Community and CSR
We believe in investing in our local communities, whether it's through time, money or expertise. In fact, each member of the Harneys team sees it as our responsibility to take responsibility for the places where we live and work. This sense of commitment drives us to be caring and forward-looking in the ways we contribute to our communities as an organisation.
Harneys' corporate social responsibility activities primarily consist of four focus areas: helping the most vulnerable in our local communities, preserving our environment, promoting arts and culture and investing in young people. These core values guide our efforts and we also proactively respond when unexpected crisis arises, such as with the recovery needed following the devastation caused in September 2017 by Hurricane Irma in the British Virgin Islands.
Highlights of our recent CSR activities include:
Helping Hurricane Recovery in the British Virgin Islands
With both a professional and personal connection to the BVI, our Harneys offices across the globe contributed to rebuilding efforts after Hurricanes Irma and Maria, donating both time and financial resources.
In total, we committed over $200,000 to local relief and civic projects in the BVI. "The BVI is our home, and Harneys is an integral part of the BVI community. Now is the time for that community to stand up and to provide support and assistance required to help the territory emerge stronger after the devastation of the recent hurricanes,” said BVI managing partner Colin Riegels.
Our efforts focused on several different initiatives within the community, including:
- BVI House Asia's Fundraising Ball in Hong Kong to raise funds for the rebuilding of Elmore Stoutt High School. Harneys sponsored two tables and partners, counsel, associates and support staff participated in live and silent auctions, raffles and pledges to raise additional funds for the school.
- Francis Lettsome Primary School to remove debris and restore desks as part of welcoming back students after serving as a community shelter following Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Thirty members of our BVI team volunteered and Harneys also contributed $10,000 to the Ministry of Education’s Adopt-A-School initiative for post-hurricane rehabilitation of FLPS.
- Restoration of the BVI Commercial Court. When BVI Finance put out a call to industry to help fund repair works required at the BVI Commercial Court, Harneys quickly agreed to assist so that court sittings could resume in the BVI, hastening the territory’s economic and civic recovery.
Helping the Most Vulnerable in Our Communities
Harneys is an international law firm, but we're committed to making a positive footprint in each locale where our team members live and work. In that spirit, we regularly contribute resources that strengthen our local communities, including:
- Hong Kong's Pink Dot Carnival to support LGBT friends, family members and colleagues, who are at higher risk of being discriminated against, bullied and ostracised. We are proud to be the first offshore law firm to support the event, joining 37 other Hong Kong law firm sponsors.
- BVI's Sensus Colour Me Run/Walk to raise funds that provide free mammograms to women in the BVI in the fight against breast cancer. Nearly a dozen of our staff joined the Harneys team and in total, the programme has distributed more than 500 free mammogram vouchers.
- London's Crisis Square Mile Run to support the UK's homeless population and help individuals rebuild their lives.
- London's Legal Walk to raise funds for law centres and legal advice agencies in London and the South East of England.
- Ellie's Wish Foundation to purchase medical equipment for the paediatric unit at Peebles Hospital. Contributions were made through a Race Across America team with members from Harneys and other global firms.
- BVI's Free NPO Trainings to ensure non profile organisations (NPOs) could satisfy their regulatory obligations concerning anti-money laundering and terrorist financing. Harneys experts trained over 120 NPO staff and volunteers.
Preserving Our Environment
- Cayman's Chamber of Commerce Earth Day Clean-up with staff and their family spending a Saturday tackling garbage on the roadsides around North Sound Estates. Harneys organiser Olivia Shanks said, “We were delighted to take part in this great event. It was the perfect way to start the weekend and every bit of garbage collected goes a long way to sustaining the beauty of Cayman. Taking part in this event also serves as a reminder to everyone to make a greater effort to recycle, reuse and reduce the waste we produce.”
Promoting Arts and Culture
- Queen's Baton Relay in the BVI as a sponsor and participant, with Managing Partner Colin Riegels participated as a baton bearer. The event promotes friendship and unity among all people and the baton spent two days in the BVI before continuing its journey through 71 Commonwealth nations and territories.
Investing in Young People
- Cayman's Summer Internship Programme to give students experience across Harneys' finance, compliance, operations, legal and fiduciary practices. “Harneys enjoys taking part in this annual programme that allows young students the opportunity to gain knowledge of working life during their summer breaks. We believe this experience provides the framework they need to excel in their chosen field," said Marco Martins, Cayman Islands managing partner.
- Cayman's Bodden Town Primary School to support the Parent Teacher Association's "Revitalising Our Future" project. The initiative benefitted 300 students by providing much needed playground equipment with designated areas for recreational activities.
Harneys is committed to the growth and development of our local communities across the globe through CSR initiatives that focus on helping the most vulnerable in our communities, protecting the environment, promoting arts and culture and investing in young people.