On Monday 13th July, many Reed Smith representatives and their guests were among two thousand lawyers and others in London's magnificent St Paul’s Cathedral to celebrate the work of Advocates for International Development (A4ID). The event began with a speech by the Attorney General of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, Baroness Scotland QC.
The keynote speaker, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, delivered a lecture entitled "The Millennium Development Goals: A Moral Challenge", in which he discussed the importance of A4ID and commended the support that A4ID, and its associated lawyers, provide to the task of achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Reed Smith’s Senior Pro Bono and Community Manager for EME, Chris Marshall, is Chair of A4ID.
A4ID is in effect a broker of free legal advice to civil society and developing country governments which are working to further the MDGs. As Chris Marshall said in his speech:
“A4ID is about building relationships. Our work mirrors the eighth Millennium Development Goal (the building of a global partnership for development). A4ID builds connections both across sectors and within them: development professional to lawyer; development professional to development professional and lawyer to lawyer. A4ID’s aim is to ensure that maximum effort is focused on challenges such as … ensuring a level playing field on debt, investment, use of resources and access to medicines, tackling climate change, supporting entrepreneurs and ... securing good governance and ending corruption.”
Michael Skrein, Reed Smith Pro Bono Partner for EMEA, commented:
“Reed Smith has partnered with A4ID since its establishment in 2006, when we ensured Chris Marshall’s availability to spearhead the project. Since then, the firm’s relationship with A4ID has gone from strength to strength and we are very pleased to have A4ID based in our London office, The Broadgate Tower. We are extremely proud of A4ID and the great work it has done for the global community. We are also very proud of the contributions of people at Reed Smith and are delighted that we are able to contribute a variety of skills to A4ID projects.”
Chris Marshall added:
“We were delighted at the success of the evening. To welcome Archbishop Tutu and listen to him speak, whilst also raising the profile of the work that A4ID does was fantastic. To have lawyers from across the City of London queuing around the block to attend the lecture and, as the Attorney General pointed out, “all those lawyers; and for free” was incredible. We hope that as a result more members of the legal community are motivated to seek out their role in the global community.”
A4ID works with a broad range of developing countries and development NGOs to promote the UN Millennium Development Goals and take action against global poverty.
For further information please visit: http://www.a4id.org/