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Pro Bono


Training for Ugandan High Court Judges

DLA Piper Pro Bono
Charles Morrison and Simon Collier with Judges during the training
In early 2016 we delivered a pro bono Oil & Gas capacity building programme to fifteen Ugandan High Court Judges in the country's capital, Kampala. The programme was organised by Avocats Sans Frontières, an international NGO specialised in promoting justice in the developing world. The project was led by Charles Morrison (Global Co-Chair for Finance and Projects) and Simon Collier (Senior Associate).
The sessions were designed to develop the Judges' understanding of the contractual framework used in the Oil & Gas sector and common areas of dispute. The nascent Oil & Gas industry in Uganda is seen as an important growth generator for the country's future and the Judges were keen to further develop the knowledge and expertise to deal with disputes that come before them.

For more information about this training please contact Ramsey Beck.
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Asia Pacific

'Road to Recovery' Report Launch

AIG, DLA Piper and TrustLaw (part of the Thomson Reuters Foundation) recently published the 'Road to Recovery', a first of its kind report assessing statutory compensation schemes for survivors of human trafficking in 20 jurisdictions around the world.

The detailed report sets out state-funded compensation schemes, the barriers that particular provisions create for survivors and what constitutes best practice across the globe. The aim of the report is to provide constructive and practical information on the available schemes to survivors of human trafficking, advocates and legal advisors. Whilst compensation will never undo the immeasurable trauma and suffering of survivors or solve the problem of trafficking, it can act as a form a restorative justice for survivors, provide much needed financial support and reduce the risk of people being re-trafficked.
DLA Piper Pro Bono
Our Singapore office hosted the report launch with Monique Villa, CEO Thompson Reuters Foundation facilitating a panel discussion with Catriona Martin (Asia Pacific Pro Bono Director, DLA Piper) and Cecilia Flores-Oebanda (President, Visayan Foundation and a trafficking survivor). The event was attended by representatives from NGOs, law firms and companies.
For more information about this report, please contact Catriona Martin.
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Access to Justice in the UK - Pro Bono Clinic with National Deaf Children's Society

DLA Piper Pro Bono
Recent reforms in the UK have seen over £350 million cut from legal aid and a 75% reduction in access to legal representation. These reforms have had a severe impact on the ability of vulnerable people to access justice. To help address this issue, DLA Piper (along with 40 other leading national and international firms) have committed to directing a growing proportion of their pro bono work to promote access to justice for marginalised and disadvantaged individuals, through the development of a network of specialised end-to-end legal clinics and legal empowerment programmes.
One such clinic was launched in September of last year and is run in partnership with the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS). Through this clinic, lawyers from our London and Sheffield offices provide full legal support and representation to families of deaf children to obtain the benefits which they are entitled to. Our lawyers interview the parents of the children, collect evidence from a range of sources including audiologists, schools and local authorities, and then draft appeal submissions to the First Tier Tribunal under the supervision of specialist lawyers at NDCS.

In the first six months of the clinic's operation we took on 24 cases- significantly increasing the capacity of NDCS staff. One of these cases involved lawyers from our London office assisting the family of a seven year old boy with severe profound bilateral sensori-neural hearing loss challenge a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) decision to withdraw his Disability Living Allowance (DLA). Following our intervention, the Tribunal set aside the DWP's decision and reinstated the boy's DLA at the full level for a period of three years.

The NDCS clinic has given our lawyers a unique opportunity to develop significant expertise in a different area of law through training and close supervision by experts, and to work closely with individuals from our local community who need assistance the most. The "end-to-end" structure of the clinics in particular has meant that our lawyers have been able to create real impact, both for individual clients and in terms of advocating for policy change.

For more information about this training please contact Amy Heading.
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Middle East

Beirut Bar Association Training

DLA Piper Pro Bono Lawyers from our Middle East offices recently facilitated two day long workshops in Lebanon to provide practical skills to the next generation of Arab lawyers. The workshops are run though the Beirut Bar Association (BBA), with teams of DLA Piper lawyers preparing the materials and delivering the training.
Lawyers from our Middle East offices recently facilitated two day long workshops in Lebanon to provide practical skills to the next generation of Arab lawyers. The workshops are run though the Beirut Bar Association (BBA), with teams of DLA Piper lawyers preparing the materials and delivering the training.

This project has taken place on an annual basis since 2013, with topics changing according to the request of the BBA. This year the training covered legal drafting and negotiation, with both sessions focused on corporate and financial transactions. The workshops include a range of practical exercises for participants to encourage learning by doing.

As a global business law firm, one of the ways that we contribute to our communities is by transferring knowledge and expertise on a pro bono basis. These workshops help the next generation of Lebanese lawyers to refine some of the core legal skills that play an important part in the day to day work of lawyers in every country.
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Serving veterans at San Diego’s Stand Down

In July, our San Diego office participated in Stand Down, a three-day, grassroots event that provides homeless veterans with food and clothing, medical care, job resources and legal assistance. DLA Piper has been participating in Stand Down since 2008.

This year, a group of 25 DLA Piper volunteers prepared and served dinner to approximately 900 Stand Down participants. The firm contributed the food, and San Diego office lawyers and staff worked together to prepare and serve the meal.
DLA Piper Pro Bono
DLA Piper also ran a communications tent, where veterans were able to work with our lawyers and staff to research the location and contact information for lost loved-ones and then use complimentary long-distance phone services to place phone calls to friends and family. Every year, this enables veterans to connect with someone from their past – a mother, sibling, friend – and this year was no exception. One DLA Piper participant shared:
“On Saturday morning a man and his son stopped by the communications tent to say hello and to thank us for what we were doing there. He told us that several years ago at Stand Down the communications tent volunteers helped him get back in contact with his family, including his twin sons and daughter.”

DLA Piper also hosted an expungement clinic where we screened more than 30 veterans to see whether they would be eligible for an expungement of prior misdemeanor offenses. Following Stand Down, our lawyers conduct further screening, and those who are eligible are given the opportunity to work with a DLA Piper lawyer to have their records expunged.
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