Orrick Pro Bono Teams in Europe Help International Nonprofit Fight Corruption

November.01.2012

Over the past year, Orrick teams in Europe have provided substantial support to Transparency International (TI), an international nonprofit that raises awareness of the damaging effects of corruption and works with partners in government, business and civil society to develop and implement effective measures to tackle it. Across the developing world, corruption is widely acknowledged to be a major obstacle to poverty reduction. TI engages in a wide variety of activities to further its mission, including conducting advocacy with the public and private sectors, education, preparing and publishing articles, reports and working papers.

Lawyers in our German offices assisted the International Secretariat of TI, based in Berlin, with the reorganization of its internal management and organizational structures in response to its rapid growth in the last few years in terms of the number of staff, the funds it is managing and to address the needs of its new strategy. Further, Orrick provided TI with a basic legal audit to ensure the organization is compliant with German law, based on its key governance structures and processes. In addition, Orrick provided TI with advice on the use of the power of attorney under German law. Finally, Orrick Germany translated a new law for TI's German National Chapter, the "Hamburg Transparency Act" from German into English. Passed by the State Government of Hamburg earlier this year, the new law is part of a next generation of access to information laws that requires government information to be disclosed and made available online in a machine readable format. The translation was used by TI Germany in connection with press conferences and other advocacy efforts to publicize the law.

Separately, Orrick lawyers in England assisted the U.K. TI chapter in publishing a report on the anti-corruption capabilities of 134 defense companies from around the world that has gained significant media attention. The Orrick team advised TI on the legal issues associated with its publication, including the risk and ways to minimize liability for defamation. Further, the London office provided advice to TI in connection with one of its initiatives, the Water Integrity Network (WIN), that seeks to increase integrity levels and reduce corruption in the water sector through a pro-poor and pro-equity focus. The London office advised TI on how it could become an independent legal entity under U.K. law, a potential plan for the entity in 2013.

Servaas Feiertag, legal counsel for TI, commented that "Orrick has provided TI with a significant amount of pro bono support, both for the Secretariat and TI-UK. We very much appreciate the timely and quality service that has been provided on all of the work which has enabled our organization to continue to have significant impact around the world."

The Orrick team includes Frankfurt energy and infrastructure of counsel Peter Braun, London commercial litigation partner Simon Cockshutt, London tax partner Nick Thornton, Munich corporate of counsel Andreas Splittgerber, Munich corporate managing associate Thomas Strassner, Munich corporate associate Sebastian Rockstroh, former Frankfurt corporate partner Annette Bödeker, former Frankfurt corporate corporate associate Klaus Alten and former London trainee Njeri Wagacha.