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.
"We very much value your support, which has played a vital role in ensuring that we function properly as an organisation, which in turn allows us to focus our limited budget on our front line human rights work."
"Our Swiss entity could not have been set up without the highly appreciated pro-bono legal advice offered by LALIVE"
- 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/).
- Provision of pro bono legal advice to WeRobotics, an NGO aiming to accelerate and scale the impact of humanitarian aid, global development and environmental protection efforts through robotics solutions, in the creation and establishment of their Swiss entity, which will act as a base for fundraising activities in Switzerland and Europe as well as coordinate projects out of Switzerland.
- Pro bono legal advice to the Global Initiative on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (GI-ESCR) on Swiss employment law and on the incorporation of a non-profit entity.
- 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 The Hepatitis Fund on the review of multiple contractual documents in connection with the hiring of employees in Geneva.
- 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.
- 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 Civitas Maxima, which provides independent legal representation of victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity (www.civitas-maxima.org)
- 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
- Provision of yearly scholarship covering the full tuition fees and living expenses of one student to undertake the Graduate Institute’s MIDS- Geneva LL.M. in International Dispute Settlement for an academic year.
- Financial support to students to fund their participation in moot competitions, such as the Vienna Vis moot and the Frankfurt Investment moot.
LALIVE is committed to reducing the environmental impact of its work. The firm’s policies include:
- Working with Zurich-based organisation myclimate to reduce the impact of the firm’s CO2 emissions by investing in worthwhile sustainability and climate protection projects and changing internal policies. The projects LALIVE is currently supporting include a local Swiss project promoting climate-optimised forest management in the canton Solothurn (further information is available here), and a project in Uganda to help distribute water purification systems to low-income households and institutions such as schools (further information is available here)
- 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
- Purifying and bottling drinking water on-site in order to avoid one-use plastic bottles