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Press Release

Celebrating our corporate responsibility

09/04/2019
European law firm Fieldfisher honoured its corporate responsibility stars on Tuesday 2 April in the presence of guests from across the firm and representatives from our charity partner the National...

We celebrated our 2019 Corporate Responsibility Awards to mark the contribution of individuals from across the firm who have shown truly amazing and inspirational commitment to a wide range of causes.

Oscar-winner Rachel Shenton delivered a special message during the event, thanking us for our commitment to advocating for deaf children.

The actress, who won an Oscar last year for her film The Silent Child, spoke about the importance of Fieldfisher’s work for deaf children to help them realise their full potential in education and broader life goals.

Attendees also heard from key clients – Nick Try from the National Deaf Children's Society, Kari Gerstheimer from learning disability charity Mencap, and Paula McGowan, whose talk brought home the impact of our work to reform the way people with a learning disability are treated in the UK's healthcare system.

Fieldfisher's partnership with National Deaf Children's Society will be five years old this year and has seen us provide over £750,000 of legal support to families by fighting for deaf children’s rights to educational support.

The firm's partnership with Mencap celebrates its first birthday in June and we have so far trained 40 volunteers and taken on 20 cases with the charity, with a 100% success rate to date.

Speaking about the firm’s support for deaf children, Rachel Shenton, who is currently starring in BBC comedy White Gold said:

I want to say a huge thank you to Fieldfisher for the last five years of support.

You’ve supported over 50 deaf children, committed 70 lawyers and provided £750,000 worth of your time – and you’ve won every case! On behalf of everyone at the National Deaf Children’s Society, we feel indebted to you for the support you’ve shown – it really matters.”

Emma Cross, who leads the charity’s support, advice and legal work added:

Deaf children’s education has been undermined in recent years, they are struggling to get the support they are entitled to.

"We’ve seen support cut back, we’ve seen specialist teachers laid off, threatening the progress that deaf children have made to reach their full potential.

"Against this backdrop, the incredible support Fieldfisher has given to deaf children up and down the country couldn’t be more important.

"Lawyers across the firm have been challenging legal decisions and fighting for the education of deaf children for the last five years. The difference they have made in these children’s lives cannot be underestimated.”

Shireen Irani, Fieldfisher’s Director of Corporate Responsibility, added:

"Our lawyers gain so much through our partnership with the National Deaf Children's Society and our other charity partners.

"We get to work with amazing clients and to use our skills for causes we truly believe in, opening doors to educational opportunities that would otherwise be denied to deaf children.

"We are delighted to celebrate our five-year relationship with National Deaf Children's Society and recognise the commitment of our respective advocates, who have won every single case they have worked on.

"We know there is nothing a deaf child can’t achieve without the right support, yet too many parents continue to suffer frustration and disappointment at the lack of help their children receive – something our team are tackling every day.”

"Our work with the National Deaf Children's Society, Mencap, Prisoners' Advice Service, Queen Mary Legal Advice Centre and our many other civil society partners are integral to the fabric of the firm.

"Many of our colleagues go above and beyond for our pro bono clients. They create new charity relationships; set up outstanding fundraising challenges; and introduce new initiatives that make a difference in society – this is the work that brings added purpose to their legal careers."

Fieldfisher continues to prioritise its pro bono work, and has expanded the team in recent years. Shireen Irani is supported by Catriona Filmer, Head of Pro Bono and Millie Hawes, Corporate Responsibility Executive, along with twelve other staff members around the firm who lead and coordinate the firm's key programmes.

Congratulations to all our 2019 CR award winners: Alex Watson, Alex Beresford, Caron Heyes, Charlotte Hilton, David Kaluwahandi, Francesca Titus, Jane Cozens, Jodie Nevin, Jonathan Hofstetter, Michael Chissick, Monique Marino, Rachael Wild, Richard Dwight, Samantha Hay and the Reading Partners Committee (Hannah Bignell, Alice Boydell, Paul Maalo, Charley Guile, Niloufar Yekta)

For more information on Fieldfisher's corporate responsibility initiatives and on all the charities we support, please visit the CR pages of the Fieldfisher website.

For more information on the National Deaf Children’s Society, please visit the charity's website or contact their media team on 020 7014 1178, colin.brook@ndcs.org.uk

For more information on Mencap, please visit the charity’s website or contact their media team on 0207 696 5414, media@mencap.org.uk

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