Shearman & Sterling has launched a global fundraising effort to provide funds for personal protective equipment to address the scarcity of medical supplies in areas hard hit by the pandemic.
The fundraiser began in our Asia offices, inspired by Asia Regional Managing Partner Lorna Chen: “As a global community, we all are united in our support for one another during the COVID-19 pandemic. And as a global law firm, we are able to help. We started this effort to show solidarity with our colleagues around the world, and to benefit the communities where we live and work.” Fundraising efforts in Asia were soon joined by the Rome and Milan offices, which began fundraising in early April and made an initial donation on April 16, 2020. The funds were donated to two hospitals – Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital in Bergamo and the Covid Center of Campus Bio-Medico University Hospital in Rome. According to Domenico Fanuele, Head of the Rome and Milan offices, “This was an important way that we could help, and the groundswell of support from across the firm is a testament to the spirit and resolve of the people who work here. Our values guide our role in our communities, and we will continue to help however we can.”
Funds raised in Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo were used to purchase masks directly from manufacturers in China. The masks were shipped to New York for donation to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and to benefit New York City’s healthcare workers. Additional masks delivered to Tokyo will benefit hospitals there. In Japan, the masks are being donated to Nippon Medical School Tama Nagayama Hospital and Keio University Hospital. Masahisa Ikeda, Asia Regional Managing Partner and Head of Shearman & Sterling’s Tokyo Office, said: “Our firm is a global family. We have a fervent desire to respond locally, and in areas of urgent need. Our efforts will continue—in Japan and around the world—as we work together to support our healthcare workers and the communities they serve.”
As respirators and PPE have become incredibly difficult to purchase through regular channels, hospitals and local governments have struggled to meet the needs of their local healthcare workers. Shearman & Sterling team members in China were able to locate and procure supplies directly from manufacturers and arrange for their export and distribution.
In New York, donations raised will be donated to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, which has launched a COVID-19 Emergency Relief initiative and is seeking donations for medical supplies and personal protective equipment to support New York City’s healthcare workers.
Americas Regional Co-Managing Partner Azam Aziz said, “Our colleagues around the world are living up to the best aspirations of our firm, demonstrating professionalism, courage, compassion and resilience at a deeply challenging time. We are fortunate to work with people who prioritize the health and wellness of their families, colleagues and communities.”
In Brazil, funds were donated to Hospital São Paulo, as well as Hospital Universitário Clementino Fraga Filho (Hospital do Fundão) in Rio de Janeiro. “As a global law firm we are guided above all by our commitment to the communities where we work and live. Each one of us at Shearman & Sterling is very pleased to make a contribution to help address the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic in countries such as Brazil where we have been welcome for so many decades,” said Roberta Cherman, partner in the São Paulo office.
“We are tremendously grateful to our healthcare workers and those all around the world who are putting their lives at risk to help keep us safe and healthy,” said Americas Regional Co-Managing Partner Lisa Brill. “This global campaign is an expression of our solidarity and gratitude. We are in this together, and we are proud to do our part to help keep our healthcare workers safe.”