LawFuel.com – Global: The Clifford Chance Foundation has announced its first large-scale commitments, with support for major international projects run by Avocats sans Frontières (ASF) France and Save the Children.
The Foundation, established last year, was set up to provide a focused and co-ordinated global approach to the firm’s corporate responsibility activities, concentrated on improving access to justice, finance and education.
The two global projects, which support access to justice and access to education respectively, are:
The creation of a worldwide network of Avocats sans Frontières
Clifford Chance will work as the preferred partner of ASF France to help the organisation, in conjunction with existing ASF associations (for example, in Belgium, Canada and Mali), to develop its international network. It will also support the formation of new local ASF associations, particularly in English-speaking countries and in Asia.
The firm will help create the legal entity and develop the organisational structure for the network, as well as supporting ASF’s work in the field. Clifford Chance’s legal and logistical expertise will also help to coordinate cross-border activity to create a global approach with common principles for the organisation’s work.
The project builds on an existing four-year relationship between ASF (France) and Clifford Chance in Paris, where a team of up to 15 people already work as active members of ASF.
This team has assisted in projects in Cambodia, Nigeria, Mali and Colombia, and has also promoted human rights in French-speaking Africa and assisted in creating a human rights defence network in west and central Africa.
The firm has signed up to a three-year commitment of funds of approximately £225,000 per annum.
François Cantier, Founder and President of ASF France, commented, “Clifford Chance’s support for this next stage of development for the Avocats Sans Frontieres movement is a clear illustration of the commitment of the firm to the values of our profession. We are looking forward to working closely together for the next three years in order to make real progress in ensuring the right of defence of local lawyers who are threatened around the world.”
Save the Children – Chances for Children project
Clifford Chance will work with Save the Children on a project to provide access to a fair and reputable education for the poorest children in Delhi, in 26 Government schools. This will involve training over 500 primary school teachers and more than 50 kindergarten teachers. The project will benefit over 14,000 children who have previously been marginalised from good quality pre-school and primary education.
Both Clifford Chance and Save the Children employees will be central to the delivery of this partnership, using skills and expertise at a global and local level. A three-year commitment of £150,000 per annum has been made by the firm.
Jasmine Whitbread, Chief Executive at Save the Children, commented, “India is a world leader in information technology; it’s changing faster now than ever before. But many Indian children don’t even get the chance to go to school. How will they compete if they can’t even read or write? Save the Children is delighted to be working with Clifford Chance, giving thousands of children the opportunity to go to a school with good quality education. This project will help lift these children and their families out of poverty.”
Clifford Chance senior partner Stuart Popham said, “We are delighted to be supporting such major initiatives from two distinguished and influential organisations. These are far-reaching and worthwhile projects that will both really make a difference.
‘Giving back to the community – through financial donations and the commitment of our time and expertise – has always been an important feature of life at the firm. Establishing the Foundation has enabled us to build on these existing commitments, further extending our reach into local communities and engaging more of our employees.”
The Clifford Chance Foundation also supports a wide range of local community projects run by individual offices, including, for example, a refugee centre in Bangkok, a women’s microfinance initiative in Moscow and providing a law school scholarship fund (Student Sponsor Partners) to support academically and financially disadvantaged children.
The Clifford Chance Foundation is managed on a day-to-day basis by an internal Foundation Management Group made up of Clifford Chance lawyers and business services personnel from around the network. An Advisory Board of partners, chaired by Stuart Popham, is responsible for the overall governance of the Foundation.