DLA Piper

February 28, 2005 08:03 ET

DLA Piper Announces Unprecedented International Pro Bono Initiative; New Perimeter Commits 13,000 Hours, Global Resources to Advance Pressing Social Causes


NEWS RELEASE TRANSMITTED BY CCNMatthews

FOR: DLA PIPER

FEBRUARY 28, 2005 - 08:03 ET

DLA Piper Announces Unprecedented International Pro
Bono Initiative; New Perimeter Commits 13,000 Hours,
Global Resources to Advance Pressing Social Causes

WASHINGTON--(CCNMatthews - Feb 28, 2005) -

Pledge of $5 Million Expands Aggregate US Commitment to $23 Million;
Initial Project Underway With The Global Fund

DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary US LLP, one of the world's leading law
firms, today announced the creation of a non-profit entity to support
major international pro bono projects. The initiative, named "New
Perimeter," is the first of its kind in the US legal industry, and is
established as a nonprofit subsidiary of DLA Piper dedicated exclusively
to international pro bono work.

The firm is committing 13,000 attorney hours in the first year of the
program at a value of over $5 million, which will expand the firm's
aggregate US pro bono commitment in 2005 to approximately 80,000 hours
or an aggregate value of $23 million. The initiative invites lawyers
from across the firm's global network to provide legal support for
projects of global concern, including health care, hunger, law reform,
human rights, housing and economic development.

In its initial project, New Perimeter is providing support to The Global
Fund -- which fights AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in some of the
world's poorest countries -- by establishing systems and processes to
ensure the appropriate use of grant funding around the world.

"This is a major commitment by the firm to meet the legal needs of
developing countries and important causes around the world," said
Senator George J. Mitchell, Chairman of DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary.

Lee I. Miller, the firm's co-CEO, added, "As the firm has expanded to
meet the global needs of our clients, our pro bono initiatives will
complement this vision by contributing to improving quality of life in
areas of need."

An Ambitious, Innovative Agenda

New Perimeter builds on the long-term commitment of DLA Piper to pro
bono work. The domestic US program, aggregating approximately 55,000
hours in 2004, will continue in full force. By dramatically expanding
the scope of the firm's activities into the international arena, the
firm is providing unprecedented financial and legal resources to support
important social issues within the independent and flexible framework of
the nonprofit subsidiary structure.

The program was developed after discussions with a range of
organizations and experts on international development and human rights.
One of those consulted was Tom Tierney, the director of BridgeSpan, an
affiliate of Bain, the international management consulting firm.
BridgeSpan provides reduced fee services to non-profits and foundations.
Mr. Tierney commented, "This is a unique and innovative idea for
bringing the highest ideals of the legal profession to bear on some of
the world's most pressing problems."

New Perimeter will be headed by Sheldon Krantz, a partner at DLA Piper
Rudnick Gray Cary who, with Lisa Dewey, has directed the firm's pro bono
initiatives for many years. It will be guided by an advisory board made
up of distinguished jurists and scholars with strong international
experience.

Advancing The Global Fund's Mission

The first New Perimeter project is being undertaken at the request of
The Global Fund, which fights AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in some of
the poorest countries of the world. DLA Piper will assist the Fund in
creating systems and processes to prevent and detect inappropriate use
of grant funds around the world.

"The firm's commitment of exceptional legal expertise to international
public interest work is truly remarkable," said Richard Feachem,
Executive Director of The Global Fund. "This partnership epitomizes the
kind of public-private initiative that delivers exceptional efficiency
and much-needed value to an organization like ours."

With support from a number of governments, including the United States,
and private support from foundations, such as the Gates Foundation and
others, The Global Fund has already received pledges in excess of $5
billion for its efforts. The Global Fund serves as a financing entity,
one that relies upon public-private country coordinating mechanisms to
prepare proposals and to identify grant recipients to administer the
programs. Local Fund Agents, typically major in-country accounting
firms, are then selected to monitor progress reports and disbursements.
Strong legal expertise is vital to The Global Fund's success, and the
pro bono commitment of the firm delivers that expertise at a substantial
premium.

In addition to The Global Fund, the projects being developed to begin in
2005 include:

-- Assisting the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Kosovo with developing a
civil and criminal legal system for that country, an essential step in
the nation-building process

-- Partnering with the IBA and Open Society Institute South Africa to
create a Human Rights Legal Development Center to support human rights
advocacy throughout countries in Africa, in partnership with the
International Bar Association

-- Developing a new model for international food distribution expanding
on the domestic hunger movement, in cooperation with America's Second
Harvest (A2H) and Rotary International

For participation in the pro bono program, the firm will select lawyers
who have experience with the particular region or subject matter; have
experience working in other countries and cultures; and can commit
substantial time to these projects. Firm participants will receive full
credit. New Perimeter will also provide opportunities for other
organizations or individuals with needed expertise to participate in the
various projects, and indeed the firm would welcome collaborative
relationships to enhance the services provided to each project.

Mr. Krantz commented, "We have already begun assembling teams to work on
various New Perimeter projects, and I have been struck by two things:
first, the depth of talent within our own ranks, including for instance
a lawyer who interned at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda,
and second, the passionate interest in this work among our lawyers.
About 40% of those who have committed to work on New Perimeter projects,
for instance, are partners. And these commitments are not light -- this
project will require each of them to commit to a minimum of 500 hours in
the next year and a certain number of trips abroad."

The first members of the Advisory Board were announced today. They are:

Sheldon Krantz

As noted above, Mr. Krantz is a partner in the firm who has guided its
pro bono activities for many years. He is a white collar defense
litigator whose particular areas of focus include environmental law,
health care, FDA, export controls, civil and criminal RICO, legal
ethics, legal malpractice, corporate compliance programs, and federal
sentencing guidelines. Mr. Krantz is a former chair of the Criminal
Justice Section of the American Bar Association and served as Dean of
the University of San Diego Law School prior to joining the firm. In
2003, he was named the Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year by the D.C. bar.

Retired Judge Patricia Wald

Judge Wald will serve as a co-chair of the Advisory Board. Judge Wald
served for 20 years on the DC Circuit, including a stint as the Chief
Judge. She had a distinguished career prior to that time, including
serving as Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs during the
Carter Administration. After leaving the federal bench, Judge Wald
served for two years in the Hague as a judge of the International
Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. She is also currently a
member of the President's Intelligence Commission.

Esther F. Lardent

Ms. Lardent is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Pro Bono
Institute, the leading organization promoting pro bono among law firms
and the corporate community in the US. She is considered to be the
country's leading expert on the pro bono concept and is regularly
approached for advice by both the legal and corporate sectors. Ms.
Lardent also currently serves as Chair of the American Bar Association's
Commission on Immigration Policy, Practice and Pro Bono and previously
served on the ABA's Board of Governors, as Chair of its Consortium on
Legal Services and the Public.

Stephen B. Bright

Mr. Bright has served as the Director of the Southern Center for Human
Rights since 1982. He also teaches regularly at the Yale and Harvard Law
Schools, among others, and has taught a course on international human
rights law at the Institute on World Legal Problems in Innsbruck,
Austria. The Southern Center for Human Rights is a legendary public
interest legal project based in Atlanta, Georgia, which provides legal
representation to persons facing the death penalty and to prisoners
challenging unconstitutional conditions in prisons and jails throughout
the South. The Center is also engaged in efforts to improve access to
lawyers and the legal system by poor people accused of crimes and in
prison and to bring about greater judicial independence. Mr. Bright has
been the recipient of a number of awards, including the ABA's Thurgood
Marshall Award, presented at the ABA Annual Meeting in 1998.

Mark S. Ellis

Mr. Ellis is the Executive Director of the International Bar Association
(IBA). The IBA, which is located in London, is the leading international
organization of bar associations and individual lawyers in the world,
with 200 member organizations and 17,000 members from 194 countries.
Prior to joining the IBA, Mr. Ellis spent 10 years as the first
Executive Director of the ABA Central and East European Law Initiative
(CEELI). CEELI provided technical assistance to 28 countries in Central
Europe and the former Soviet Union and to the International War Crimes
Tribunal in the Hague. Mr. Ellis served as the appointed Legal Advisor
to the Independent International Commission on Kosovo, chaired by South
African Justice Richard J. Goldstone. He is also a consultant to the
World Bank on investment policies in Central and Eastern Europe.

Professor Thomas F. Geraghty

Professor Geraghty is the Associate Dean for Clinical Education and
Director of the Legal Clinic at Northwestern University School of Law.
The Clinic gives special emphasis to issues relating to children and
family justice. In recent years, Professor Geraghty has worked in
Tanzania, Uganda, and Malawi on research projects relating to juvenile
justice, the legal problems of street children, the status of children
orphaned by HIV/AIDS, women in the legal profession, and freedom of the
press. He has also been involved in training African lawyers in trial
advocacy skills in cooperation with the National Institute for Trial
Advocacy. Professor Geraghty already has a special relationship with our
firm through his involvement with the Chicago office's signature project
on juvenile justice.

Alan Jenkins

Mr. Jenkins is the Executive Director of the Opportunity Agenda (OA), a
new NGO that has been created to frame public debate on fundamental
values of opportunity and human rights in the United States. Prior to
creating OA, Mr. Jenkins was the Director of Human Rights at the Ford
Foundation. His previous positions include serving as Assistant to the
Solicitor General at the US Department of Justice, where he represented
the federal government in litigation before the Supreme Court; Assistant
Counsel to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, focusing on the civil rights of
low-income people; and serving as Law Clerk to Supreme Court Justice
Harry A. Blackmun. Mr. Jenkins has also taught as an adjunct professor
at Brooklyn Law School.

About DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary

Worldwide, DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary has 2,700 lawyers in 49 offices
in 18 countries, including the United Kingdom, mainland Europe and Asia,
offering leading practices in commercial, corporate and finance, human
resources, litigation, real estate, regulatory and legislative, and
technology, media and communications. More information about DLA Piper
is available at www.dlapiper.com.

-30-

Contact Information

  • FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
    DLA Piper
    Sheldon Krantz, 202-861-3865
    or
    GreenTarget Global Group
    John Corey, 312-502-1963
    Dan Cahill, 415-552-3999