Corporate Social Responsibility
LALIVE has a long tradition of active involvement in the community, endeavouring to use its legal knowledge and expertise for the benefit of those in need, as well as fostering initiatives designed to promote legal education and enforcement. The firm also regularly makes donations to assist various charities as well as law students.
The firm’s lawyers regularly engage in pro bono legal work. They also devote significant time to international organisations (such as UNCITRAL, WTO/ITC, UNITAR, ILA, TRIAL) and key Swiss and international professional associations and institutions in their field of expertise, becoming involved in the drafting of policy papers, country reports, model agreements, regulatory texts, legislative proposals and training programmes.
Illustrations of LALIVE's early pro bono activities include Professor Lalive successfully representing an Algerian asylum seeker in his appeal before the Commission de recours en matière d’asile in the 1990s and Ms Giovannini acting pro bono for a number of years for a private art foundation that had been set up for the benefit of emerging countries.
Examples of LALIVE’s recent or current activities in the community include:
Pro bono / free legal services
- Provision of legal services to Amnesty International on the structure of its Geneva office, including advice on matters of corporate law, labour law and social security law. Lalive has also represented the organisation before the Geneva courts in relation to a lease dispute.
- Partnering with Aid for International Development (A4ID) in providing pro bono legal services to various NGOs (a4id.org/).
- Pro bono legal advice to Penal Reform International on sentencing of female abuse victims for violent crime against abusers and the rights of prisoners to vote in Switzerland.
- Pro bono legal advice to Association Caméléon on securing the IP rights of a Swiss child's drawing, to be used for the association's merchandising.
- Pro bono legal advice to the Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU) on the criminalisation of petty offences in Namibia and Mozambique.
- Pro bono legal advice to Wikimedia on the use, storage and reproduction of images by Wikipedia.
- Provision of strategic advice to the Cedar Foundation, a non-profit active in the social sphere field, regarding the incorporation of a non-profit entity in Switzerland including advice on the advantages and disadvantages in acting as a global hub for its operations and entities in other countries.
- Provision of legal services to an international non-governmental organisation which responds to natural disasters and crises, as well as conflicts that uproot communities, with respect to insolvency issues raised by its Swiss entity.
- Active involvement in the Human Rights Commission of the Geneva Bar Association (ODA) and working on its pro bono platform project aimed at connecting Geneva-based NGOs involved in the field of human rights and local law firms interested in providing pro bono services to them.
Non-legal work in the community, financial support to charities and students
- Involvement in the organisation of a charity concert in support of research and treatment of serious diseases, in particular skin cancer, by the Department of Dermatology of University Hospital of Zurich and the Bruno Bloch foundation
- Donation to the Pink Ribbons Project (in support of breast cancer awareness, prevention and treatment for women in need in the United States) (www.pinkribbons.org)
- Donation to the Kids Company (in support of inner city children in difficulty in the United Kingdom) (www.kidsco.org.uk)
- Donation to TRIAL (in support of victims of the gravest of international crimes) (www.trial-ch.org)
- Donation to a number of children’s charities including Save the Children directly and through participation in charity balls
- Donation of books on international law and arbitration for the use of Ukrainian law schools
- Financial support to students to fund their participation in moot competitions, such as the Vienna Vis moot, the Frankfurt Investment moot and the ELSA WTO Moot Court Competition.
Lalive and the environment
Lalive is committed to reducing the environmental impact of its work. The firm’s policies include:
- Monitoring and reducing energy consumption by automatic hibernation of computers, using low energy bulbs, motion sensors and automatic switches on lighting
- Reducing paper use through electronic archiving and default double-sided printing
- Favouring electronic means of communication, including Skype and video conferences over travel whenever possible
- Systematic recycling of paper, PET bottles, glass and aluminium.