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LWIA Winners Large-7_616x372

Finalists: Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (highly commended); Dentons; DLA Piper; Paul Hastings; Pinsent Masons; Taylor Wessing.

Mayer Brown won the CSR innovation award for its community work supporting refugees living in the UK.

Partnering with refugee charity Breaking Barriers, the firm has been delivering a number of initiatives to offer long-term assistance to those seeking to establish a home in the UK. These include employability skills sessions to help with CV drafting and interview skills, work placements (Mayer Brown provides a paid six-month work placement for a refugee), mentoring and clothing appeals.

The firm has also given financial support and pro bono legal advice to the charity. Breaking Barrier’s Employment Academy, which provides a minimum of 52 refugees a year with a place on its workshops, with many of its first cohort in the programme already finding employment.

Underscoring its commitment to the project, 60 members of the firm’s staff have been involved with the Employment Academy since its inception, and the HR team has also helped raise awareness by engaging with recruitment agency contacts and providing coaching and training. In addition, the firm has enlisted other legal firms and clients in the commercial sector to become involved in the project.

“Without Mayer Brown’s involvement, these corporate partnerships would not have developed,” said Breaking Barriers CEO Matthew Powell.

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