TORONTO, October 9, 2020 – The inaugural Canadian Law Awards have recognized BMO’s Legal & Regulatory Compliance group for using its expertise in service of local communities with two Gold awards. The honours were bestowed for Pro Bono Initiative of the Year and Banking & Financial Institutions Law Department of the Year in a virtual ceremony held earlier this week.
Celebrating the country’s leading law firms, in-house legal teams, individuals, and landmark deals over the past year, the Canadian Law Awards are presented by Lexpert and Canadian Lawyer as a reflection of excellence in the legal profession.
“Behind these wins is a team of innovative and dedicated professionals who care deeply about bringing the best to our customers and helping vulnerable individuals in our communities who have found themselves in need of aid because of their limited resources,” said Simon Fish, General Counsel, BMO Financial Group. “At BMO, we’re driven to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life, and as part of that, we strive to use our time, knowledge and resources to close the justice gap. We’re proud to be recognized for our efforts in supporting and building stronger communities.”
With the cost of legal advice and representation seen as a major obstacle in the path to justice for many individuals across North America, supporting disadvantaged communities is critical. Each year, as part of its commitment to help those in need, hundreds of BMO volunteers spend thousands of hours working to provide legal assistance through pro bono activities across Canada, including:
- Pro Bono Ontario’s Free Legal Advice hotline: 43 volunteers provided free legal advice on civil litigation, employment, housing, and consumer issues to low-income Ontarians.
- Education program: 10 volunteers advocated for families seeking support in addressing school-related challenges, such as bullying and discipline matters. Last year, five cases had successful placement and representation before the Board of Education.
- Power of Attorney clinic: 30 volunteers assisted with the creation and execution of powers of attorney and advance care directive for personal care or property for 62 patients in need at local healthcare facilities.
- Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities project: 10 volunteers assisted parents of patients at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto with their legal appeals for government benefits for children with severe disabilities.
In the U.S., BMO participates in programs in New York, Dallas, and Chicago representing asylum cases for members of the LGTBQ community originally from Mexico, Nigeria, and Malawi who suffered brutal abuses in their countries.
BMO also continues its commitment to offer pro bono services as a signatory to the Corporate Pro Bono challenge initiative. For more information on BMO’s corporate social responsibility, please visit: https://corporate-responsibility.bmo.com/our-approach/.
About BMO Financial Group
Serving customers for 200 years and counting, BMO is a highly diversified financial services provider - the 8th largest bank, by assets, in North America. With total assets of $974 billion as of July 31, 2020, and a team of diverse and highly engaged employees, BMO provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, BMO Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.
For News Media Inquiries:
Sónia Brum, BMO Financial Group, Toronto, firstname.lastname@example.org, (416) 867-3996
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