Some law firms in the region are contributing to global efforts in containing the novel coronavirus Covid-19 and helping affected sectors, starting with their own people.
“Yes, we have adopted related measures very quickly, including safety measures for the office such as provision of masks, sterilizers, air purifiers, and others, assistance for remote working and reimbursement for taxi fares for employee’s commute,” says Dr. George Chan, partner and head of Simmons & Simmons in Beijing.
The firm also donated 25,150 N95 surgical masks, 200 protective eye glasses and 2,200 face guard shields to Wuhan.
“We have been part of several CSR initiatives, starting with protection and welfare of our employees to external activities,” says Safir Anand, senior partner and head of trademarks, contractual & commercial IP at Anand and Anand in Noida.
Among others, the office has mounted funding initiatives.
One of these is a COVID-19 Fund for the benefit of designers and wage earners in the fashion industry. Anand has been involved with the Fashion Design Council of India in setting up the fund.
Another initiative involves interactions through the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry to brainstorm on ways to safeguard the interests of artists. These include personnel in the arts, crafts, stage design, light equipment suppliers, folk dancers, musicians and the like.
Meanwhile, an initiative established by Teamwork Arts involves providing performers with a digital platform for their performances. Anand and Anand has been working with Teamwork to build the festival across borders, including the need to take literature overseas.
Anand was also a panelist at a recent webinar titled “Careers & Higher Education Post COVID-19: What Skills Do You Need to Future Proof Yourself.” The webinar was designed to assist students in India pro bono in terms of admissions, internships and career choices during and after the pandemic.
“There are many more activities lined up along similar lines in the next few days,” says Anand.
Meanwhile, DeLab Consulting in Hong Kong has been fundraising, sourcing and distributing face masks as well since the end of January 2020.
“We have deliberately selected and worked with specific on-the-ground charities and NGOs to try and assist on a more on-the-ground level. The recipients have included ethnic minorities, refugees, elderly, the underprivileged and others,” says owner Deanna Wong.
In addition, the firm is also in the thick of activities involving the donation of brand new and second-hand laptops and other learning devices to the underprivileged during the Covid-19 crisis.
Around the world, companies across industries have been doing their share of CSR to address the issues that have cropped up because of the pandemic. These include safety of frontliners, lack of protective gear, loss of jobs and the challenges of work from home setups.
Espie Angelica A. de Leon