The ruins of a house on the outskirts of Tacloban, capital of Leyte.

Law firms and the legal profession have a long and distinguished tradition of contributing to the public interest. Earlier today, we highlighted five Biglaw firms that are pro bono all-stars.

Most pro bono cases involve clients and causes here in the United States. But in today’s increasingly global world, law firms look beyond borders when it comes to helping the needy.

Yesterday we commended Skadden for its generous support of Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts in my ancestral homeland of the Philippines. And today we recognize several other law firms that have joined in this worthy cause….

In fact, some of them acted (or at least announced their actions) prior to Skadden. As we noted in an update to yesterday’s post, Weil Gotshal donated $50,000 to Typhoon Haiyan relief, through Oxfam and the Red Cross, as announced last Wednesday by Barry Wolf.

And some could end up making even larger donations (subject to employee matches). For example, take Kirkland & Ellis:

[T]he Kirkland & Ellis Foundation will create a matching fund to help the people of the Philippines. The Foundation will match contributions made by Kirkland partners and employees up to an aggregate of $100,000. In recognition of this unique need, the usual minimum to qualify for matching has been waived and donations will not count toward annual matching limits.

You can read the full Kirkland memo on the next page. The same goes for Akin Gump, which could also end up donating up to $100,000. It will contribute $50,000, $25,000 to UNICEF and $25,000 to Mercy Corps, and will match up to an additional $50,000 in contributions to either of these organizations.

International offices are joining in as well. The Hong Kong office of Clifford Chance donated HK$50,000, and the London office donated £50,000 and will also match employee contributions.

And so are small law firms. For example, Woodruff Johnson & Palermo, a personal injury law firm is Illinois, is collecting not just monetary donations but also supplies.

If you’re aware of additional firms that are lending support to Philippine typhoon relief efforts, please note them in the comments or email us, subject line: “Typhoon Relief.” We will update this post accordingly (or possibly write a new post). Thanks once again to all the firms that have come forward to help those in need.

UPDATE (5:50 p.m.): Orrick, through the Orrick Foundation, is matching employee donations to three organizations — Action Against Hunger, UNICEF, and the International Rescue Committee — up to an aggregate of $50,000. Memo on the next page.

UPDATE (11/20/2013, 5:00 p.m.): First, Linklaters is (1) donating £10,000 to the Red Cross and (2) matching individual donations up to a maximum of £10,000.

Second, several Asian-American lawyer groups are organizing a fundraising event taking place on Monday, November 25. If you’re in New York, please consider attending. Details are available at the AABANY website and on Facebook (where you can RSVP).

UPDATE (12/10/2013): A few final updates:

  • From Cooley LLP: “Cooley created a Matching Donation Fund to aid the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan. The individual donations by partners and employees, combined with the firm’s matching donation, resulted in Cooley donating in excess of $50,000 to The American Red Cross in support of the Philippine Red Cross.”
  • From Sedgwick LLP: “In response to Typhoon Haiyan ravaging the central Philippines, David Mesa of Sedgwick LLP, as immediate past president of the Filipino Bar Association of Northern California (FBANC) and current regional governor of the National Filipino American Lawyers Association (NFALA), organized the firm’s efforts in collecting and donating more than 1,000 pounds of non-perishable goods. The items, filling nearly 25 bins and boxes, were donated to the West Bay Pilipino Multi-Service Center and shipped to those in need in the most devastated regions of the Philippines.”
  • The Filipino Bar Association of Northern California raised more than $20,000 for typhoon relief efforts.
  • The November 25th fundraiser mentioned above — hosted by FALANY, AABANY, APALA-NJ, and APABA PA — raised more than $5,000 for typhoon relief efforts.

Kudos and thanks to all of the law firms and lawyers who have supported relief efforts in the Philippines.

(Flip to the next page for the Kirkland & Ellis and Woodruff Johnson memos.)


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