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 an 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 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.
- Adopt a Roof to support the non-profit organisation as they continue assisting vulnerable families with replacing roofs lost as a result of the hurricanes of 2017. They work hand in hand with government agencies such as Department for Disaster Management to identify vulnerable people with the greatest need.
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:
- Pink Dot Hong Kong 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.
- Colour Me Pink 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.
- Crisis Square Mile Run to support the UK's homeless population and help individuals rebuild their lives.
- London 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.
- Free NPO Training to ensure non-profit organisations (NPOs) could satisfy their regulatory obligations concerning anti-money laundering and terrorist financing. Harneys experts trained over 120 NPO staff and volunteers.
- CIBC Walk for the Cure to raise funds to aid persons with cancer by helping with cancer research and efforts in finding a cure.
- Family Support Network was given a donation towards their annual back-to-school drive aimed at providing students from low-income and underprivileged families with textbooks, copybooks/paper, pens, pencils, and various materials needed for learning and study. Support of FSN was provided in a time where many families were still facing financial difficulties in the Post-Hurricane Irma Virgin Islands.
- Karen Leung Foundation to educate, vaccinate, and help to prevent gynaecological cancers. Contributions were made through Platinum sponsorship of the Sohn Hong Kong Investment Conference and members from Harneys’ participation in their Cocktails for a Cause charity event.
- Liberty Asia to prevent human trafficking. Harneys sponsored at a silver level and members of staff attended the Liberty Asia’s Anti-Slavery Charity Gala.
- Mind Hong Kong to improve awareness, understanding, and support of mental illnesses in Hong Kong. Harneys donated funds and participated in their Christmas jumper fundraising initiative.
- Save the Children to raise funds to provide protection to children around the world, as well as support with food, healthcare, and education through participation in their Christmas Jumper Day fundraiser.
- FareShare London to provide food and support to the UK’s largest charity fighting hunger.
- Cayman Islands Crisis Centre to raise funds to assist the centre with helping victims of sexual violence and discrimination. Harneys sponsored the annual Walk in Her Shoes event.
- Cayman Islands Humane Society 5k Walk and Wag to raise funds to support the dogs and cats taken in by this Cayman-based organisation.
- Cayman Christmas for Kids and NCVO Annual Toy Drive to assist foster children. Harneys donated gifts from a wish list to foster kids at the Nadine Andreas Foster Home and also made a donation to support the Cayman Christmas for Kids event.
Preserving Our Environment
- Cayman Islands 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.”
- CCMI International Year of the Reef to fund research, education, and initiatives aimed at improving the restoration of coral reef and overall ocean health. Harneys sponsored at the Silver level which covered activities/events throughout the year of 2018.
- Francis Lettsome Primary School Gardening Project, through donations and participation in their school garden as a part of a bigger project spearheaded by Green VI, a non-profit, who is installing gardens in several schools with the goal of increasing sustainable attitudes and environmental awareness in all BVI communities.
Promoting Arts and Culture
- Queen's Baton Relay in the BVI as a sponsor and participant, with Managing Partner Colin Riegels participating 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.
- BVI Theatre Series, which provides positive exposure for high school students attending and observing world-class plays. The BVI Theatre Series gives the community the opportunity to see outstanding theatrical performances in the Virgin Islands through monthly screenings of the UK’s National Theatre performances.
Investing in Young People
- Cayman Islands 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.
- The Cayman Islands Little League Association Youth Spring Program supports youths by fostering an environment promoting leadership and character through the sports baseball and softball. Harneys sponsored a team for the Cayman Islands Little League Spring Season.
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.