Pro Bono Environmental Project Earns Media Award

March 28, 2019

A pro bono team led by partner Michael Carroll and counsel Nikki Buffa in Latham’s Environmental, Land & Resources (ELR) Department has been honored for advising The Ocean Cleanup, a nonprofit committed to using advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of trash and other floating pollution. The Daily Journal has bestowed a California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year (CLAY) award for legal work on the project, which it called “unprecedented in its scope and ambition.” 

The Ocean Cleanup’s innovative technology involves a large-scale floating system that was recently tested to intercept trash in the north Pacific gyre, an area twice the size of Texas. The organization plans to eventually deploy 60 such systems, with the aim of reducing trash in the world’s oceans by 90% by 2040. In the published CLAY profile, the Daily Journal detailed how the Latham pro bono team “has spent the last two years helping the Dutch nonprofit ensure regulatory compliance, establish relationships with regulators, and evaluate potential environmental risks associated with the deployment of its advanced ocean-cleaning technology.” 

Latham attorneys Taiga Takahashi and Bobbi-Jo Dobush played invaluable roles leading a team of associates, which included Natalie Rogers, Stephanie Postal, and Diego Flores, among others. The team was recently honored by the firm with its 2018 Robert M. Dell Prize for Extraordinary Public Service in recognition of their tremendous effort and dedication to pro bono. Latham has a long-standing commitment to providing pro bono legal services, financial support, and volunteer time to innovative causes and to those most in need. Between 2000–2018, the firm provided more than 3.5 million pro bono hours in free legal services to underserved individuals and families and the nonprofit sector valued at approximately US$1.6 billion. 

Latham’s ELR lawyers provide cutting-edge transactional, litigation, and regulatory advice to clients worldwide. An ELR team also received a Daily Journal CLAY award last year for advancing an innovative community development project, Newhall Ranch in Los Angeles County.

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