Global Citizenship Review

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From our Chair

Our global pro bono practice has grown dramatically in the ten years since we launched it, and it now rivals the scale and scope of our other global practices. And like these practices, we seek to have the greatest impact possible by taking on matters uniquely suited to a global law firm. 

In these pages, you will read about many of the ways our people used their professional skills and our global network to help achieve societal and environmental goals. 

One example is the work we do to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals—the UN’s blueprint on how to address global challenges to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. The majority of our pro bono work in 2019 was aligned most closely with SDG 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions. This included individual representation, class action suits, amicus briefs and our work as a founding member of a global alliance for reporting progress on SDG 16.

The review also reports on our progress since launching a Green Initiative ten years ago. As the need to address climate change grows more urgent, White & Case has stepped up efforts to reduce the Firm’s environmental footprint, including the reduction of our greenhouse gas emissions by about a third and the introduction of an environmental management system across all of our offices. 

White & Case has a long history of civic engagement around the world, and we remain committed to doing our part to build a better future.

Hugh Verrier, Chair  

Steve McCurry

Steve McCurry is one of the world’s most iconic contemporary photographers. We drew many of the images in this report from his body of work, which spans cultures and issues as it illuminates the themes of our Global Citizenship work and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Steve McCurry founded ImagineAsia in 2004 with the mission to work in partnership with local community leaders and regional NGOs to help provide educational resources and opportunities to children and young adults in Afghanistan.

A picture can express a universal humanism, or simply
reveal a delicate and poignant truth by exposing a slice
of life that might otherwise pass unnoticed.

Steve McCurry

An enabling goal

We have a deep body of work supporting UN Sustainable Development Goal 16

// Tanzania, 2014 © Steve McCurry / Magnum Photos

White & Case is a signatory to the UN Global Compact

White & Case is committed to doing business responsibly by aligning our operations with the UN Global Compact’s ten principles related to human rights, labor, the environment and anti-corruption. Our Responsible Business Working Group, which is chaired by our co-General Counsels and includes our Head of Global Citizenship and Chief Procurement Officer, focuses on identifying, reporting and addressing any human rights risks or abuses in our operations or our key suppliers. Please visit whitecase.com/global-citizenship to view our Communication on Progress for the UN Global Compact and our Statement on Slavery and Human Trafficking.

Pro bono hours by Sustainable Development Goal

The majority of our work in 2019 was aligned most closely with SDG 16 (Peace, justice 
and strong institutions), which includes work with the UN, individual representation, class action suits and amicus briefs, as well as legal research on these issues.

UN Sustainable Development Goals chart

Children in school

The quality of measurement

Cross-border teams of our lawyers examined all Voluntary National Reviews submitted to the United Nations between 2016 and 2019 to assess whether, and to what extent, Member States reported on their implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 16 and 24 related targets

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Woman holding a picture

Expressing the inexpressible

An exhibition during the 2019 Venice Art Biennale uses art to promote healing and prevent future genocide

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Global Citizenship
at a glance

Global Citizenship describes our role as active participants in the global community

// Bamiyan, Afghanistan, 2006 © Steve McCurry / Magnum Photos

A Pro Bono practice of global scope

Pro bono stats


Volunteering and charitable giving highlights

Volunteering and charitable highlight stats

2019 Pro bono awards

2019 Global Citizenship awards

2019 Global Citizenship awards


We’re very proud of the external recognition we’ve received for the extraordinary effort our people put into pro bono work and its impact.

Jacquelyn MacLennan, Global Pro Bono Practice Leader, partner, Brussels

Health for all

Our work informs UN deliberations on the right to a healthy environment as well as innovations in Islamic finance and in court

// Fishermen meeting incoming boats Vietnam, 2019 © Steve McCurry / Magnum Photos
Man fishing

The right to a healthy environment

Our analysis helps the UN Special Rapporteur advise the United Nations

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A healthy bond

Innovative Islamic finance fund scales up the fight against cholera

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Water Lillies

An essential element

Two court cases are critical to preventing water pollution

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A place of
greater safety

Serving refugees navigating complex systems and dire circumstances continues as a major focus

// A girl and her father returning to their village after 12 years in a refugee camp. Feyzabad, Afghanistan, 1990 © Steve McCurry / Magnum Photos
Boat on the beach

A dehumanizing odyssey

Our lawyers assist refugees in Lesvos, Greece, as part of a multi-firm and NGO collaboration

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Man walking

Employment matters

A project in Turkey helps refugees navigate their employment opportunities

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Woman holding a flag

Information is power

A brochure helps minors in Honduras reunite with their parents in the US

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Refugee camp

Patterns of migration

Projects in Sweden, Japan and the US help migrants, refugees and asylum seekers attempting to navigate difficult processes in unfamiliar surroundings

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Our lawyers fight for abuse victims and those treated inhumanely by the criminal justice system

// In Blue City near Jodhpur, India, a boy runs past handprints, an ancient form of folk art. 2007 © Steve McCurry / Magnum Photos
Boy standing in dirt

Stolen childhood

We continue to fight child sexual abuse and child marriage

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Reflection in broken glass

Systemic failure

Our lawyers are working on behalf of individuals and NGOs around the world fighting for a humane and fair justice system

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A lighter

A decade after launching our Green Initiative, we measure our progress and set new goals

// Galápagos Islands, Ecuador, 2019 © Steve McCurry / Magnum Photos
person walking in the woods

Our Green Initiative

We take our responsibility to manage our environmental footprint seriously

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Network solutions

We highlight pro bono matters from each office

// Shaolin Monastery, Henan Province, China, 2004 © Steve McCurry / Magnum Photos

Highlights of our work

Our work focuses on providing access to justice, serving organizations with a social or environmental mission and promoting the rule of law and good sovereign governance

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