Pro bono is a relatively new concept in Germany, but in just a few years White & Case has strategically expanded its partnerships with non-governmental organizations and established pro bono as an important part of its practice.
Efforts began in 2006 when our Frankfurt office hosted a roundtable of law firms and civil society organizations to discuss the future of pro bono in Germany. In 2011, the roundtable participants founded ProBono Deutschland e.V., an association that seeks to achieve greater awareness as well as the adoption of pro bono in Germany and to improve the conditions for pro bono under national law.
We are uniquely qualified to provide high-quality pro bono service to international institutions as well as German organizations.
Tobias Von Tucher, Partner, Munich
White & Case partners and counsel in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich who serve as Pro Bono Leaders have set the practice on a strong footing by cultivating a wide range of pro bono clients whose needs fit the skills and experience of our lawyers. They have particularly targeted international organizations. During 2012, they also hosted meetings in each office to ensure our lawyers are aware of the Firm's long history of pro bono and are encouraged to become involved in shaping its future in Germany.
We are proud to have assisted in the formation of Germany Rounds Up, a country-wide charitable project that encourages retailers to allow customers to round up voluntarily to the nearest ten cents when paying for their purchases in stores and online, with the difference donated to charity. Germany Rounds Up collects the funds and manages the donations, which target social service programs. From the project launch in March to the end of 2012, customers rounded up more than 18 million times, generating approximately €860,000 in donations. As the exclusive legal advisor to Germany Rounds Up, we have advised on corporate structure, tax, licensing and other contract matters. The project is now being expanded internationally, and we are assisting Germany Rounds Up with licenses and other support to nonprofits that will set up the project in their countries.
"From Amnesty International to Germany Rounds Up to the Lesbian and Gay Association, our pro bono clients are diverse and provide challenging opportunities for our lawyers," said Tobias von Tucher, partner and Pro Bono Leader in Munich. "As our practice developed, we realized that with our global scope, White & Case is uniquely qualified to provide high-quality pro bono service to international institutions as well as German organizations. Given this capability, we decided to strategically target international institutions for pro bono work."
Our international clients include the Foundation for UNESCO—Education for Children in Need, which works to improve access to education for children in developing countries. White & Case lawyers in Germany have advised the Foundation on German tax matters and collaborated with colleagues in Italy and China to assist with corporate issues arising in other parts of the world.
"The concept of pro bono is new, and sometimes when discussing a partnership with a potential pro bono client, we have had to explain that pro bono services can be far more beneficial than a financial contribution," said partner and Pro Bono Leader Matthias Stupp. "But the idea of pro bono is really catching on. Pro bono has always been an integral part of White & Case, and today it is gratifying to see this reflected in our Pro Bono practice in Germany."
Our key pro bono clients in Germany:
- Amnesty International
- Crisis Action
- Diversity Charter
- Fairtrade Foundation
- Germany Rounds Up
- Hungarian Hospice Foundation
- Lesbian and Gay Association
- Private Equity Foundation
- Rainforest Alliance
- Rosinenbomber-Stiftung (The Candy Bomber Foundation)
- Foundation for UNESCO—Education for Children in Need