October 27, 2020

TrustLaw Nominates Milbank for International Law Firm of the Year, Recognizing Our Global Commitment to Pro Bono


Milbank has been nominated for an International Law Firm of the Year Award by TrustLaw, a Thomson Reuters Foundation initiative that connects pro bono teams to organizations in need of legal assistance. The award recognizes firms’ commitment to serving pro bono clients internationally and their dedication to projects undertaken through TrustLaw.

In addition, a matter led by partner Jacqueline Chan for Social Enterprise Thailand Association was nominated for a TrustLaw Collaboration Award. The pro bono team introduced data management processes for the organization, in compliance with Thailand’s data protection laws, and developed an external privacy policy and data collection and processing consent forms. As a result of the Milbank team’s innovative solutions, the organization will be better equipped to support the development of Thailand’s social enterprises and the growth of social impact investing in the region. Earlier this year, Jacqueline Chan was also recognized for her work providing legal assistance to Singapore’s migrant workers at the Free Legal Clinic, an initiative established by the Migrant Workers Centre and the Singapore Law Society’s Pro Bono Services Office.

Reflecting a significant increase in pro bono hours overseas this year, the nominations mark Milbank’s first recognition of its global pro bono commitment and correspond to new record highs of pro bono service reached in our London, Germany and Singapore offices. Worldwide, the firm has dedicated over 64,000 pro bono hours last year to hundreds of matters involving civil and human rights, as well as criminal and racial justice.

“Despite the ongoing global challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Milbank’s global commitment to pro bono has only deepened and grown this past year,” remarked Milbank Chairman Scott A. Edelman. “We are honored to be recognized by TrustLaw for the firm’s work across our international offices, which span all areas of advocacy: from environmental, social, and racial justice to civil and human rights. In these turbulent times, which continuously spotlight the importance of equal access to justice, our global Milbank community will continue to dedicate thousands of hours to pro bono work to advocate for clients that are most in need.”

Milbank attorneys across our global offices are working on a number of critical pro bono projects:

  • In London, a team led by Tax partner Russell Jacobs is providing pro bono support to Common Earth, an international consortium made up of the Commonwealth’s 54 countries, which aims to restore the damage caused by climate change and to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. The team has generated a tool kit of model contract clauses, which the Commonwealth Secretariat will utilize and share with its 54 member nations when sending out RFPs. The team is also designing a fund for regenerative development using financial technology and traditional resources.
  • Amidst the backdrop of the pandemic and the increased nationwide attention on racial justice issues in the US, numerous pro bono teams have been working on matters aimed at promoting equal access to justice, addressing racial inequity, and countering police misconduct. Alongside NYLPI, a New York pro bono team has brought multiple lawsuits to compel the New York Police Department to release body-worn camera footage of fatal shootings. Another pro bono team, working with the NYCLU, has filed Freedom of Information Law requests for records pertaining to misconduct and race-based policing from three of the largest police departments in New York State. Milbank attorneys are also working on a number of cases across the country relating to juvenile life sentences, in which clients convicted as teenagers spend their life in prison without the possibility of parole.

“TrustLaw’s recognition of Milbank’s global commitment to pro bono is a reflection of the breadth of advocacy work we do for our clients around the world,” notes Pro Bono Counsel Anthony Perez Cassino. “In addition to our US-based work on racial justice, police accountability and juvenile sentencing, Milbank has continued to work on issues with worldwide implications, including immigrants’ rights and environmental sustainability. We are grateful for the opportunity to support causes that have a global impact and appreciate the ongoing leadership of our chairman and our global Pro Bono Committee, both of whom encourage our community to take on these meaningful matters in all jurisdictions.”

Milbank’s Global Pro Bono Committee includes partners Jacqueline Chan, Drew S. Fine, Allan Marks, Stacey Rappaport, Aaron Renenger, Arndt Stengel and James Warbey, as well as partner and Executive Director David Wolfson. The UK Pro Bono Committee includes partners Joel Harrison, Russell Jacobs and Karen McMaster.

Over Milbank’s long history of pro bono advocacy and social justice work, our attorneys have dedicated more than a million pro bono hours to matters involving civil and voting rights, reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, advocacy for immigrants, the protection of domestic violence survivors and the promotion of racial equity. Milbank is also one of few major firms to have an annual pro bono requirement for every attorney. In 2019, our US-based lawyers provided more than 45,000 hours to pro bono work, and over 91% of them completed more than 20 hours each. As a result, Milbank was ranked 9th in the country for breadth of commitment to pro bono by the American Lawyer