MWE China Law Offices Recognized for Corporate Social Responsibility Projects at 2016 Asia Legal Awards


The American Lawyer and The Asian Lawyer cite firm for “Asian CSR Initiative of the Year” at awards ceremony; noted pro bono clients include Liberty Asia, China Help, ForNGO, Philharmonia Orchestra

SHANGHAI (February 24, 2016) — On Feb. 23, MWE China Law Offices, strategic ally of McDermott Will & Emery, was honored at the 2016 Asia Legal Awards for its commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) and pro bono work.

Presented by preeminent legal media publisher ALM, the annual awards recognized MWE China Law Offices for “Asian CSR Initiative of the Year.” The American Lawyer and The Asian Lawyer, both published by ALM, selected MWE China as winner in this category over four other law firm finalists and a number of other leading Chinese and international firms (click here for more information.)

In preparation for this year’s Asia Legal Awards, The American Lawyer and The Asian Lawyer editorial staff reviewed nominations from over 100 law firms in 22 award categories, which included the CSR Initiative of the Year. In addition to naming MWE China Law Offices winner for the corporate social responsibility category, The Asian Lawyer also recognized MWE China partner Leon C.G. Liu as one of five attorney finalists for “Regulatory/Compliance Lawyer of the Year.”

The CSR Initiative award is the third instance in 2016 that MWE China Law Offices has been recognized by the media; earlier this month China Business Law Journal named MWE “Compliance and Anti-corruption Law Firm of the Year”; and in January, Asian Legal Business included it among the shortlist of “Top China Firms to watch 2016.” And in 2015, Asian Legal Business named MWE China one of the top five corporate social responsibility firms.

In recognizing MWE China Law Offices’ corporate social responsibility initiatives, ALM editorial judges focused on the firm’s pro bono matters, noting that MWE China “stood out for groundbreaking pro bono initiatives as well as the depth of its pro bono commitment.” The Asian Lawyer noted that in 2015 more than half of MWE China’s lawyers advised pro bono clients, and most of those attorneys spent at least 20 hours on their pro bono work, and praised the office for “a level of pro bono activity that is still rare in the international arena.”

John Z. L. Huang, managing partner of MWE China Law Offices. said, “We recognize and appreciate the need to give back to the communities that we are a part of and to assist those who may be unable to afford top-flight legal services. We are honored to be chosen by The American Lawyer and The Asian Lawyer for our engagement in a broad variety of pro bono endeavors, and hope that these awards help bring further attention to the noteworthy projects of our pro bono clients.”

MWE China’s pro bono projects this year included:

Liberty Asia – MWE China’s Pro Bono team provided considerable legal support for two projects by Liberty Asia, a regional non-governmental organization focused on fighting human trafficking and ending modern slavery in mainland China and South East Asia. In the first project, the team created a gap analysis which helped to identify key laws and legal issues for human trafficking efforts in mainland China. In the second, they helped create a regional analysis of anti-corruption laws and how they might be leveraged in the fight against human trafficking. The Pro Bono Team and Liberty Asia’s innovative application of anti-corruption laws — which are usually much more robust and much more strictly enforced than current trafficking laws in place — is equipping the community with much more powerful and effective tools for this important fight.

China Help – The Pro Bono team worked with China Help, the first bilingual service NGO in China that focuses on legal support for LGBTQ rights. The MWE team drafted an extensive legal report regarding the conversion therapy used against LGBTQ people in China, and will continue to advise China Help on related matters into 2016.

ForNGO “Thirty Frequently Asked Questions and Legal Opinions for Foreign Residents” – Working with Legal Center for NGO, MWE China’s Pro Bono team started this project to help expatriates in China by making a flyer answering legal questions frequently raised by expats. The questions covered almost every requisite aspect of expats’ lives in China, including issues related to Visas, tax, employment and intellectual property. Besides an English version, the work product is also translated into Japanese and Korean. Further, it is distributed in expat residential communities, as well as the US Consulate.

Philharmonia Orchestra cooperation with Sichuan Wuliangye Group – The Pro Bono team provided legal services to the London-based Philharmonia Orchestra regarding its noteworthy partnership with leading Chinese beverage company Wuliangye. The five-year sponsorship deal, announced last February, made news as Wuliangye is the first Chinese company ever to support a UK arts organization in such a manner.

In addition to working with the above organizations, MWE China also has represented pro bono the Shanghai Commercial Mediation Center, the Cherished Dream Foundation, and a number of other clients.

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