Australia’s leading independent law firm, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, is delighted to announce that Jeremy King, Partner and Chairman of Pro Bono & Community at Corrs, has been crowned Pro Bono Partner of the Year at the annual Lawyers Weekly Partner of the Year awards.
Since taking over as chair of Corrs’ national pro bono program in February 2016, Jeremy has played a critical role in the firm’s pro bono policy, strategy, communications, and workplace giving program. This work culminated in Corrs being recognised in the top 10 of Australian corporates for workplace giving as surveyed by the Australian Charities Fund.
Under Jeremy’s leadership, a key focus of the pro bono program has been dedicated to working in the field of social finance and impact investment. Now entering the financial mainstream, impact investment offers financial products like private equity impact funds, direct investment in social enterprises, and social impact bonds. While still in its infancy in Australia, all indications are that impact investment is an area that is set to grow and Corrs has been at the forefront of much of the activity to date.
Corrs’ work in the social finance and impact investment area has included:
Advised National Australia Bank and ACSO on a social impact investment for Corrective Services NSW focusing on recidivism. This was the first time that an Australian bank had invested directly in a social impact investment, and the first time that ACSO had participated in the market at all. This was the third social impact investment that reached contractual close in Australia, with the program potentially running for 10 years and having an immensely positive impact on the lives of approximately 4,000 parolees.
Advised a successful bidder to the Queensland State Government in its pilot social impact bond program in the area of recidivism, and a successful bidder to the Victorian State Government in its pilot SIB program in the area of children leaving out of home care.
Acted for social enterprise start-ups on each of their capital structuring and Series A fundraising; one in the area of STEM education, and one in the area of disability services.
Advised the NSW Federation of Housing Associations on its report to the Federal Treasury for an affordable housing financial intermediary, Australia’s equivalent to the Housing Finance Corporation in the UK.
Corrs Partner and CEO John W.H. Denton AO commented: “One of Corrs’ core values is “generosity of spirit” and this is fundamental to the work that Jeremy and his team have undertaken in developing Australia’s social finance sector. In addition, under Jeremy’s leadership, we have seen a consistent expansion in the diversity of practitioners getting involved in our pro bono program, with opportunities for every practice group within the firm to participate in a pro bono activity that is directly relevant to their regular law practice. I commend Jeremy on his passion, leadership and success in this area which is incredibly important to Corrs as well as the Australian community.”
Jeremy King, added: “I am proud to have promoted a vision that a top tier firm like Corrs, in conjunction with our corporate and government clients, can leverage our collective talents to help solve some of society’s most wicked problems. This has resonated strongly with the firm, and we have been able to achieve a great deal, generating enormous goodwill both internally and externally.”
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