Launch of the Linklaters Foundation
As a logical extension of over 20 years of pro bono initiatives implemented by its 300 lawyers and employees in France, Linklaters has now taken its commitment to the next level by launching its charitable foundation.
An unprecedented step for a law firm in France, Linklaters Foundation is wholly consistent with the firm's philosophy, which places commitment to public interest projects in a prominent position within its growth strategy, on the same level as other more financial indicators.
On-going commitment to two areas
In line with the programmes carried out to date and the firm's values of innovation and creativity, Linklaters Foundation will focus on two main areas:
- inclusive education, to combat the various forms of exclusion through education, help with job seeking and returning to work and support for entrepreneurship; and
- cultural patronage, by helping institutions fund major exhibitions in the field of contemporary art and curating a photography exhibition on show at our premises.
The Foundation: a new project for Linklaters' pro bono programme
Organising all of the firm's pro bono activities as part of a single foundation demonstrates the strength of Linklaters staff's commitment to social matters and their willingness to take their commitment to a new level by supporting new projects, imagining new synergies and creating more appropriate forms of support for the long term. The Foundation is a framework that will allow Linklaters' employees to innovate and grow.
One area that the Foundation will explore in particular over the coming months consists in reconciling its two areas of operation by supporting job seeking and the return to working life through culture. Two particular avenues are being explored, namely through partnerships currently in development with BAL's Fabrique du regard (teaching through images for middle school and high school students in "priority education" zones) and the charity founded by Gérard Garouste, La Source (encouraging artistic creativity in young people who are at risk or fighting social exclusion).
A vocation: long-term, comprehensive support
Linklaters' employees view their support for charities and worthwhile projects as comprehensive, long-term support that takes the form of financial support combined with the patronage of skills. The nature of the initiatives supported will be diverse, but the Linklaters Foundation's commitment will always be synonymous with humanist ventures, as is the case with the firm's 10-year strong ties with ADIE (Association pour le Droit à l’Initiative Economique).
The committed men and women project
During 2014, 76 persons in Linklaters' Paris office gave up a total of 1,560 hours for charity work, led in particular by two of the firm's partners: Anne Wachsmann-Guigon, partner responsible for cultural patronage policies, and Pierre Tourres, partner responsible for community education, respectively President and Vice-President of the Foundation.
This bold initiative, also driven by Paul Lignières, Managing Partner of the Paris office, reflects an approach that is increasingly shared by the legal profession, and of which Linklaters is proud to be a pioneer. This commitment has been recognised, and in October 2015 the "Teamwork" prize was awarded to Linklaters at the 4th "Trophées Pro Bono du Barreau de Paris".
Linklaters was keen for this internal initiative, also involving Roland Ziadé, a partner in the firm, to be enriched by the inclusion on the Foundation’s Board of Directors of people whose profiles attest to the Foundation's society-oriented approach. These new faces are Benedicte Bahier, Legal Director, member of the Executive Committee at Legrand group and a former barrister at Linklaters, Claire Leost, Managing Director of the General Public Universe at Lagardère Active, and Eric de Chassey, Art Historian, Professor at the Ecole Normal Supérieure in Lyon and former manager of the Villa Medici.