Wotton + Kearney’s pro bono practice is central to its commitment to access to justice and to reducing inequality.
W+K has invested in a dedicated pro bono team, including a pro bono partner, special counsel, consultant and community coordinator. The pro bono team is supported by pro bono champions in each Australian office, the broader firm and the resources of our Legalign Global alliance.
Refugee rights is the focus of more than a third of our pro bono program and includes legal representation, advocacy, policy work and law reform through our partnerships with organisations including the Refugee Advice and Casework Service, the Human Rights Law Centre, Refugee Legal and Refugee Council of Australia.
Seniors rights and elder abuse is an increasingly visible area of unmet legal need and an area we are investing in through our partnerships with the Seniors Rights Service NSW and Justice Connect.
Human rights and the rule of law is a growing focus of our work, engaging in advocacy through our pro bono partnerships.
PARTNERING WITH INDIGENOUS LITERACY FOUNDATION
At W+K we acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands we live, work and learn on throughout Australia and pay our respects to Elders past and present.
Our charity partner from September 2022 through to July 2025 is the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. Indigenous Literacy Foundation is an Australian charity which aims to reduce the disadvantage experienced by children in remote Indigenous communities across Australia by lifting literacy levels and instilling a lifelong love of reading. For children in isolated regions, access to books is limited and literacy levels can be much lower than other parts of Australia.
Indigenous Literacy Foundation’s programs focus on publishing Community stories and books in First Languages that help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders children see themselves, their culture and languages reflected in the books they read. Their vision of equity of opportunity for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children living in remote Australia ties in exceptionally well with our Community Footprint program’s focus on Goal 10 of the UN Sustainable Development Goal: Reducing Inequality.
By partnering with Indigenous Literacy Foundation over the next three years, each of our offices will have the opportunity to fundraise, advocate and support ILF and First Nations Communities.
LOCAL OFFICE CHARITY PARTNERS
We support our local office charities, Lou’s Place, Launch Housing, Pass It On Clothing and Share the Dignity by regular donations, fundraising and volunteering opportunities all year round. During Homelessness Week we run an additional donation drive and raise awareness of how we can support those at risk or experiencing homelessness.
At Wotton + Kearney we take seriously our role as a responsible global citizen.
We are a reporting member of the Australian Legal Sector Alliance (AusLSA), an industry-led association working collaboratively to promote best practice sustainability commitments and performance across the legal sector. You can access our latest AusLSA report here. We have recently introduced an externally certified Environmental Management System to drive sustainability from within the firm. We have identified our key environmental impacts and developed a detailed plan to address them.
In 2021, W+K was awarded a bronze medal in recognition of sustainability achievement by EcoVadis, the world’s largest and most trusted provider of business sustainability ratings. We also have an active Environment & Sustainability Committee, which helps drive our environmental initiatives and raise awareness of environmental issues.
W+K is committed to becoming carbon neutral. We are working with an external consultant to assess our carbon footprint with a view to achieving full carbon neutral certification with Climate Active.
Our Environmental & Sustainability Policy can be accessed here.
Wotton + Kearney is committed to respecting human rights and addressing modern slavery. In 2018 and 2019, we partnered with International Justice Mission, the largest anti-slavery organisation in the world, to raise awareness about modern slavery amongst our staff, clients, and broader network. The partnership educated us about the scale of modern slavery – there are more than 50 million slaves globally today – and the importance of a business response.
Modern slavery breaches the most fundamental freedoms and human rights of individuals. Wotton + Kearney rejects all forms of modern slavery and recognises that modern slavery is never acceptable in any of its forms.
We have chosen to make a voluntary statement under the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth) and to take action to address modern slavery risks in our supply chains and operations. You can read our Modern Slavery Statement for year ended 30 June 2022 here.
Diversity Council of Australia
We are members of the Diversity Council of Australia.
Diverse Women in Law
W+K is a sponsor of Diverse Women in Law. Diverse Women in Law (DWL) is a not-for-profit which aims to empower and support Diverse Women through all stages of their legal studies and career.
Diverse Women are defined as self-identifying women (cis, non-binary and gender diverse) from underrepresented backgrounds (including culturally and linguistically diverse, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander persons, LGBTQI+ persons, living with a disability, are or have experienced socioeconomic disadvantage or with caring responsibilities).