October 20, 2019 — The PILnet Pro Bono Publico Award recognizes legal professionals with an extraordinary, passionate, and long-standing commitment to service for the public good. For the first time, PILnet bestowed the 2020 award to a collaboration of law firms, the Greece Pro Bono Collaborative, composed of six law firms: Orrick, Dentons, Allen & Overy, Ashurst, White & Case, and Charles Russell Speechlys in partnership with ELIL. The collaborative represents an unprecedented example of global law firms working together to address the pressing legal needs of refugees on the island of Lesvo, Greece.
Working to help some of the more than 9,000 asylum seekers on the island, the collaborative seeks to make a difference in the European migration crisis. Each firm involved in the project sent volunteer lawyers for a minimum of two weeks to Lesvos to provide pro bono assistance and advice, particularly with first instance interviews and family reunification. Volunteer lawyers undergo intensive training before they arrive and while on the ground, they’re matched with an immigration specialist volunteer and are supervised by an experienced Greek lawyer.
This collaborative was born two years ago at the 2018 PILnet Global Pro Bono Forum in Berlin, when a lawyer from the law firm Orrick met a refugee rights advocate from the organization the European Lawyers for Lesvos. From there, the collaboration was built. PILnet strives to create impactful partnerships through its public interest convenings to put the full power of the law to work for civil society and the communities they serve. This collaboration is a powerful example of the value and impact that can be achieved when actors work together as a force for good.
PILnet congratulates the six firms that make up the Greece Pro Bono Collaborative.
Contact: Toby Greenfield, PILnet