Rene Kathawala serves as Orrick's firmwide pro bono counsel, responsible for managing and initiating the firm's pro bono activities, including all administrative and legal aspects.
Rene works with other pro bono counsel and legal services nonprofits to increase the quantity and quality of pro bono representation that is being provided to indigent clients in each of the cities worldwide where Orrick has a presence. In addition, he supervises and directly works on cases in such diverse areas as immigration law, family and matrimonial law, housing law, public benefits law, employment law counseling, impact litigation and nonprofit advice and counseling. Rene has worked on many substantial matters in the federal and state systems over his career that are reported as precedent. He also works with firm attorneys to strengthen the firm's innovative Impact Finance and Social Enterprise team that he founded and that provides representation in diverse transactional areas to nonprofit, for profit and hybrid organizations dedicated to providing basic services to poor persons around the world in areas including microfinance, water, education, energy, housing and health.
Based on his long-standing commitment to access to justice issues, Rene has been appointed to serve as a member of the New York City Bar Association Right to Counsel TaskForce and the New York City Bar Association Family Court Judicial Appointment & Assignment Process Work Group. In recognition of his expertise in family law, United States District Judge Bloom appointed Rene as a special master in a federal court family law matter in 2014 in the Eastern District of New York in case number 07-cv-02565-ARR-LB, styled Garmhausen et al v. United States Department of Justice et al.
Amy is based in our London office and leads our pro bono practice and community responsibility programme in our 13 international offices across the UK, Europe and Asia.
Amy works with a variety of international, national and local non-profit organisations and charities to identify their legal needs and to develop and facilitate tailored pro bono legal training, assistance, advice and representation. She also builds strong partnerships and networks with these clients and other partners such as law centres, academic institutions, government institutions and UN agencies to collaboratively develop high impact pro bono projects that use the law, policy and advocacy as tools for social change and development in the areas of human rights, conservation, rule of law and access to justice.
Amy also leads on the further development of the impact finance and social enterprise pro bono practice across the international offices, facilitating legal services to clients seeking to achieve positive social and environmental impact alongside financial returns.
Amy contributes to the continued development of the pro bono sector in the UK, helping to lead on initiatives such as the UK Collaborative Plan for Pro Bono and UKAdemy Pro Bono Training Programme. She also works to involve the firm's commercial clients as trusted partners in select pro bono projects, supporting the development of in-house pro bono.
Amy has many years’ experience advising the private legal sector on the strategic development and management of pro bono programmes across a number of jurisdictions. An Australian qualified lawyer, Amy holds graduate and post-graduate degrees in the areas of law, human rights, international development and psychology.