Press Releases

City Bar Justice Center to Honor Freshfields and UBS with 2024 City Bar Justice Awards for Pro Bono Service and Community Impact

The City Bar Justice Center’s 19th Annual Gala, Pro Bono for Our World, will honor Freshfields and UBS – two leading global firms with growing business footprints and community impact in New York City – on April 3, 2024, at the New York City Bar Association.

Freshfields and UBS will receive 2024 City Bar Justice Awards for helping to lead the Justice Center’s expanded asylum advocacy in recent years – from Afghan refugee assistance to addressing the growing asylum-seeker humanitarian crisis – and for the honorees’ broad range of other pro bono legal services and philanthropic commitments. Together, dozens of lawyers from Freshfields and UBS have devoted thousands of hours of their time to provide pro bono legal support for a wide range of causes, also including small business and veterans advocacy. Pro Bono for Our World will feature live music and dance performance with a global flair and an inspiring program championing the honorees’ outstanding pro bono service and community impact.

Freshfields, with over 280 years of history, 1400 lawyers across the globe, and a growing U.S. team comprised of more than 400 lawyers in New York, Silicon Valley and Washington, DC, is a leading firm for complex corporate, litigation and regulatory work that is top-ranked by Chambers, both globally and in the U.S., in litigation, antitrust, corporate/M&A, international arbitration, crisis management, tax and public international law. Freshfields is dedicated to providing pro bono legal services to a wide range of clients, from individuals to some of the world’s biggest charities, focusing its efforts on promoting justice for refugees, people struggling with poverty, physical and mental health issues and other systemic socioeconomic barriers, women, children, LGBTQ+ people, trafficking survivors, people with disabilities and others, and ensuring their legal rights are respected.

UBS is a leading global financial services firm with deep roots in the tri-state area and a fundamental commitment to growing its presence in the US. UBS’s Americas headquarters is located in New York City, where the firm has thousands of employees and more clients than any other US market. UBS is committed to connecting people for a better, fairer, more prosperous world. UBS Philanthropy Services provides comprehensive advice, insight and execution services to work with our clients who seek innovative ways to tackle some of the world’s most pressing health, welfare and environmental challenges.

Freshfields and UBS are two of the City Bar Justice Center’s longest-standing partners, having worked for years across multiple pro bono practice areas. “City Bar Justice Center pro bono legal services focus on New Yorkers’ needs, but given our great city’s global identity, the Freshfields and UBS teams’ pro bono work with us truly touches the world,” said City Bar Justice Center Executive Director Kurt M. Denk. “At a time of searing division globally, nationally and locally, Freshfields and UBS stand out as true partners – having been the first to support the Justice Center’s expanded Afghan refugee assistance beginning in 2021 (Freshfields) and response to the growing asylum-seeker humanitarian crisis that began in 2022 (UBS). These efforts, together with their investments in other Justice Center services and programming – not to mention deep community impact beyond work with us – demonstrate a commitment to the public good that is truly exemplary in its substantive sophistication and human generosity. By taking on some of the toughest and most needed pro bono work amidst so many other demands, our 2024 honorees give us hope and perfectly embody this year’s gala theme, Pro Bono for Our World.”

“Pro bono is a central part of the work that we do at the firm every single day. We deeply value our continued partnership with City Bar Justice Center in taking on a variety of important causes,” said Lee Rovinescu, Partner at Freshfields and in charge of the firm’s U.S. Pro Bono Program. “While we are proud to be recognized for our recent efforts, we see the Award as a catalyst to renew our commitment to community impact.”

“It is a privilege to work alongside so many talented UBS professionals who are committed to making a difference in our city,” said Alison Morpurgo, Managing Director in Legal at UBS and Executive Sponsor of the firm’s Pro Bono Program. “Together, we are able to have a profound impact on the lives of people who desperately need assistance and in doing so help our entire community.”

About the City Bar Justice Center
The City Bar Justice Center furthers access to justice by addressing unmet civil legal needs of New Yorkers struggling with poverty and other systemic socioeconomic barriers, providing pro bono legal services benefiting over 26,000 New Yorkers each year. The Justice Center mobilizes law firms, corporate legal departments, and other legal institutions to provide pro bono legal services; educates the public on pertinent legal issues; fosters strategic community relationships; and impacts public policy. To learn more, please visit City Bar Justice Center – Impact. 

About Freshfields
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is a global law firm with a long-standing track record of successfully supporting the world’s leading national and multinational corporations, financial institutions and governments on groundbreaking and business-critical mandates, while also maintaining a robust pro bono practice. Our 2,800-plus lawyers deliver results worldwide through our own offices and alongside leading local firms. Our commitment, local and multinational expertise, and business know-how means our clients rely on us when it matters most. For more information about Freshfields’ pro bono commitment, visit

About UBS
UBS is a leading and truly global wealth manager and the leading universal bank in Switzerland. It also provides diversified asset management solutions and focused investment banking capabilities. With the acquisition of Credit Suisse, UBS manages 5.5 trillion dollars of invested assets per second quarter 2023. UBS helps clients achieve their financial goals through personalized advice, solutions, and products. Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, the firm is operating in more than 50 markets around the globe. UBS Group shares are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).