Morales & Besa received two Chambers D&I awards in Buenos Aires

December 6, 2019

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The award ceremony for the Chambers Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) was held yesterday in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Morales & Besa received the Highly Comended acknowledgement in the category “Pro Bono Program of the Year” and, the partner Edmundo Varas, was praised with the same recognition in the category “Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year”.

In his 11 years as the Pro Bono Coordinator, Edmundo has made great progress in the consolidation and expansion of this practice. He established new internal politics, the Pro Bono Manual, and an internal survey in order to know the preferences of the associates regarding the work in this area. Furthermore, he created the “Pro Bono Associate of the Year” reward, which has been awarded since 2012, among other valuable initiatives.

Chambers D&I is a program of the prestigious British publication Chamber and Partners that, through research, wants to provide tools and solutions to encourage advancements in diversity and inclusion and, at the same time, establish benchmarks in these subjects.

“Receiving both acknowledgements is very meaningful because they are given in the context of an award ceremony that highlights diversity and inclusion, where the access to justice plays a fundamental role, principles that we promote in Morales & Besa. Our Pro Bono team is characterized by its profound compromise, which has taken us to explore new opportunities on how to facilitate the access to justice. In this sense, our work during 2019 has focused on the issues of migration and education”, Edmundo said and thanked in his speech.

On the other hand, the partner Myriam Barahona, who also assisted to the ceremony and was among the finalists in the category “Lawyer of the Year in Gender Diversity” in Chile, pointed out that “as a firm, we are thankful that these spaces are given to discuss such important matters like the measures that can be adopted to improve in the subject of diversity and inclusion in the legal industry, since we know that, in Chile, in particular, we still have a long way to go. Also, the acknowledgements received by Edmundo and the law firm for our Pro Bono work fills us with pride, because it is a recognition of our compromise with Pro Bono work, which has existed since the early days of our firm, and it renovates our will to make available to the community our work and skills when they are needed”.

Additionally, it is worth noting that the firm that was one of the finalists in the category “Pioneer Firm in Gender Diversity”, partner Guillermo Morales in “Award to the Outstanding Ally”, and our director Lorena Barrientos, in “Future Leader in Gender Diversity”.

The Pro Bono practice of the law firm outstands because it has been present since the foundation of the firm in 1992, being one of the oldest members of the Pro Bono Foundation of Chile, as well as of other important organizations that are leaders on this subject. With this base, the awarded Pro Bono Program outstands for its innovation, impact on the institutions it has advised (Red Pro Bono de Las Américas), Unicef, The Global FoodBanking Network, Avina the Nature Conservancy Foundation, VE Global, World Tech, Make-a-Wish and Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice of the New York Law School); and for the signature that each of the members of the Pro Bono Committee have imprinted throughout its history.