Hogan Lovells scoops CSR / Diversity Initiative of the Year at the British Legal Awards

Hogan Lovells scooped the award for CSR / Diversity Initiative of the Year at the British Legal Awards 2018.

The prestigious award recognised the firm's work on a joint initiative called "Clann Project", looking into Ireland's Mother and Baby Homes. Between 1922 and 1998, there were a series of forced adoptions of children born to single mothers in Ireland. To this day, neither the children nor their mothers have the right to access information on their cases.

Over a period of three years, the Hogan Lovells team, led by Rod Baker, Faye Jarvis, Elina Eriksson and Yasmin Waljee, with assistance from over 50 Hogan Lovells lawyers globally, collected over 77 witness statements extracted from conversations with 164 people separated from their family members through Ireland’s forced, secret adoption system and other historical abuses. The pro bono advice provided by Hogan Lovells also included a comparative study of adoption law in other European countries, including Spain, Germany and the Netherlands.

At a press conference in Dublin this autumn, Hogan Lovells revealed the findings of a 154-page Report in conjunction with the Adoption Rights Alliance and Justice for Magdalenes Research – Ireland’s Unmarried Mothers and their Children: Gathering the Data – which drew on the witness statements and made 8 recommendations to the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation. These include the need for a new investigation, with the aim of making information accessible to all affected parties, and the need to introduce statutory rights for adopted people and their biological parents.

"We want to help adoptees in Ireland to achieve the same right to information as they would have in other European countries, and to play a part in bringing those responsible to justice. To this end, we will continue to support the project moving forward, ahead of the official announcement from the Irish Commission in 2019", said Faye Jarvis, partner lead for the project.

At the ceremony in London's Finsbury Square last night (19 November), the firm was also Highly Commended in the Property Team of the Year category for securing planning permission for a new 190,000 sq m UCL campus in the new cultural and education district of the Olympic Park.

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