The Greece Pro Bono Collaborative (GPBC), an ambitious project on which global law firm White & Case provided pro bono services, was recognized twice on October 2 with awards for outstanding innovation in corporate social responsibility (CSR): The Financial Times (FT) honored White & Case and its GPBC project partners with the FT Innovative Lawyers: Europe 2020 award for "Innovation in social responsibility," while Legal Week conferred its "CSR Innovation (Multi-Firm)" award on the project in its Legal Innovation Awards 2020.
The GPBC provides crucial pro bono assistance in-person and remotely to asylum seekers in refugee camps in the Greek Islands. A joint effort among White & Case, Allen & Overy, Ashurst, Charles Russell Speechlys, Dentons, Orrick and NGO European Lawyers in Lesvos (ELIL), the GPBC provides urgent legal support and advice, preparing asylum seekers for their first-instance asylum interviews and on family reunification applications.
Including White & Case lawyers, the project has provided ELIL with more than 50 volunteers to date, advising an estimated 1,400 asylum seekers. Those who received advice from lawyers through ELIL had an approximately 30 percent greater chance of securing asylum and avoiding deportation to countries where they would face persecution.
"I am delighted that this innovative multi-firm collaboration to represent many of the most vulnerable has been recognized by these awards," said Brussels partner and Global Pro Bono Practice Leader Jacquelyn MacLennan.
Read more about White & Case's involvement in the Collaborative here.
Launched in 2010, the White & Case Global Pro Bono Practice has grown to one of the largest in the world, providing 140,000 hours of free legal services in 2019. The Pro Bono practice is the centerpiece of White & Case's Global Citizenship initiative.