Since 2011, Simmons & Simmons have provided Christian Aid with valuable pro bono legal support. Pro bono legal advice raises the capacity and knowledge of our country teams on specific issues and can directly benefit the communities where we work. It also saves Christian Aid vital core funds.
One example is through their ongoing support in Colombia. With our partners Interchurch Commission for Justice and Peace (ICJP), we are supporting the victims in the Las Pavas case in Colombia, fighting for land restitution for communities displaced by the conflict and economic policies which aggressively promote the palm oil industry.
With the support of Simmons & Simmons we have:
- A better understanding of the risks involved with supporting the victims in the Las Pavas case.
- Achieved a greater impact on human rights case through the involvement of a reputable UK-based law firm.
- Strengthened the advocacy initiatives of Christian Aid and ICJP to protect human rights, and work with communities on land rights.
This case is ongoing, and as a committed partner, Simmons & Simmons has committed to work with Christian Aid and ICJP long term, until we have secured a successful outcome for these families.
Thomas Mortesen, Christian Aid Country Manager in Colombia, said: ‘We have found Simmons & Simmons to be approachable and sensitive to the context that our partners are working in, with the added value of the pre-existing understanding of land rights issues in challenging contexts. Such issues can be complex, particularly set within the backdrop of the Colombian legal system and ongoing internal armed conflict, yet Simmons and Simmons has never taken a "black and white" view. They understand and are empathetic to the "grey" areas of the Colombian context.’