As trusted advisors, our clients, whether fee-paying or pro bono, rely on us for their most complex, sophisticated and international challenges. Recently, for example, this has ranged from chairing the successful £2 million appeal to establish the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law to training officials in Namibia in administering and enforcing competition law. In the past year, our people dedicated over 36,000 hours of time to community investment, of which over 25,000 hours were for pro bono work.
This is an important area of our Community Investment programme, enabling us to advise those who can’t afford legal advice or are denied legal access, whilst also developing ourselves and our skills. As a Linklaters employee you may even have opportunities to be seconded to charities such as The Mary Ward Legal Centre, the Prince’s Trust and the Free Representation Unit, giving an extra dimension to pro bono.
As valued colleagues, we share a responsibility to value and develop the potential of ourselves and our colleagues. This includes how we reward and train our people and promote wellbeing, as well as recognising the value of diversity. Tackling social mobility is a priority across our operations; for example, in London we run an apprenticeship scheme that offers opportunities to local young people and in China we grant law scholarships to students from marginalised backgrounds.
As engaged professionals, we recognise our role in developing the markets and professions in which we practise. This includes sharing our expertise on panels and boards, sharing our knowledge through teaching and sharing our views in consultations. For example, in Milan we run a network to discuss and debate issues around the promotion of female talent across the business community.
At a global level, we have partnered with Camfed (the Campaign for Female Education), an innovative organisation devoted to girls’ education and the empowerment of young women in rural Africa. Linklaters worked pro bono to deliver a major report on Camfed’s operating model, which meant visiting remote areas in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi to interview girls, parents, teachers, government officials and village leaders. We identified the key advantages of Camfed’s approach and shared our findings with other Non-Governmental Organisations.
As good neighbours, we are committed to making a positive impact on our neighbourhoods and environment. This includes running our premises in the most sustainable way as well as providing business support to those marginalised around us. In the last five years, we have reduced our electricity use globally by 21% and we have been awarded the Global Community Mark in recognition of our consistent high-quality community investment programme in all of our offices.