Group General Counsel Mark Harding accepted the prestigious 2011 City Bar Justice Award on behalf of Barclays at a ceremony in New York last night.
The accolade was presented by the City Bar Justice Center, a New York-based not-for-profit organisation which seeks to widen access to justice by taking advantage of the resources of the local legal community.
Barclays Legal has partnered with the organisation on pro bono work in New York, including its support of the Veterans Assistance Project, which helps ex-servicemen and women obtain essential disability benefits.
It also sponsors legal clinics for small businesses, offering guidance on employment law and best practices, as well as supporting low-income entrepreneurs on legal matters.
Barclays Legal was also recognised for its fundraising efforts outside the US, which include two UK initiatives which have been nominated for the 2011 Chairman’s Awards. These include the Freelaw scheme, where legal colleagues are partnering with law firm Clifford Chance to support drop-in clinics offering legal advice to disadvantaged clients. An initiative, which since 2007 has been helping students in London’s Stepney Greencoat School improve their reading, has also been nominated.
Barclays Group was also recognised for its community investment programmes around the world, including Building Young Futures, which aims to improve the economic future of around 500,000 disadvantaged young people globally by giving them access to financial education and employment, as well as skills in enterprise.
Collecting the award, Mark said: “I am delighted to be accepting this award for Barclays. The pro bono work of countless volunteers across the Barclays group is a wonderful illustration of our commitment to give back to the communities in which we work.
“The programmes which Barclays and the City Bar Justice Center have partnered in, along with many others, are an integral part of Barclays culture. I look forward to growing and developing these programmes in the coming months and years.”
The City Bar Justice Center was founded in 1946 to facilitate and improve the administration of justice in New York City, and assists over 20,000 low-income clients annually through targeted pro bono programmes and a free general Legal Hotline.