Kaye Scholer and Long-Time Client Pfizer Pilot Virtual Pro Bono Law Firm
New York (March 12, 2014)—Kaye Scholer, in conjunction with long-time client Pfizer Inc, today announced the launch of a pilot program that will draw on a team of senior litigators—Special Counsel or retired Partners—to create a virtual pro bono law firm (VPBLF) that will take on "impact matters" that address serious injustices and other important social needs.
"While Kaye Scholer is extremely generous by allowing me to devote my practice full-time to pro bono matters, the need for experienced counsel to help fight for the rights of the underserved and disadvantaged has never been greater. My counterparts at Pfizer and I spent long hours discussing the best way to make significant strides in achieving social justice," said Kaye Scholer Pro Bono Counsel Alison King. "We quickly realized that nearly all cases like Brown v. Board of Education or US v. Windsor, which helped transform society and improved thousands, if not millions, of people's lives, were started by nonprofit entities and experienced legal counsel coming together to create change."
"We think creating a virtual pro bono law firm drawing on seasoned litigation and transactional lawyers is the only way to ensure that nonprofit agencies and the people and causes they support have experienced and large enough teams of lawyers to tackle the biggest, most transformative cases," King added.
"Taking a page from our decades of experience serving major clients around the world, Kaye Scholer senior lawyers will serve as lead counsel in significant social justice-oriented pro bono litigation," said Special Counsel Michael Blechman, a top-ranked litigator who created the concept for the VPBLF.
Blechman, along with Special Counsels Jane W. Parver and Randolph Sherman, will be leading and implementing the program. "Because the three of us are in or approaching retirement, this structure removes time, billing and other significant constraints allowing us to team up and focus solely on these larger impact cases."
Blechman, Parver and Sherman are currently working with King and Pfizer to meet with various public interest organizations to identify one or two appropriate matters that will announce in a big way that the VPBLF is prepared to invest in and fight for social equality for all.
Kaye Scholer's pro bono efforts reflect our commitment to the community, and are essential to the development of our lawyers. This commitment led to our becoming a charter member of the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge, which requires that at least three percent of the firm's overall practice consist of pro bono work. We meet or exceed this challenge each year by providing quality legal assistance to a diverse range of clients.