April 2011 Volunteer Feature: City Bar Justice Center Gala Honors Global Pro Bono Work of Barclays PLC and Linklaters LLP
On April 13, the City Bar Justice Center's 6th Annual Gala honored Barclays PLC and Linklaters LLP for exemplary leadership in their global pro bono programs, community projects and public service activities.
While the City Bar Justice Award traditionally recognizes leadership and dedication to pro bono and public service in New York City, this is the first time the Justice Center has bestowed the honor on a firm and corporation for their efforts to improve the communities in which they do business worldwide.
"We were delighted to recognize Barclays and Linklaters for their demonstrated commitment to giving back to the communities where they do business worldwide, and for their understanding of the importance of legal pro bono work as a means of ensuring access to justice for all," said Samuel W. Seymour, President of the New York City Bar Association, who, along with Austin T. Fragomen, Chair of the City Bar Justice Center, presented the awards.
Mark Harding, Group General Counsel, accepted the award on behalf of Barclays. Mr. Harding said, "I am delighted to be accepting this award for Barclays. The pro bono work of countless volunteers across the Barclays group is a wonderful illustration of our commitment to give back to the communities in which we work. The programs in which Barclays and the City Bar Justice Center have partnered, along with many others, are an integral part of Barclays culture. I look forward to growing and developing these programs in the coming months and years."
Robin Maxwell, Partner, and Lance Croffoot-Suede, Partner & Head of Americas Community Investment accepted the award for Linklaters. Mr. Croffoot-Suede said, "Community Investment is part of our culture at Linklaters, and it is an honor to be receiving the City Bar Justice Award. Our lawyers and staff are committed to being involved in pro bono work and general volunteering activities. We are very pleased to be working with Barclays and the City Bar Justice Center on the Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project. We are proud of the work we do to address critical legal needs and support the disadvantaged. We feel it is part of our responsibility as lawyers and as a responsible business."
Worldwide, Barclays aims to improve the financial management, entrepreneurship and employment skills of disadvantaged people through company-wide programs such as Banking on Brighter Futures. Linklaters, in collaboration with CAMFED (the Campaign for Female Education), raises global awareness of the issue of governance, especially transparency and accountability, as key to the economic and social empowerment of disenfranchised women. Both Barclays and Linklaters seek to increase resources and diversity in the pipeline to the legal profession. Barclays, for example, has worked to deliver ground-breaking pro bono training to Tanzania's future lawyers, and Linklaters participates in programs to educate youth on legal issues and to support access to the legal profession.
In New York City, Barclays and Linklaters partner on the provision of pro bono legal services for those who cannot afford a lawyer. Working with the Justice Center's Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project, Barclays and Linklaters provide assistance at legal clinics to low-income micro-entrepreneurs throughout New York City on such matters as business structure, incorporation and contracts. Both also work with the Justice Center's Veterans Assistance Project to help deserving veterans obtain essential service-connected disability benefits. Linklaters also contributes to the Justice Center's efforts to provide pro bono counsel to immigrants detained in immigration jails, who otherwise would have no access to counsel to defend against permanent removal from this country.
The annual gala is the signature fundraising event for the Justice Center's programs. With 'Buckingham Palace guards' standing watch on 44th Street outside the New York City Bar, and with the historic building that houses the Association transformed into an English pub for the evening, the Justice Center was proud to honor its friends at Barclays and Linklaters.
*Pictured in photo above from left: Samuel W. Seymour, President, New York City Bar Association; Lance Croffoot-Suede, Partner & Head of Americas Community Investment, Linklaters LLP; Robin Maxwell, Partner, Linklaters LLP; Mark Harding, Group General Counsel, Barclays PLC; and Austin T. Fragomen, Jr., Chair, City Bar Justice Center.