CSR-Initiative-of-the-Year

Awards host Shadia Bseiso (left) and awards judge Bruce McAlister (far right), general counsel MENAT, GE; with the Dentons team

Finalists: Al-Ansari & Associates (Highly Commended); Al Tamimi & Company; Clifford Chance; Clyde & Co; Eversheds Sutherland; Morgan Lewis & Bockius; Squire Patton Boggs.

Dentons’ work with Syrian refugees made it an obvious choice for this year’s corporate social responsibility initiative award.

Through its presence in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, Dentons has teamed with the Norwegian Refugee Council and the International Refugee Assistance Project to provide legal aid to refugees, such as help with translating documents, preparing resettlement applications and dealing with deportation and eviction issues (one family the firm represented was successfully resettled to the US).

In addition, Dentons has worked with European Lawyers in Lesvos (ELL) as part of its goal to protect refugee rights and its belief that every refugee entering Europe should be able to consult with a lawyer. The project involved sending its lawyers to the Moira refugee camp to volunteer in ELL’s legal aid clinic for two- to three-week stints, as well as giving strategic advice and financial assistance to the charity (it paid to rebuild the clinic after it was destroyed in a fire).

Further CSR goals included offering fundraising support for humanitarian organisations such as Oxfam, and providing humanitarian relief.

“This work that Dentons is doing is such vital, life-changing work and has a positive knock-on effect on so many refugees, even those that might not be direct beneficiaries,” commented a judge.

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