Toronto (October 7, 2013) — National law firm Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG) today released its first Corporate Responsibility Report, highlighting the firm’s key social commitments and sustainability endeavours. In keeping with the firm’s commitment to service, the report outlines the community initiatives at home and abroad where the BLG team is striving to promote diversity and inclusion, access to justice, women’s leadership, literacy and learning.

“As professionals at one of Canada’s largest law firms we occupy a privileged position, which means we have an obligation to use that privilege in a way that supports and improves society,” said Sean Weir, National Managing Partner and CEO. “While the importance of corporate responsibility has long been ingrained in BLG’s culture, we are always challenging ourselves to do even better.”

Highlights of the Firm’s 2012 activities include over $2.3 million in pro bono work supporting access to justice, 300 classroom visits each week across the country to promote literacy and learning, signing on as a founding member of the new Canadian Law Firm Diversity and Inclusion Network and facilitating a series of new programs and training opportunities to foster women’s leadership.
Other community initiatives highlighted in the report include:

Diversity and Inclusion:

  • BLG is a national corporate sponsor of Pride at Work Canada and a sponsor of the Black Business and Professional Association National Scholarship fund
  • The Firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee has implemented a number of practices including diversity-related training and education sessions

Pro Bono and Access to Justice

  • The Firm’s 7,000 hours of pro bono work in 2012 included supporting the family of Lin Jun, the Montreal student who was tragically murdered, and helping to secure $5 million in special needs funding for the Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario
  • BLG was also one of four Canadian firms that backed a historic legal victory that will bring greater enforcement of rape laws to protect women and children in Kenya.

Women’s Leadership

  • The Firm’s Women’s Leadership Development Committee created a series of programs, such as coaching and support for parents re-entering the workforce following parental leave and sponsorship of female lawyers for the Rotman School of Management’s Business Leadership for Women Lawyers seminar
  • Two of BLG’s senior partners – Linda Bertoldi and Noella Milne - were named among Canada’s Most Powerful Women in 2012 by the Women’s Executive Network

Literacy and Learning

  • The Firm celebrated 10 years of BLG Reads to Kids, a program which donated over $550,000 and countless volunteer hours in classrooms across the country
  • BLG demonstrated their commitment to fostering literacy beyond Canada’s borders, and a series of Mount Kilimanjaro climbs have fundraised more than $1 million for charities that promote education in Africa
  • In 2012 the Firm completed nearly a decade of legal research under the BLG Fellowship Program, bringing the firm’s total commitment to legal research to $2.2 million
  • Honouring the top university athletes in the country for over 20 years, the BLG Award encourages excellence and teamwork through two $10,000 scholarships to support post-graduate studies.

View BLG’s Corporate Responsibility Report and learn more about the firm’s commitment to improve society and advance social justice.

About Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG) is a pre-eminent full-service, national law firm focusing on business law, commercial litigation and intellectual property solutions for our clients. With more than 750 lawyers, intellectual property agents and other professionals in six Canadian cities, BLG assists clients with their legal needs, from major litigation to financing and patent registration.

— 30 —

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Amanda McWhirter
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP