NEW YORK – At the 2024 Legalweek Leaders in Tech Law Awards, Reed Smith won in the Innovations in Pro Bono category for Lamp Lifeboat Ladder, the firm’s one-of-its-kind initiative that provides global refugee protection and holistic, end-to-end resettlement.

Created and led by pro bono counsel Jayne Fleming, Lamp Lifeboat Ladder is Reed Smith’s radical model for the successful resettlement of refugees who are at high risk of further injury. As highlighted in Legaltech News, this “ambitious initiative... is providing a safe pathway to relocation in Canada for at least 90 refugee families.” What makes the pro bono project so innovative is that it provides survivors with end-to-end protection, from the point of flight to the point of self-reliance.

The project’s exemplary process involves hundreds of hours of intake, interviewing, drafting, submission, and overall support. Reed Smith’s Lamp Lifeboat Ladder team interviews torture victims in the field, develops protection plans for those at imminent risk, and develops cases for submission to Canada. The project then goes further to provide shelter and protection to survivors in flight, plus two years of support once they are resettled in Canada, including resources for housing and education, trauma recovery, skills-building, and self-sufficiency.

Lamp Lifeboat Ladder draws on resources from Reed Smith’s global platform and the legal profession worldwide, as well as medical experts, psychologists, numerous NGOs and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Fleming launched the project in 2020 in partnership with the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture (CCVT) as its operational partner in Canada under a Memorandum of Understanding with the Canadian government. Other key partners include the Human Rights in Trauma Mental Health Laboratory at Stanford University, Médecins Sans Frontières (in Greece), and World Refugee Migration Counsel (WRMC), among others.

Members of the Lamp Lifeboat Ladder team at Reed Smith include counsel Duane Sigelko in Chicago, senior pro bono counsel Chris Walters in Philadelphia, EMEA pro bono counsel Becca Naylor and associate Mira Dandan in London, as well as associates Dimitris Athanasopoulos in Athens and Joern Halling in Munich.

Fleming’s leadership team also includes Mulugeta Abai, executive director of CCVT; Allan Rock, Canada’s former ambassador to the United Nations and a special advisor to WRMC; Hanna Gros, Canadian legal director; Kolbassia Haoussou, director of Survivors Speak Out; and Daryn Reicherter, MD, of the Human Rights in Trauma Mental Health Laboratory at Stanford University; along with numerous local counsel, directors, and advisors.

Fleming is widely recognized for her highly influential global refugee protection work. In previous years, she was named one of the Top Ten Innovative Lawyers in North America by The Financial Times, The American Lawyer awarded her its Grand Prize for Global Citizenship, and the American Bar Association presented her with its prestigious John Minor Wisdom Public Service and Professionalism Award.

Sponsored by American Lawyer Media outlets, and Legaltech News, the annual Legalweek Leaders in Tech Law Awards in New York celebrate the achievements of law firms, in-house legal departments, legal tech providers and ALSPs that are “leading the legal profession into the future through technology and innovation.”

Reed Smith also was shortlisted in four other categories at this year’s awards: E-Discovery Technology and Innovation; ESG Enablement Through Technology; Regulatory, Governance and Compliance Technology; and Best Use of Artificial Intelligence.