Ropes & Gray Receives 2018 “Advocacy Firm of the Year” Award from the Human Trafficking Legal Center

Tags: Pro Bono

Ropes & Gray has been named the recipient of the 2018 “Advocacy Firm of the Year” award by the Human Trafficking Legal Center in recognition of the firm’s pro bono work to assist trafficking victims.

The firm was honored at the Human Trafficking Legal Center’s second annual “On My Side” awards ceremony, which was held in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 10. Chair of Ropes & Gray’s appellate & Supreme Court practice Douglas Hallward-Driemeier accepted the award on the firm’s behalf and offered remarks on the history and impact of the two organizations’ pro bono partnership.

Since 2015, this successful collaboration has enabled both entities to carry out important work on behalf of trafficking victims. Ropes & Gray has brought numerous civil actions against traffickers, often leading to the recovery of wages for the clients. Favorable settlements for these clients can involve possible tax consequences, so the firm has mobilized a number of tax attorneys to help survivors manage the tax consequences of the trafficking-related offenses committed against them. The firm’s tax work for the Human Trafficking Legal Center is led by tax partner Kat Gregor and associate Brittany Cvetanovich.

At the systemic level, the firm has helped the Human Trafficking Legal Center to develop training materials for their pro bono network of lawyers who represent trafficking survivors. In addition to this work, Ropes & Gray has performed legal research and writing to assist the Human Trafficking Legal Center. The firm’s work includes examining applications of the PROTECT Act, a federal law adopted in 2003, making it a crime for a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to travel abroad to sexually abuse children. The outcome of this research was the publication of a new practice guide, “U.S. Legal Remedies for Minor Victims of Sex Tourism and Sex Trafficking.” Ropes & Gray litigation & enforcement counsel Martin Crisp managed the firm’s work in the creation of this guide.

The Ropes & Gray pro bono team that works on these efforts includes a cross-office and cross-practice group of attorneys.

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