)
Foley Hoag LLP (USA - Massachusetts)
Ganado (Malta)
Grant, Joseph & Co. (Granada)
Hamel-Smith (Trinidad and Tobago)
Houthoff (Netherlands)
Jenner & Block LLP (USA - Illinois)
Jones Walker (USA - Louisiana)
Lee & Ko (Korea)
Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick (Belgium)
Mayora & Mayora, S.C. (Guatemala)
Marxer & Partner (Liechtenstein)
McConnell Valdes LLC (Puerto Rico)
Michael Best & Friedrich LLP (Wisconsin)
Morais Leitao, Galvao Teles, Soares da Silva (Portugal)
Mourant (Guernsey)
Murtha Cullina LLP (USA - Connecticut)
Myers, Fletcher & Gordon (Jamaica)
Noerr LLP (Germany)
O'Neal Webster (British Virgin Islands)
Penkov, Markov & Partners (Bulgaria)
Pestalozzi (Switzerland)
Roschier, Attorneys Ltd. (Finland)
Rose Law Firm (USA - Arkansas)
S. Horowitz & Co. (Israel)
Sheehan Phinney Bass & Green (USA - New Hampshire)
Snell & Wilmer (USA - Arizona)
Steptoe & Johnson LLP (USA - Washington, DC)
Tilleke & Gibbins (Thailand)
Tsar & Tsai Law Firm (Taiwan)
Udo Udomo (Nigeria)
Uria Menendez (Spain)
VanEps Kunneman (Curacao)
Womble Bond Dickinson (USA - North Carolina)
Wyche (USA - South Carolina)
Zepos & Yannopoulos (Greece)
 
About the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation
The Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit affiliate of Lex Mundi, the world’s leading network of independent law firms. The Foundation’s mission is to engage Lex Mundi’s global network of leading independent law firms to support and empower those working to bring about high impact and sustainable social change that improves communities and lives.

Please contact the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation if you are interested in accessing unique pro bono opportunities with the world’s leading social entrepreneurs -- individuals and organizations that are finding innovative and sustainable ways to improve lives and communities around the world.

We can be reached at: admin@lexmundiprobono.org