Portia (formerly Ebborn Law) wins award from UN

Our partners at Portia (formerly Ebborn Law) have been presented a White Camellia award for their work promoting gender equality.

The White Camellia awards celebrate organisational commitment to the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), and the awards are a UN Women and UN Global Compact initiative which encourages gender equality in the workplace.

FairWay have partnered with Portia since 2014, who were then known as Ebborn Law. They provide Family Legal Advice Service (FLAS) to our customers, they share learnings and provide great educational opportunities for our team.

“FairWay are proud to partner with Portia, who have such a passion for innovating and improving access to justice. My congratulations to Jarrod, Erin and all the Portia team on this amazing achievement,” says Rhys West, Chief Executive of FairWay.

Portia has installed a number of ‘urgent portals’ in local Women’s Refuges around the country. This enables lawyers to deliver a crisis service into parts of the country that struggle with finding legal aid lawyers. The video-enabled system means that women who have experienced family violence can remain in the safety and comfort of the refuge, and it significantly frees-up the time of refuge staff.

They have undertaken 152 domestic violence matters so far this year, an average of one per working day. The portal system provides a 15-minute turnaround to the refuge when they ask for an urgent appointment, with the aim of having the protection order application made within 48 hours.

Portia had to cover a lot of ground to show a commitment to the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principals.

“We have adopted a workplace culture and ethic that attempts to address areas that traditionally create a power imbalance. These include how we hire, hours and days of work, place of work and career pathways,” explains Erin Ebborn, principal lawyer at Portia.

Erin is also proud of the community impact Portia has had:

“In the past two years we have provided free legal training to social services… I can't even estimate the number of women who are helped because of this. In our last report back to the NZ Law Foundation (who funded the training) Social Service Providers Aotearoa (who we partnered with and who analysed the impact of the training) estimated the training would have affected 3,063 social service and community workers, and 13,475 clients.”

The move to the new Portia brand – Erin calls it “the evolution of law” – represents a change how law is delivered, how law firms are operated and how staff are employed in the profession.

“At the end of the day what matters most in this profession is people,” says Erin, “We all have a responsibility to promote equality, equity and fairness within the profession. To me, winning the White Camellia award is just the start of a long journey, but my team are committed to laying the groundwork for those who follow.”

For more information

For more information on Portia please visit www.portia.law   

For more information on FairWay please visit www.fairwayresolution.com