Biglaw, Disasters / Emergencies, Holland & Knight, Pro Bono, Public Interest

More Law Firms Contributing to Japanese Relief Efforts

On Tuesday we told you that McGuireWoods, Dewey & LeBoeuf, and Weil Gosthal were all contributing to the relief efforts under way in Japan. The response has been pretty great.

While some people seem to think Japan’s status as a rich nation means it doesn’t need any international aid, I don’t see how the country’s long-term ability to recover has anything to do with the immediate humanitarian crisis. Japan will undoubtedly be able to rebuild in the future, but its citizens need food and water today.

We’ve now received word that even more Biglaw firms are pitching in to do what they can. If you know of additional firms supporting relief efforts that we have not mentioned, please tell us in the comments to this post….

Here are the firms we are know about that are making charitable donations to the relief efforts currently underway. You’ll note that there is a lot of variation and creativity among the firms’ responses (full firm memos are reprinted at the end of this post):

Bingham McCutchen:

If you would like to join in the firm’s efforts to assist with the crisis in Japan, please make your check payable to Bingham McCutchen LLP Charitable Fund, write [Redacted] in the memo line and send your check through the interoffice mail to [Redacted] in the Boston office. This qualifies as a matching organization as part of our existing charitable match program for staff. Please indicate if you would like to designate your contribution for a match. If you prefer to contribute through payroll deductions, please contact us for the necessary paperwork. Once again, we expect that Bingham will make a substantial and meaningful impact on the lives of people affected by this tragedy.

Clifford Chance:

It is obvious that there is a huge recovery job to be done in Japan and the world is now moving to lend its support. The Clifford Chance Foundation has agreed an immediate donation of £50,000 to disaster relief, the first £10,000 of which will go to the Japanese Red Cross with the balance going to causes identified by our colleagues in Tokyo.

Holland & Knight:

As news of Japan’s disaster emerged, we examined ways we could assist the relief efforts in a meaningful way. We have decided to partner with our client, the American Red Cross, to aid those devastated by the disaster. Accordingly, this week each of our offices will hold a “Japanese Tsunami Relief Day” to raise money through individual contributions. In addition, the firm will match the first $100,000 of individual contributions.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe:

Unfortunately, there has been a relative dearth of contributions to charities compared to the response after the Haiti earthquake. Although Japan is a wealthy country, many people in the most affected areas in Northern Japan desperately need our help with the most basic of human needs. In addition, temperatures have plummeted to mid-winter lows, and it is snowing in the region.

To encourage support for this cause, Orrick will immediately donate $75,000 to the relief efforts to kick-off our campaign. We encourage you to support this critical cause as well by donating to your charity of choice. There are many important relief aid organizations working in the region; below are some of our recommendations, who we feel are worthy of your support.

Orrick and these other firms get it: Japan as a nation might have long-term wealth, but its people have short-term needs.

Help if you can. As pointed out by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) in its statement about the situation in Japan, it’s as easy as texting REDCROSS to 90999, to make a $10 donation. You can also go to the American Red Cross website, where you can donate to support relief efforts in Japan or elsewhere.

If you know of other law firms that are pitching in to the disaster relief efforts in Japan that we haven’t mentioned here or in our prior post, please give them a shout-out in the comments to this post. Thanks.

UPDATE (11:30 AM): Minutes after we published this post, we learned about what Latham & Watkins is doing:

As a result of the recent major earthquake and tsunami, Japan has suffered massive damage and devastating losses, and a number of attorneys and staff across the firm have asked what they can do to help. Several nonprofit relief organizations have begun to assess the needs and damage as they begin to provide assistance, and Latham & Watkins will be making a $50,000 contribution to relief organizations in support of these efforts. In addition to this, we are launching a Japan Disaster Relief Matching Program to provide further financial support for the relief efforts.

Latham will match contributions made by firm personnel to any of the [organizations listed below].

This is probably going to be our last post on the subject, so please place additional firm names IN THE COMMENTS. Thanks again.

Earlier: Biglaw Firms Poised To Help Japanese Relief Efforts


BINGHAM MCCUTCHEN — JAPAN RELIEF EFFORTS

Thank you so much for everyone’s enthusiastic response to Jay’s e-mail about our charitable-giving campaign to help the relief efforts in Japan. Once again, the level of interest and generous offers of assistance are true to form for Bingham.

Bingham members are consulting with government officials and business and community leaders to best determine where our contributions can have the most effective impact in the short and long term. We have been closely monitoring news reports about the national and international response to this disaster. While government agencies are taking the lead as first responders, the people of Japan will continue to need assistance for a significant time into the future. Organizations we are reviewing to direct Bingham contributions include the Japan Society, a cultural organization that has served as a cultural link between the United States and other countries and Japan for more than a century, and the JCCI Fund, which is overseen by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce in New York and has an extensive history of charitable donations in these cases.

As in other large disasters, we will also look to make immediate contributions as well as to contribute to longer-term recovery efforts. With that in mind, we will conduct ongoing reviews of organizations with missions that align with our charitable program’s focus on children and education.

We will keep the Bingham community updated on our activities through Bing.

How you can help

If you would like to join in the firm’s efforts to assist with the crisis in Japan, please make your check payable to Bingham McCutchen LLP Charitable Fund, write [Redacted] in the memo line and send your check through the interoffice mail to [Redacted] in the Boston office. This qualifies as a matching organization as part of our existing charitable match program for staff. Please indicate if you would like to designate your contribution for a match. If you prefer to contribute through payroll deductions, please contact us for the necessary paperwork. Once again, we expect that Bingham will make a substantial and meaningful impact on the lives of people affected by this tragedy. By pooling our resources in the firm’s charitable fund and directing our dollars to the charities we expect to work with in the coming days and weeks, we believe we will make a real difference.

You will receive a tax deduction for such a gift in accordance with applicable tax laws. And, we will, of course, keep you apprised of our efforts.

As always, thank you for your generous support. Please contact us with any questions.

Catherine, Yuki, Satoru and Sean

Catherine M. Curtin
Director of Community Affairs


CLIFFORD CHANCE — JAPAN RELIEF EFFORTS

The sheer scale of the devastation left by the recent earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan has left us all shocked. Our colleagues in Tokyo are all thankfully safe although ongoing power rationing means the local situation remains difficult.

It is obvious that there is a huge recovery job to be done in Japan and the world is now moving to lend its support. The Clifford Chance Foundation has agreed an immediate donation of £50,000 to disaster relief, the first £10,000 of which will go to the Japanese Red Cross with the balance going to causes identified by our colleagues in Tokyo.

The Firm will also be co-ordinating fundraising efforts across the network – please do look out for the notices if you would like to get involved.

In the meantime, our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Japan.

David & Malcolm

David Childs
Managing Partner


HOLLAND & KNIGHT — JAPAN RELIEF EFFORTS

As news of Japan’s disaster emerged, we examined ways we could assist the relief efforts in a meaningful way. We have decided to partner with our client, the American Red Cross, to aid those devastated by the disaster. Accordingly, this week each of our offices will hold a “Japanese Tsunami Relief Day” to raise money through individual contributions. In addition, the firm will match the first $100,000 of individual contributions. These actions have been endorsed by the Managing Partner and the Directors Committee. Please consider supporting this endeavor by contributing to the Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation to benefit the American Red Cross.

For your information, the American Red Cross is working with the Japanese Red Cross, a highly experienced disaster relief organization with two million volunteers nationwide. Our donations will help fund those local volunteers who are distributing relief items, offering hot meals, clearing debris and providing medical transportation. The following link provides additional information: http://www.redcross.org

Thank you.

Steven Sonberg, Managing Partner


LATHAM & WATKINS — JAPAN RELIEF EFFORTS

TO: ALL PERSONNEL
FROM: BOB DELL
RE: JAPAN DISASTER RELIEF MATCHING PROGRAM

As a result of the recent major earthquake and tsunami, Japan has suffered massive damage and devastating losses, and a number of attorneys and staff across the firm have asked what they can do to help. Several nonprofit relief organizations have begun to assess the needs and damage as they begin to provide assistance, and Latham & Watkins will be making a $50,000 contribution to relief organizations in support of these efforts. In addition to this, we are launching a Japan Disaster Relief Matching Program to provide further financial support for the relief efforts.

Latham will match contributions made by firm personnel to any of the following organizations, all of which are currently engaging in or supporting disaster relief efforts in Japan:

· Red Cross, Japan Earthquake Relief
· Doctors Without Borders
· Save the Children
· Japan Society Earthquake Relief Fund
· World Vision

To participate in the matching contribution program, please make your contribution directly to one of the above relief funds by April 30, 2011, and submit a matching contribution request form available on L&W InfoPath Forms. The firm will match all contributions up to a combined total of US$150,000.

Please make sure your donation is designated for Japan disaster relief (other than for Doctors Without Borders, which has not established a separate fund for this purpose). For those who have already made donations to Japan disaster relief, your contributions will also be matched even if not made to one of the charities named above. The firm’s matching funds, however, will go to one of the designated charities unless other arrangements are made.

Our Pro Bono Committee is also exploring potential opportunities to provide pro bono legal assistance in connection with disaster recovery efforts. As we have seen through our pro bono work related to past natural disasters, legal issues often take time to surface and follow the immediate needs of financial assistance for basic necessities.

Thank you in advance to those who will participate in the matching contribution program.


ORRICK — JAPAN RELIEF EFFORTS

Orrick Supports Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Efforts

As the world begins to comprehend the devastating impact of the 9.0
magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck Japan on
Friday, we extend our deepest sympathies to everyone affected by this
horrible disaster, particularly our friends and colleagues in our
Tokyo office.

We are all shocked and saddened by the frightening images and reports
from Japan. Thousands of lives and livelihoods have been devastated;
many thousands are homeless; millions are without water, power, heat
or transportation. The death toll is expected to rise significantly.
It is a human tragedy on a massive scale.

Unfortunately, there has been a relative dearth of contributions to
charities compared to the response after the Haiti earthquake.
Although Japan is a wealthy country, many people in the most affected
areas in Northern Japan desperately need our help with the most basic
of human needs. In addition, temperatures have plummeted to mid-winter
lows, and it is snowing in the region.

To encourage support for this cause, Orrick will immediately donate
$75,000 to the relief efforts to kick-off our campaign. We encourage
you to support this critical cause as well by donating to your charity
of choice. There are many important relief aid organizations working
in the region; below are some of our recommendations, who we feel are
worthy of your support.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies:

http://www.ifrc.org

Mercy Corps:

http://www.mercycorps.org

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF):

http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/donate/overview.cfm

So that the firm can help facilitate this fundraising effort, please
indicate your donation amount here. You will receive a confirmation
e-mail once submitted.

Google has also created a comprehensive resource page here:

http://www.google.com/crisisresponse/japanquake2011.html.

If you have any questions, please contact [Redacted], our Community
Responsibility Program Manager.

Again, we extend our deepest sympathies to everyone affected by the disaster.

Regards,

Ralph

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