A legal-industry collaboration has won the Chambers Ireland Sustainable Business Volunteer Award 2023.
The Ukraine Ireland Legal Alliance partnered with Irish Red Cross last year to provide legal information clinics to support displaced Ukrainian beneficiaries of temporary protection.
The collaboration was led by Matheson LLP and A&L Goodbody LLP, with the involvement of six other law firms (Arthur Cox LLP, William Fry LLP, Walkers (Ireland) LLP, Philip Lee LLP, Dechert LLP and Comyn Kelleher Tobin LLP).
The initiative delivered legal outreach clinics and frontline support to 840 Ukrainians displaced by war and receiving refuge on Maynooth University campus over a six-week period in July and August 2022.
A team of 124 volunteer lawyers, law firm professionals and interpreters provided a range of assistance, including:
- Legal information clinics on employment, social welfare, education, setting up a business in Ireland and housing,
- Distributing €40,000 worth of welfare vouchers,
- Providing critical information gathering and data entry support, and
- Liaising with host families on suitable accommodation for over 800 Ukrainians.
Rosemarie Hayden, Irish Red Cross pro bono and volunteer coordinator, said: "It has been a wonderful experience to collaborate with Matheson as part of the Ukraine Ireland Legal Alliance Ukrainian support programme.
“The benefits of the engagement ranged from the benefit to clients who greatly appreciate the pro-bono high quality legal assistance; the lawyers involved have benefited from the personal satisfaction of involvement in a hugely impactful programme directly assisting people with immediate significant issues, and the organisations all benefit from increased collaboration and cooperation across an ever growing range of issues."
The Chambers Ireland Sustainable Business Impact Awards showcase best practice in sustainable development and social responsibility undertaken by companies of all sizes across Ireland.