OA Legal is the first Swiss law firm to be awarded the B Corp certification for its corporate sustainability practices by the non-profit organization B Lab.

The B Corp certification is one of the most demanding in the world. To obtain certification, companies must meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, legal responsibility, and transparency. And to keep it, the companies must be re-evaluated every three years. More specifically, companies must demonstrate that they consider the impact of their business decisions on their employees, customers, suppliers, the communities in which they operate, and the environment. And not just on their shareholders.

OA Legal joins a growing community of 3,800 companies worldwide that are already B Corp certified, including Patagonia, The Guardian, and the Swiss companies Opaline and Lombard Odier. However, OA Legal is the first law firm to receive such a certification in Switzerland.

The recent focus on the legal sector makes OA Legal's B Corp certification a milestone and signals a move towards greater accountability and transparency in the sector. Abroad, firms that have received B Corp certification include Bates Wells in England, Barriston Law in Canada, and Frank Bold, which is present in several European countries.

"In 2018, the Geneva Bar Association has modified its Rules of professional conduct (Us et Coutumes) to place social responsibility as a predominant element when rendering legal advice, recalling the role of the lawyer as a "guardian of the rule of law" and, thus, his ability to take into account the new challenges of society. It is therefore with great pleasure that we welcome OA Legal within the B Corp movement, which plays a pioneering role in accelerating the consideration of social and environmental responsibility within its sector". - Jonathan Normand, Director ad Founder of B Lab Switzerland

"We are very proud to have obtained this certification because it is highly demanding and requires a thorough reflection on the measures to be implemented to meet the challenges of our generation. B Corp. certification involves a rigorous assessment of a company's environmental and social performance and management. It measures how we manage our team, our environmental footprint, our suppliers, and the communities with whom we interact.

We are thrilled to join the B Corp community as the first certified law firm in Switzerland and play a pioneering role in our industry. Moreover, the Geneva Bar Association is also contemplating the possibility of establishing a set of labels for law firms, in particular for continuing education, gender equality, and the environment. It shows the growing consideration given by the Bar Association to those priorities". Fabien Gillioz, Partner of OA Legal.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.