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Asia-Pacific Innovative Lawyers 2017: Social Responsibility

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StandoutCorrs Chambers Westgarth88824Working with The Big Issue Foundation, the firm created a legal mechanism for the ‘Homes for Homes’ initiative to tackle the lack of social housing in Australia. Homeowners can donate a tax-deductable 0.1% of the sale price of their properties to fund social housing projects. The mechanism works within the framework of existing state laws, is nationally applicable and provides an opt-out option. The firm estimates that the Homes for Homes initiative will raise A$1.8bn over the next 20 years. Commended: Nathaniel Popelianski and Jeremy King
StandoutHenry Davis York88723The firm supports human rights and equality for LGBTIQ people, working through its law reform programme to help community legal centres and not-for-profit organisations professionalise their interactions with the government on law and policy.
StandoutHerbert Smith Freehills78823A long-term partnership with legal ethics training organisation Babseacle has seen the development and integration of legal ethics curricula and training across the region, the genesis and growth of the annual Asia Pro Bono Conference, and new collaborative partnerships for Babseacle to increase the impact of its work.
StandoutNishith Desai Associates88723Working with YSB-India, a social business enterprise incubator conceived by Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, the firm has designed the legal structure for Indian businesses to form their own in-house social enterprises.
StandoutRopes & Gray98623Produced analysis and guidance on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act for anti-human trafficking organisation Liberty Asia in order to help organisations identify potential trafficking instances in their supply chains.
Highly CommendedBae, Kim & Lee78722The firm founded the Dongcheon Legal Center for Non-profit Organizations to provide NPOs with integrated legal support in Korea. Commended: Wook Yoo
Highly CommendedFreshfields Bruckhaus Deringer87722With the general counsel of Goldman Sachs Japan, Naosuke Fujita, the firm co-founded the Lawyers for LGBT and Allies Network (LLAN), to fight for same-sex marriages and LGBT rights, which are not covered in Japan’s Equal Opportunity Act. More than 25 law firms and four in-house legal teams are members.
Highly CommendedJ. Sagar Associates78722The first law firm in India to institutionalise its commitment to pro bono work through a formal policy, which allows lawyers to count 60 pro bono hours a year to their chargeable targets.
Highly CommendedLander & Rogers and Refugee Legal77822Collaborating with Refugee Legal, the firm co-founded a programme that taps into corporate lawyers in 14 firms to support asylum seekers going through the fast track assessment process in Australia. Commended: David Manne and David Burke
Highly CommendedNorton Rose Fulbright78722Working with Anti-Slavery Australia, the firm produced a comprehensive report on online child exploitation to tackle the problem at a structural level and improve child protection.
CommendedDLA Piper77721Caseworkers learn what is involved when cases of sexual violence against women are prosecuted, thanks to a long-term commitment with Hong Kong charity Rain Lily. Victims can access legal advice promptly.
CommendedEversheds Sutherland77721The firm trained the Ministry of Commerce in Cambodia on public international law topics, to level the playing field in commercial and investment treaty arbitrations between local and international lawyers.
CommendedMinterEllison77721Helped establish Vanguard, a social enterprise that will help people who have experienced mental illness to gain work experience by providing laundry services to St Vincent’s Hospital in Queensland, Australia. With more than 50 partners, the project is a model for at-scale social procurement.
CommendedShin & Kim77721Created and drove a project to protect and improve the legal rights of illegitimate Philippino children, “Kopinos”, in South Korea.
CommendedYulchon68721An initiative spearheaded by the firm’s public interest subsidiary, Onyul, improves legislation and structural protections for adult guardianship in South Korea. It is the only law firm to be appointed as a “public guardianship corporation” by the Seoul Family Court.
CommendedLinklaters67720Developed a toolkit and training course with Hagar International to improve the experience of trafficked children going through the judicial system in Cambodia. Over 100 lawyers, case managers, psychologists, counsellors and other advocates have now been trained.
CommendedOrrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe77620Worked with Ocean Outcomes to develop and launch Japan’s first fishery improvement project to implement sustainable fishing practices and protect vulnerable species.
CommendedWhite & Case67720Reviewed legislation and enforcement mechanisms, and conducted a comparative analysis of the European convention to provide recommendations to support the enforcement of the newly-adopted Asean Convention Against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (Actip).
CommendedYoon & Yang67720In a systematic approach to provide access to justice in South Korea, the firm has launched two legal centres, with a focus on dispute resolution, to institutionalise and integrate pro bono work.
CommendedZhong Lun Law Firm76720The firm helped the SEE Foundation, an environmental protection organisation, to take advantage of new legislation in China that allowed charities to have control over their own funds.
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