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 BLACK DOG INSTITUTE
Our charity partner from July 2019 through to July 2022 is Black Dog Institute. Black Dog Institute is a world leader in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of mood disorders such as depression and bipolar.
Alongside the partnership with Black Dog Institute, our New Zealand offices have set up a mental health awareness charity, Life Squared Trust, in memory of former partner Andrew McIntyre.
By partnering with Black Dog Institute and Life Squared Trust, each of our offices have the opportunity to fundraise, advocate and be educated about mental health. This is providing us with a real opportunity to address mental health in the workplace in a lasting and positive way.
LOCAL OFFICE CHARITY PARTNERS
We support our local office charities, Lou’s Place, Launch Housing 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.
We are committed to reviewing our own supply chains to ensure we are making socially responsible choices. This commitment can be demonstrated through our partnership with FairSupply to identify the risks of modern slavery in our supply chain. We are now implementing processes and procedures to monitor and manage those risks.
Additionally, we have:
- Provided modern slavery training to our Board.
- Made modern slavery training available to all staff. This training is available through an interactive online session.
- Introduced a standard modern slavery clause for our supplier contracts.
- Implemented a Supplier Code of Conduct which we use for suppliers with a higher risk of modern slavery in their supply chains.
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).