Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation News December 2018

Happy Holidays from the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation

The Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation team wishes a very happy holiday season to all our wonderful Lex Mundi member firms and partners! We are grateful for your support and continue to be humbled by the generosity and spirit exhibited by your pro bono contributions! Thank you for a wonderful year.

Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation Outreach to Meet Inspiring Social Entrepreneurs 

As part of the Foundation’s ongoing effort to expand its reach to social entrepreneurs operating around the globe, Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation staff recently met with social entrepreneur clients and collaborators in four countries in Latin America, Europe and Asia.

Foundation staff participated in two social enterprise convenings, Echoing Green’s All Fellows Conference in Medellin, Colombia, and Opportunity Collaborations’ Global Forum in Cancun, Mexico where we held office hours and met with several collaborating organizations as well as dozens of new and returning social entrepreneurs.

Attending Lex Mundi regional conferences hosted by Chiomenti in Rome, and Tilleke & Gibbins in Bangkok, also provided the Foundation staff great opportunities to meet with our wonderful supporting member firm lawyers as well as local social enterprises operating in the respective regions. A particular highlight of the Asia/Pacific Regional Conference was meeting Thailand’s “father of social enterprise,” Mechai Viravaidya, who was recently featured as one of Bill Gates’ “Heroes in the Field.” Mr. Varavaidya addressed conference attendees and shared a moving presentation on his latest efforts to innovate rural education in Thailand. As might be expected, Mr. Viravaidya stole the show with his presentation being a frequent topic of conversation amongst conference attendees. Mr. Viravaidya is a shining example of how social entrepreneurs have a sustainable impact in their communities.

The Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation is looking forward to continuing our outreach to inspiring organizations around the globe to leverage the power of the Lex Mundi network to provide critical pro bono legal services to the world’s leading social entrepreneurs!
Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation Legal Program Director, Andrew Morgan, with Mechai Viravaidya, Thailand’s “father of social enterprise” in Bangkok.

The Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation Hosts Two New Legal Clinics for Social Entrepreneurs

New legal clinics for social entrepreneurs were developed by two Lex Mundi member firms in conjunction with the Foundation in recent months. Lawyers from Womble Bond Dickinson LLP (USA, North Carolina) and Morrison & Foerster LLP (USA, California) co-hosted webinars with the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation on topics of critical importance to our social entrepreneur clients.

The first webinar centered on intellectual property issues facing social enterprises. Womble Bond Dickinson lawyers, Dan Ovanezian and Laura Kees presented on copyright, trademark, and patent issues and answered detailed questions from the social entrepreneurs that participated. The attendees were also provided a guidance document on intellectual property written earlier this year for the Foundation by Womble Bond Dickinson lawyers Kees, Ovanezian, Christine Beaman Rankin and Chris Kokoska.

The second webinar focused on “hybrid”  corporate entity structures – a topic of rapidly growing interest amongst social entrepreneurs. Jesse Finfrock, a corporate lawyer in Morrison & Foerster’s Social Enterprise + Impact Investing group and an expert on the topic, provided an in-depth summary of the intricacies involved in this complex structure and answered several questions from the social enterprise organizations in attendance. “Everything we do can be improved and corporate structures are no exception,” Finfrock said. “It is always inspiring when social entrepreneurs come together to question the status quo and build the infrastructure for a better world.”

Individuals from 26 unique social enterprises attended the two clinics and gave high reviews of the materials and information provided. One such review came from Kate Venezia, Director of Operations at digitalundivided, an organization that promotes economic empowerment for women of color through entrepreneurship, who said: “I very much enjoyed the webinar – it was incredibly helpful!”

We look forward to holding more clinics on these and other topics in the new year.

Thank You to the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation’s Member Firm Hosts 

The Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation is extremely fortunate to receive support from Lex Mundi and its member firms. This support comes to the Foundation in the form of donations, pro bono contributions, and other in-kind backing. Throughout its history, for example, the Foundation has greatly benefited from member firms generously providing it office space. From the Foundation’s inception until the firm’s recent remodel, the Lex Mundi member firm for the District of Columbia, Steptoe & Johnson LLP, donated offices to several members of the Foundation’s staff. Now, Baker Botts L.L.P., the Lex Mundi member firm for Texas, is generously providing the Foundation with the space it needs in its Washington, D.C. office. The Foundation is grateful for the warmth and generosity of both its prior and current hosts!


Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation Announces New Appointments to its Board of Directors

During the Lex Mundi Annual Connect & Collaborate Conference in London on May 10, 2024, Carlos Velázquez De León was elected as the new Chair of Lex Mundi and Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation’s Board of Directors. The Foundation’s Board of Directors also elected Aniekan Ukpanah, Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie (Nigeria), to the position of Chair-Elect and Christel Van den Eynden, Liedekerke (Belgium), as a new director. The three new members join the Foundation’s current directors in seeking to embody the highest ideals of the legal profession. By promoting and facilitating the delivery of pro bono legal services, they support those positively improving lives worldwide.

2024 Pro Bono Foundation Annual Award Winners

The Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation (the “Foundation”) was proud to recognize the following 2024 award recipients:

  • Day Pitney LLP, Lex Mundi member for USA, New Jersey
  • Deacons, Lex Mundi member for Hong Kong
  • Dudley Newman Feuerzeig LLP, Lex Mundi member for U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Shalakany Law Office, Lex Mundi member for Egypt
  • Wardyński & Partners, Lex Mundi member for Poland


News on Purpose

In This Issue:

  • Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation Leading the Way in Support for Social Entrepreneurs: The Rise Ahead Pledge and Corporate Social Innovation Compass
  • Increasing Access to Assistive Technology
  • Arthur Cox, a Pro Bono Champion in Ireland

News On Purpose

In This Issue

  • Another Banner Year, 2023 in Review
  • Activating Humanitarian Resources Near Rafah
  • Bringing Safe Water to Schools
  • New Canadian Bar Association President Leading By Example

Legal Resources to Support those Responding to Humanitarian Needs Near Rafah

In light of the ongoing humanitarian crisis near Rafah, our Lex Mundi member for Egypt, Shalakany, has generously provided high-level guidance for NGOs seeking to activate resources in the area.

Find answers to the following questions:

  1. What is the regulatory framework for incorporating a foreign NGO in Egypt?
  2. What are the challenges associated with the incorporation of a foreign NGO in Egypt?
  3. What are the available alternative forms of registration?

News on Purpose

In this Issue

  • Landmark UN Resolution on the Social Economy Passes with the Help of the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation and its Collaborators
  • Congratulations to Alfredo Silva, an Incredible Lex Mundi Member Lawyer and Champion
  • Afghan Musicians Find a New Home Thanks to Lex Mundi Member Law Firms