Hogan Lovells appoints first pro bono partner in Europe
LONDON, 5 January 2021 - Hogan Lovells has appointed International Pro Bono Director Yasmin Waljee OBE to partner, the first pro bono partner in Europe. Her appointment reinforces the firm’s commitment to being a responsible business, and recognises the immense contribution she has made to developing the firm's pro bono practice.
Since her appointment as the firm’s first dedicated pro bono lawyer in the UK in 1997, Yasmin has been key to establishing and embedding a pro bono culture within Hogan Lovells. She has developed a pro bono strategy and projects that engage lawyers and clients in pursuing responsible business practices and social impact to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. She also developed and co-leads the firm's award-winning social impact practice, HL BaSE, which provides support for purpose-led business and social enterprise with these aims, in combination with training for Hogan Lovells' lawyers.
Yasmin Waljee OBE, International Pro Bono Partner, commented: “Hogan Lovells has a proud track record of taking on complex and cutting-edge matters across the world which advance the rule of law. We have complemented our human rights work with our unique social enterprise and impact advisory work for sustainable businesses, showing entrepreneurship as a force for good. We have always sought to apply the innovative talents of lawyers in the firm, in collaboration with civil society partners, to ensure access to justice for under-represented communities. That commitment and energy will continue as we move into an ever-more challenging future and we work towards achieving the UN SDGs.”
The firm’s pro bono practice has made a significant contribution to matters at the heart of Human Rights, including establishing the precedent for compensation payments for victims of trans-national trafficking, representation of families bereaved by terrorism, and women who experience gender-based violence in a domestic setting or in war zones, and working on issues of racial discrimination.
Susan Bright, Global Managing Partner for Diversity & Inclusion and Responsible Business, added: “This promotion is thoroughly well-deserved recognition of the important role Yasmin has played in developing our pro bono practice and the immense impact she has had in our communities and society more generally. It also underlines the firm’s commitment to responsible business as a strategic priority. We have achieved great progress in advancing the rule of law and achieving the UN SDGs but acknowledge there is always more to be done. This appointment signals to our people and to our clients how seriously we take our responsibilities.”
Deborah Smith, Executive Director and Senior Counsel at Goldman Sachs, co-chair of the firm's EMEA Pro Bono Committee and founder and Steering Committee member of the In House Pro Bono Group said: “I am delighted to welcome the appointment at Hogan Lovells of Yasmin as the first pro bono partner in Europe.
“This is an important step forward in the recognition that pro bono should be a strategic priority for corporates as well as commercial law firms. Members of our legal division work with Hogan Lovells and our other law firm partners on a variety of pro bono projects to strengthen the capacity of civil society to provide equal opportunity to under-represented groups. We are pleased to see the dedication Hogan Lovells is showing to access to justice through this appointment.”
Yasmin’s commitment extends beyond the workplace. She is the Vice-Chair of Mosaic, the HRH Prince of Wales led initiative to support young Muslims, sits on the Advisory Panel to the UK's Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, and on the advisory Board of the Patchwork Foundation, which targets the active participation of young people from disadvantaged and minority communities in British democracy and civil society. In 2010, in recognition of her service, Yasmin was awarded an OBE in HM the Queen's New Year Honours list.