Cadwalader Receives Legal Aid Award for Pro Bono Work with BNP Paribas

November 04, 2016

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP and BNP Paribas were recently honored with an Innovative Corporate Pro Bono Projects & Partnerships award at the Legal Aid Society’s 2016 Pro Bono Awards. The award recognizes the law firm’s collaboration with BNP Paribas for the pro bono services they provide together through the Women’s Leadership Initiative (“WLI”)  Housing Clinic (the “WLI Clinic”).

During the October 26 ceremony, the Honorable Janet DiFiore, Chief Judge of the State of New York, presented awards to New York City’s foremost law firms and corporate law departments which have generously volunteered their time and talent to advocate for equal justice for the marginalized and under-represented.

The Cadwalader team accepting the award included Brian McGovern, a partner in the Corporate Litigation Group who supervises this pro bono effort; Chao Huang, an associate in the Capital Markets Group; and Ruth Merisier, an associate in the Corporate Litigation Group.

“Cadwalader is pleased to partner with BNP Paribas and The Legal Aid Society on this significant pro bono project,” said Brian McGovern. “I am proud of the time, energy, and enthusiasm our attorneys devote to serving the community every day through their work with individual, under-served clients and engagement with organizations such as Legal Aid dedicated to helping those in need.”

He continued, “Providing representation in New York City Housing Authority (the “NYCHA”) administrative proceedings is vitally important because a poor, public housing tenant who is unsuccessful at the administrative hearing level  would then face eviction proceedings and, with little or no other housing options, is at high risk of becoming homeless.”

In the Spring of 2014, the WLI, in collaboration with Cadwalader’s Center for Community Service and The Legal Aid Society, launched the WLI Clinic for low-income women in need of legal representation before the NYCHA. According to Cadwalader’s Manager of Pro Bono, Annie Mohan, since the WLI Clinic’s inception, more than two dozen Cadwalader attorneys and summer associates have represented women and children in negotiations with the NYCHA and at administrative hearings, helping them keep their homes.  At the same time, attorneys at all levels gained valuable practical legal experience and the opportunity to  work as part of a team with colleagues both at Cadwalader and its valued client, BNP Paribas. 

About BNP Paribas

BNP Paribas is a leading bank in Europe with an international reach. It has a presence in 75 countries, with more than 189,000 employees, including more than 146,000 in Europe. The Group has key positions in its three main activities: Domestic Markets and International Financial Services (whose retail-banking networks and financial services are covered by Retail Banking & Services) and Corporate & Institutional Banking, which serves two client franchises: corporate clients and institutional investors. The Group helps all its clients (individuals, community associations, entrepreneurs, SMEs, corporates and institutional clients) to realise their projects through solutions spanning financing, investment, savings and protection insurance. In Europe, the Group has four domestic markets (Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg) and BNP Paribas Personal Finance is the leader in consumer lending. BNP Paribas is rolling out its integrated retail-banking model in Mediterranean countries, in Turkey, in Eastern Europe and a large network in the western part of the United States. In its Corporate & Institutional Banking and International Financial Services activities, BNP Paribas also enjoys top positions in Europe, a strong presence in the Americas as well as a solid and fast-growing business in Asia-Pacific.

About the Legal Aid Society

The Legal Aid Society is a private, not-for-profit legal services organization, the oldest and largest in the nation, dedicated since 1876 to providing quality legal representation to low-income New Yorkers. It is dedicated to one simple but powerful belief: that no New Yorker should be denied access to justice because of poverty. The Society handles 300,000 individual cases and matters annually and provides a comprehensive range of legal services in three areas: the Civil, Criminal and Juvenile Rights Practices.



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