Corporate Pro Bono (CPBO) has selected BNY Mellon, White & Case and the National LGBT Bar Association to receive the 2015 CPBO Pro Bono Partner Award in the Large Law category. BNY Mellon and the other honorees were selected for their collaborative development of the Online LGBT Tax Resource, an innovative tool that leverages technology to provide free legal assistance to same-sex married couples in the U.S. The tool provides a comprehensive, state-by-state list of reporting regulations and guidance for LGBT couples, to be used as a starting point for preparing taxes.
“BNY Mellon’s pro bono imperative has been to provide both the leadership and the tools to enable our in-house lawyers to positively impact our communities,” said Kevin McCarthy, General Counsel, BNY Mellon. “The Online LGBT Tax Resource brings clarity to a previously complicated process, making the law more accessible to married same-sex couples – an especially important achievement following this year’s historic Supreme Court decision.”
During the partnership’s first year, 34 attorneys, including 14 from BNY Mellon, invested more than 500 hours in the project, researching state codes, providing administrative guidance and state-specific information as well as launching and promoting the first-of-its kind online resource tool. With rapidly evolving laws surrounding same-sex couples, the tool has already been updated twice in the past year.
Corporate Pro Bono is a global partnership project of the Pro Bono Institute (PBI) and the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC). Its focus is to substantially increase the amount of pro bono work performed by in-house counsel and to enhance the pro bono culture of in-house legal departments through consultative services. The annual Pro Bono Partner Award recognizes innovative team approaches to pro-bono work involving in-house legal departments. Winners are chosen based on demonstrated impact, substantial involvement by in-house lawyers, steps toward sustaining partnership, innovative approaches used and projects that address a critical legal need and/or a particularly vulnerable group.
The award will be presented at the 2015 PBI Annual Dinner on November 5 in New York.