Legal moves and grooves that caught our eye this week …

Goldblatt Partners sponsors Syrian refugee family

Goldblatt Partners is spearheading a fundraising campaign aimed raising $30,000 to fund a private sponsorship that will support the resettlement needs of a Syrian refugee family, including food, lodging and start-up costs. The firm, which has offices in Toronto and Ottawa, will match all donations made by associates, staff and community members until the goal of $30,000 required to fund the private sponsorship is reached.

“Goldblatt Partners LLP is responding to the ethical, moral and legal imperative felt by Canadians to take action in respect of the greatest refugee crisis since WWII,” said the firm’s senior constitutional lawyer Marlys Edwardh in a press release. “Private sponsorship is one way for law firms and other businesses to respond to this crisis in a meaningful way.”

Goldblatt will work with Lifeline Syria, a group seeking to recreate the success of Canada’s resettlement of Indochinese “boat people” in 1979-80, when 60,000 refugees were resettled in two years. The firm is also develop a “how-to” guide for other law firms, legal professional associations, law schools and alumni networks to explain the process of private sponsorship, and explore how they might benefit from acting as private sponsors.

BC lawyers provide outdoor legal advice clinics to advance access to justice

The Access Pro Bono Society of BC is embarking on its 8th annual four-city tour of outdoor free legal clinics for low-income individuals.

Some 100 lawyers will participate under the banner of Pro Bono Going Public 2015, sponsored by Harper Grey and several other law firms, the Canadian Bar Association and the Law Society of BC. The tour will begins, Sept. 9 in Surrey’s City Hall Plaza and continues in Vancouver’s Victory Square on Friday, Sept. 11. Kelowna and Victoria will host the tour next week.

The lawyers will be calling attention to the degree to which addressing BC’s current access to justice crisis has fallen on the charitable shoulders of pro bono lawyers. They will also be outlining the need for federal and provincial governments to increase scope and funding for legal aid in addition to pursuing justice reform with haste.

According to Jamie Maclaren, Executive Director of Access Pro Bono, nearly 1000 lawyers regularly provide free legal advice – in areas like family law, poverty law, immigration and refugee law- in over 100 of Access Pro Bono’s clinics located throughout BC.

“Each day, such lawyers dispel the common myth of the greedy, immoral lawyer by donating several hours of their time to increase access to justice for the poor and marginalized,” Maclaren said in an e-mail.

Korea market expert Jay Shin joins Gowlings

Jay Shin, a corporate commercial lawyer with a strong background in the Korean market, has joined Gowling Lafleur Henderson as a partner and co-head of the firm’s Korea Initiative. Previously, Shin was a partner at Yulchon LLC, one of Korea’s largest law firms. Prior to his time at Yulchon, he practised with Borden Ladner Gervais in Vancouver.

Fluent in English and Korean, Shin provides strategic advice to Korean and Canadian companies in a variety of sectors, including mining, energy, oil & gas, technology, real estate and banking. His corporate commercial practice embraces M&A, structured finance and securitization, joint ventures, foreign and cross-border investment, corporate governance, and shareholder and partnership agreements.

Shin also teaches foreign resource investment to senior managers of Korean state-owned enterprises at Hanyang University in Seoul, where is an adjunct professor.