The Foundation in the 2016 Annual Conference of the IBA

The Fernando Pombo Foundation participates again this year in the annual conference of the International Bar Association (IBA), the biggest professional association of the world, that is taking place from September 18-23 in Washington DC, US.

Moreover, the Foundation is proud to announce that Cristina Puigdengolas, attorney at the Foundation, is runner-up for the Pro Bono Award 2016, with which the IBA acknowledges and values the pro bono work of lawyers around the world.

The Foundation is an active member of three IBA committees: the Pro Bono Committee, the Poverty and Social Development Subcommittee and it is also a member of the advisory board of the Young Lawyers Committee.

Moreover, we have to highlight that Carmen Pombo, director of our Foundation, participated in the development of two guides of the IBA Business and Human Rights Working Group, which were passed by the IBA in 2015 and 2016 respectively: “IBA Business and Human Rights Guidance for Bar Associations” and the “ IBA Practical Guide on Business and Human Rights for Business Lawyers.”

The Foundation was represented by its director, Carmen Pombo, and Cristina Puigdengolas, responsible of the project “Business and Human Rights: the role of the legal profession”, and will participate in the following sessions:

Creating a pro bono infrastructure appropriate for your law firm (Tuesday 20, from 14:30 to 17:30 h. – Organized by the “Pro Bono Committee” and “Law Firm Management Committee”).

The development and management of “pro bono programs” at law firms requires an adequate professionalization and structure in order to guarantee its effectiveness and social impact. During this session, the participants will discuss the factors that have to be taken into account to start the different possible organizational models for legal pro bono programs, the key role (or not) of clearinghouses and what are the challenges countries and jurisdictions face.

Rule of Law Forum (Wednesday 21, from 8:00 to 9:30 a.m.). Cristina Puigdengolas will discuss the refugee migration crisis Europa suffers and the problems it entails. She will focus on Spanish South borders after her experience as a legal counselor this summer of 2016, action framed inside the third edition of the EXEQUO project of the Foundation, which this year focuses on international protection law.

Human rights due diligence: preparing for a legal obligation (Thursday 22, from 14:30 to 17:30 p.m. – Organized by the “Anti-Corruption Committee” and the “Corporate Social Responsibility Committee”).

The objective is to bring business lawyers closer – especially in the process and contracts due diligence of every business value chain – to the risks that business activities can create for human rights: the activities of producers, suppliers, goods and services distributors of a business can violate certain human rights without knowing it, which can jeopardize its reputation, sustainability and viability in the medium and long term. Cristina Puigdengolas will focus on the due diligence activities regarding human rights in M&A operations.

Low bono, entrepreneurship and society (Thursday 22, from 14:30 to 17:30 p.m. – Organized by the “Poverty and Social Development Subcommittee” and “Young Lawyers Committee”.

In this session, the participants will analyze how lawyers can contribute through low bono, in collaboration with social entrepreneurs, to the global economic and social development. They will share collaboration success stories among “low bono lawyers” and social entrepreneurs regarding the creation of innovative solutions to social problems, as well as discuss the future challenges this field faces. Carmen Pombo will speak at this panel, where she will share her experience at the Fernando Pombo Foundation as a legal catalyst for innovative social entrepreneurship initiatives in Portugal and Spain, giving her point of view as “civil society.”

Furthermore, the Foundation will also be part of the “IBA The Fundamentals of International Legal Business Practice” session organized by the IBA Young Lawyers Committee, which will be taking place a day before the start of the IBA Annual Conference. Especially, the Foundation will participate as speaker at the “Corporate lawyers 2.0 – specialized in sustainability and human rights” round table.