Over 70 firms lauded as Champions of Good
They include TSMP, which provides free legal services to migrant workers
During a collaboration with local non-profit Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (Home), lawyers from TSMP Law Corp realised the need for legal services among domestic workers and migrant workers in the construction and shipping industries.
It then started to work more formally with Home and Transient Workers Count Too, taking on pro bono cases for migrant workers in 2010. Over the years, TSMP lawyers have handled salary dispute and workplace injury cases.
The law firm, which has handled about 150 pro bono cases in the past five years, was among more than 70 organisations lauded last Thursday for making social contributions that go beyond corporate social responsibility initiatives.
The organisations were recognised as Champions of Good by Company of Good, an arm of the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre. Champions of Good was launched in 2017 as a national recognition framework celebrating exemplary organisations.
Mr Melvin Chan, partner and head of litigation and dispute resolution at TSMP, said: "It is certainly an honour and very humbling at the same time... This award is a great encouragement to everyone in our firm to continue to do good in the little ways that we can."
Another law firm lauded for its community contribution was Shearman & Sterling.
It began working with local secular crisis centre Star Shelter about a year ago. Earlier this year, it organised a donation drive to collect money, food and household items for the shelter, which provides temporary refuge to female victims of violence and their children.
The firm also designed and conducted an advocacy and legal education workshop for underprivileged children in partnership with YMCA in June last year.
Another recipient at the award was beauty and skincare brand Shiseido Asia-Pacific.
The Shiseido Life Quality Beauty Centre provides free private counselling sessions to people concerned about vitiligo (a condition that causes loss of skin colour in patches), scars, burns, birthmarks and side effects from cancer treatment.
Ms Fang Jiayun, the brand's regional corporate sustainability manager, recalled a woman who came to the centre saying she felt uncomfortable picking up her phone on the train as she wanted to avoid drawing attention to her vitiligo condition.
In another case, a girl with a birthmark on her thigh wanted to feel comfortable wearing shorts. The centre advised them on make-up techniques that would help to conceal the skin concerns.
"Beauty can be seen as very superficial but here we are trying to use our expertise to help someone's confidence and self-esteem," she said.