Simmons hire signals pro bono advance

Simmons & Simmons has hired a lawyer as a full-time pro bono manager. Karen Ozdamar will sit on the pro bono committee with a remit to internationalise the firm’s pro bono work.

Ozdamar joins from Reed Smith, where she was a corporate lawyer who led the associate pro bono function.

Pro bono partner Richard Dyton commented: “Unlike diversity and CR [corporate responsibility], we haven’t yet got pro bono firing on all cylinders. Some of our international offices are more engaged than others; in some jurisdictions there’s almost a prohibition against pro bono. Engaging a greater number of people in the firm will be one of her prime roles.”

This comes after Simmons launched its ’Step Up in CR’ initiative, which put CR at the heart of its 2009-12 business plan. The scheme rewards employees with time off in lieu, an awards ceremony and recognition in the appraisal process.