MinterEllison is Australia’s largest law firm. The company has been working with Rainforest 4 Foundation pro bono for 1.5 years as part of its coordinated pro bono legal service to not-for-profits.
MinterEllison’s Special Counsel; Community Investment & Pro Bono Program Senior Manager Robert Reed explained the scope of the work.
“MinterEllison has helped (and continues to help) with the conveyancing of properties that have been purchased and transferred under the Save the Daintree campaign and has also assisted with entity establishment, tax status and contracts.”
Robert said that MinterEllison sees the provision of these pro bono legal services, which are also offered to individuals and social enterprises, as central to the firm’s professional obligation and social licence.
MinterEllison is supporting our award-winning program
“Our purpose is to create lasting impacts with our clients, our people, and our communities,” he said. “We do this through our Pro Bono & Community Investment Program.”
The program is designed to bring together the best of MinterEllison to address cycles of disadvantage facing the most vulnerable in our communities and to work alongside the firm's Reconciliation Action Plan commitments and Sustainability initiatives.
“Importantly, this work drives and engages our people who are passionate about using their skills, expertise and resources to make a positive impact,” Robert said. “In this case, Rainforest 4 Foundation has given our people the opportunity to be part of preserving the Daintree Rainforest!
MinterEllison’s support of Rainforest 4 Foundation makes up some of the 63,000 hours of pro bono work undertaken through the company last financial year. That equates to 54 hours per lawyer on average.“Over 4,800 hours of pro bono work were undertaken for First Nations organisations and we assisted more than 50 First Nations individuals,” Robert said.
“Importantly, our pro bono work is one part of a broader offering to the community. We know that our ability to create lasting impacts is most powerful when we can bring the whole of MinterEllison to our community partners and the highly complex issues they tackle daily. That means looking beyond our lawyers to other areas of expertise within the firm as well as financial and other resources and responding to need holistically.”
Pro bono support is helping us acquire land in the Daintree Rainforest
Founder of Rainforest 4 Foundation, Kelvin Davies said the pro bono contribution meant that more donor funds were spent on conservation outcomes rather than corporate expenses.
“People like to know their donations are directly funding our Daintree buyback program. But this legal work is essential to achieving our goals to Save The Daintree.”
“Thanks to the support of MinterEllison we can ensure the maximum amount of money is used to purchase and protect properties in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest and undertake restoration works where required.”
“I can’t thank the team at MinterEllison enough for their immense contribution to our rainforest conservation work.”
The MinterEllison team who have contributed to Rainforest 4 Foundation’s success since August 2020: James Horwood (Senior Associate), Kate Van Der Heyden (Associate) and Matthew Glenn (Partner) continue to oversee the conveyancing work. Stephen Knight (Partner) and Nicole Gordon (Special Counsel) led advice on entity establishment, tax status and contracts. Kate Cato is the Director – Pro Bono and Community Investment.