Press Releases

City Bar Justice Center to Honor Kirkland & Ellis and Morgan Stanley with 2021 City Bar Justice Awards for COVID-19 Pro Bono Response

The City Bar Justice Center’s (CBJC) 16th Annual Gala, “Make Justice a Movement,” will be held virtually on May 25, 2021, from 6:00-6:30 p.m. honoring Kirkland & Ellis and Morgan Stanley with the 2021 City Bar Justice Awards for their leadership and proven dedication to public service, especially in connection with their contributions to CBJC’s COVID-19 response initiatives.

The vibrant celebration will feature soul-filled music and inspirational dance performances produced in iconic spaces of the historic New York City Bar Association building to commemorate the outpouring of support from over two thousand pro bono colleagues and community partners to provide critical legal assistance to New Yorkers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Sheila S. Boston, New York City Bar Association President, and Kurt M. Denk, City Bar Justice Center Executive Director, will provide remarks and David Levine, City Bar Fund Chair, will present awards to honorees.

Kirkland & Ellis is committed to providing legal services without charge to those who cannot afford counsel, with the goals of improving lives, bettering communities and deepening attorneys’ professional experience. Since 2014, Kirkland has provided tremendous pro bono support to CBJC clients in areas ranging from consumer bankruptcy and veterans advocacy to small business development and disaster response. In March 2020, under the leadership and vision of the firm’s dedicated pro bono team including its Global Program Director and Pro Bono Counsel, Jacqueline Haberfeld, and Partner Erica Berthou, CBJC’s Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project (NELP) launched its COVID-19 Small Business Remote Legal Clinic (CV-19 Clinic) – the first iteration of a nationwide effort led by Lawyers for Good Government. In the year since, the CV-19 Clinic has screened or helped almost 1,500 small businesses navigate the pandemic through free legal assistance and essential information on local, state and federal aid programs. Kirkland played a crucial role in developing the remote infrastructure used to recruit, train and match pro bono lawyers with clients seeking legal assistance.

Morgan Stanley’s Legal and Compliance Division leads a pro bono program to provide free legal services to those who are otherwise unable to afford them. With the leadership and encouragement of Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer Eric F. Grossman, countless Morgan Stanley employees have contributed thousands of hours of pro bono legal assistance in partnership with CBJC and other community organizations. A dedicated CBJC partner since 2013, Morgan Stanley lawyers have provided New Yorkers in need with legal advice and guidance in areas ranging from veterans advocacy and assistance to federal pro se litigants to supporting entrepreneurs. Last year, Morgan Stanley Executive Director and Pro Bono Lead Counsel Erin J. Law rallied the firm’s pro bono team to make a significant impact in getting NELP’s CV-19 Clinic successfully off the ground.

Kirkland & Ellis and Morgan Stanley topped CBJC pro bono partners volunteering on the NELP CV-19 Clinic – collectively engaging 90 attorneys to provide pro bono legal assistance to over 200 small business entrepreneurs on a range of critical matters including commercial leasing, business contract drafting and negotiation, insurance and information on available financial aid during the pandemic, particularly regarding the Paycheck Protection Program loan.

“Last year was a testament to Kirkland & Ellis’s and Morgan Stanley’s unwavering commitment to pro bono and public service. When the coronavirus outbreak swept through New York City, our honorees immediately stepped up to provide emergency relief to hundreds of New Yorkers and their families who had been devastated by the pandemic,” said Mr. Denk. “The pro bono response during the pandemic was truly unique because lawyers who so generously volunteered to help clients during a time of unprecedented need were at the same time navigating their own challenges resulting from the pandemic – from adapting to remote work to keeping themselves and their loved ones safe to dealing with the reality that our City was at the epicenter of a global pandemic – making their contributions all the more significant and meaningful.”

About the City Bar Justice Center
The City Bar Justice Center, the pro bono affiliate of the New York City Bar Association, increases access to justice by leveraging the resources of the New York City legal community. CBJC operates the city’s largest civil legal hotline and annually provides direct legal representation, community education and advocacy to over 26,000 New Yorkers in areas including immigration, homelessness, veterans assistance, housing, elderlaw, cancer advocacy and entrepreneurship.

About Kirkland & Ellis
Kirkland & Ellis is an international law firm with approximately 2,900 attorneys representing clients in private equity, M&A and other complex corporate transactions, litigation and dispute resolution/arbitration, restructuring, and intellectual property matters. Kirkland & Ellis operates from offices in 16 cities around the world: Austin, Beijing, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Munich, New York, Palo Alto, Paris, San Francisco, Shanghai and Washington, D.C.

About Morgan Stanley
Morgan Stanley is a leading global financial services firm providing a wide range of investment banking, securities, wealth management and investment management services. With offices in more than 41 countries, the Firm’s employees serve clients worldwide including corporations, governments, institutions and individuals. Morgan Stanley is committed to giving back to the communities where we live and work through long-lasting partnerships, community-based delivery and engaging our best asset—Morgan Stanley employees.