by Lulu Rumsey

Several leading Latin American law firms have been recognised by the Thomson Reuters Foundation for their contribution to groundbreaking pro bono projects.

Firms from Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela and Central America are nominated for awards in four categories.

Several firms have been nominated for TrustLaw´s collaboration award for their work with the Committee to Protect Journalists. The award recognises projects that rely on effective working relationships between legal teams, NGOs and social enterprises, where the collaboration of legal teams dramatically improves the projects´ impact.

Eleven law firms teamed up to produce Critics are not criminals: protecting journalists from criminal defamation laws. The report uncovered a resurgence in the use of criminal defamation law to silence critical journalists across the Americas. The firms involved in creating the report include Debevoise & Plimpton LLP; Colombia´s Brigard & Urrutia Abogados; Chile´s Cariola, Díez, Pérez-Cotapos & Cía Ltda; the Panamanian, Guatemalan, Honduran, Nicaraguan, Costa Rican and Salvadorean offices of Central Law; Peru´s Rodrigo, Elías & Medrano Abogados; and Norton Rose Fulbright (Venezuela).

In another category, Argentine firm Estudio Beccar Varela is nominated for the innovation award for its work producing a social enterprise structuring guide with think tank ENI Di Tella and Hewlett Packard. The award recognises projects that feature new concepts and utilise creative legal work.

Meanwhile, Brazil´s Machado, Meyer, Sendacz e Opice Advogados is up for domestic law firm of the year.

The Colombian office of Baker & McKenzie has been recognised for its work with Acid Survivors Trust International, in a project aimed at ensuring justice for acid victims. It is nominated for the impact award.

Winners of the 2016 TrustLaw Awards will be announced at an awards ceremony to be held in New York on 22 September.

(Latin Lawyer - 05.09.2016)

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