Communication on Progress

  • 24-Mar-2021
Time period
  • February 2020  –  July 2021
  • Stand alone document – Basic COP Template
Differentiation Level
  • This COP qualifies for the Global Compact Active level
  • Includes a CEO statement of continued support for the UN Global Compact and its ten principles
  • Description of actions or relevant policies related to Human Rights
  • Description of actions or relevant policies related to Labour
  • Description of actions or relevant policies related to Environment
  • Description of actions or relevant policies related to Anti-Corruption
  • Includes a measurement of outcomes
  • Statement of continued support by the Chief Executive Officer
  • Statement of the company's chief executive (CEO or equivalent) expressing continued support for the Global Compact and renewing the company's ongoing commitment to the initiative and its principles.

  • March 24, 2021
    As a company we feel the need to contribute to society, to give back to people in need and help developing professionals reach their full potential, which is why we are incredibly proud to continue our commitment to adhere to Global Compact’s ten principles.
    We aim to continuedly work towards inclusion in the workplace and to increase our workers’ altruistic spirit.
    We deem this communication essential for us to record our progress as a company and to become a positive example for clients, other companies and future professionals.
    Hugo T. Berkemeyer Rodríguez
    BKM | Berkemeyer

Human Rights
  • Assessment, policy and goals
  • Description of the relevance of human rights for the company (i.e. human rights risk-assessment). Description of policies, public commitments and company goals on Human Rights.

  • BKM’s been active in the Paraguayan community for years, offering pro bono services and monetary aid to people in need through various organizations. We strive to transmit this altruism to our professionals; we are working towards an initiative of making each lawyer find at least 2 foundations or causes to oversee on a weekly basis.
    We welcome anyone, regardless of their race, marital status, gender or sexual orientation, we like to give everyone a chance to explore their potential. We seek to nurture this talent early in their careers, so we frequently sponsor university conferences and encourage young law students to apply for internships.
    We are aware of the glass ceiling that women face regarding job opportunities or career advancement, and since our team is almost 70% women with most of them holding directive positions, we believe we can set an example and inspire young women by showing them companies that subvert from the traditionally male centered board rooms.

  • Implementation
  • Description of concrete actions to implement Human Rights policies, address Human Rights risks and respond to Human Rights violations.

  • We have been active in helping several foundations with pro bono law services and monetary donations for over 25 years, these range from education to hospital and nursing schools.
    Some of these national foundations include:
    - Fundación Dequeni
    - Fundación San Joaquín y Santa Ana
    - Fundación Casa Cuna.
    These foundations have been helping thousands of impoverished families, children and senior citizens throughout the years, and we believe it is our duty to help them continue these philanthropic endeavors in any way we can.
    BKM maintains a long-standing commitment with the education of children in our country, we donate to several charities and public schools, with this spirit in mind “La Abuela Tita Library” was born, a charity to where we give out books to children and adolescents within the poverty line. Some of the charities are:
    - Takuaty School of the Santa Rosalia company of the city of Tobati
    - CEBINFA of the city of Fernando de la Mora
    - San José de Areguá School
    - Dr. Prof. Cantalicio Torres School of the Costa Fleitas company of the city of Aregua
    - San Blas School of the Guazuvira company of the city of Itauguá.
    In total over 3.000 children were benefited, we are aiming for that number to double in the upcoming years.
    Considering the country’s ever-growing demographic, we are required to contribute with future professionals and their academic prospects.
    Internships are primordial to every high school graduate, they provide the required experience for anyone searching for their first job, especially since in this country most of our youth is required to work to sustain a career and contribute to their household. Therefore, we opened an internship program where students can apply for 2-month internships to gain experience after high school and they, according to their final evaluation, could get a full contract with the firm.
    BKM believes in promoting and contributing to the arts and aspiring artists, so in 2018 we signed an agreement with TIERRANUESTRA to work together in “Sounds of the Earth”, a musical program for underprivileged youth, we help by financing their instruments and awarding scholarships to the youth or community leaders. Due to the pandemic, BKM donated cellphones to everyone in the foundation so they could keep up with online rehearsals.
    BKM sponsors female leadership seminars, like the 4th International Congress “Women with Value” held in Argentina, a lecture for women by women in leadership positions and the “Women in Law” awards held by Chambers. We should also note that BKM | BERKEMEYER was the only Paraguayan nominated for “Promoting gender diversity in law firms “. Since 2021 we started providing pro bono law assessment to Global Compact.
    We are currently working towards joining more female empowerment programs and seminars.

  • Measurement of outcomes
  • Description of how the company monitors and evaluates performance.

  • According to company policy, every attorney is required to fulfill a weekly a minimum quota of pro bono hours per week:
    - Partners and Senior Attorneys: 10 hours p/w
    - Junior Attorneys and Paralegals: 5 hours p/w
    For us it is primordial to treat and track the progress they make on social obligations with as much importance as their work for paying customers.
    We encourage young lawyers to show initiative and present social causes they are interested in, that way we can gather resources within the firm and create new projects to contribute to society.
    We treat our interns as regular employees; they are given work in accordance with their capabilities and make them feel safe and comfortable in the work environment many are experiencing for the first time. But much as we try to make them feel at ease, we also try to instill a sense of responsibility by keeping track of their pending tasks.
    Since our firm is made of almost 70% female, we are always trying to educate ourselves regarding gender equality, not only regarding major social difficulties but also by learning about microaggressions women and minorities deal in a daily basis.
    We can proudly state that there is no wage gap in our firm and all our employees have the same career advancement opportunities.

  • Assessment, policy and goals
  • Description of the relevance of labour rights for the company (i.e. labour rights-related risks and opportunities). Description of written policies, public commitments and company goals on labour rights.

  • BKM’s main goal within the company is to create a safe environment for all its employees, we believe that all our workers should feel comfortable and content with their surroundings, that not only helps with their performance, but it also creates a sense of belonging and confidence between them.
    Stressful work environments have proved time and time again to harm employee’s health and interpersonal relationships. The old belief that the most important thing in a company is production is long gone,
    Employees need to feel that their managers see them as complex human beings who deal with much more than work on their everyday lives, which is why we try to understand them as people and keep and open lines of dialogue between staff members.
    In regards of our collaborators’ career advancement, we actively endorse all activities or courses they would like to partake in order to gain more expertise and knowledge in their respective areas.

  • Implementation
  • Description of concrete actions taken by the company to implement labour policies, address labour risks and respond to labour violations.

  • We do not tolerate any kind of disrespect, harassment or discrimination in the company, we try our outmost to make everyone treat each other as equals, every attorney in the company can escalate the ladder, regardless of their gender, sexual orientation or race.
    In case they have any issues or concerns, we have in place a very efficient human resources team to resolve any inconveniences that might occur.
    BKM employs many students and since we are aware of how stressful student life can be, more so when someone is trying to balance studies and work obligations, we offer flexible work schedules according to their needs.
    The same applies to schedules regarding interpersonal and personal matters.
    We offer constant opportunities for our team to further their education with training courses and seminars, it is extremely important for any company to fund these endeavors since it only benefits the employee but the company as well.
    We are currently working on a career plan for each attorney, by constantly evaluating their capabilities and efforts. That way they realize they have growth potential within the company.

  • Measurement of outcomes
  • Description of how the company monitors and evaluates performance.

  • We have in place a suggestion box where employees they can submit their complaints or suggestions if they prefer to remain anonymous, if not we have a very proficient HR department willing to solve any discomforts or help the employee in any way they can.
    Our HR team is constantly revising new policies to help us come up with new ways in which we can improve the management of our team.
    Each month we make our employees take an anonymous survey, where they can evaluate our policies and proposition new ideas or activities they would like to implement in the workplace.

  • Assessment, policy and goals
  • Description of the relevance of environmental protection for the company (i.e. environmental risks and opportunities). Description of policies, public commitments and company goals on environmental protection.

  • Noticing the drastic changes in temperature and natural disasters, the advancement of global warming is undeniable. We as a company take this situation seriously as it affects us not only as a company but as human beings.
    Ever since 2018, we have been revising ways in which our carbon footprint and waste can be reduced to a minimum and any kind of action that can help us contribute with the betterment of the environment.
    In a near future, we would like to partner up with companies that can teach us about other techniques or ways we can enhance the environmental consciousness of all collaborators.

  • Implementation
  • Description of concrete actions to implement environmental policies, address environmental risks and respond to environmental incidents.

  • We started out by limiting our use of printing paper and planting trees in the countryside, now our paper consumption has reached almost zero since we moved towards online invoicing and planted almost 100 trees in the Cordillera department.
    We also put in place recycling bins in all our offices which all our staff members were taught to properly use.

  • Measurement of outcomes
  • Description of how the company monitors and evaluates environmental performance.

  • Our HR department monitors the use of paper and recycling bins and we hire local community members to look after the planted trees while they are still small sprouts.

  • Assessment, policy and goals
  • Description of the relevance of anti-corruption for the company (i.e. anti-corruption risk-assessment). Description of policies, public commitments and company goals on anti-corruption.

  • The company agrees that it will comply with all the laws in force in the Republic of Paraguay, the municipality and local laws, ordinances, regulations and codes in the performance of its obligations under this contract, including the procedure for qualifications, permits and / or certificates that are required.
    We’re committed to; observe during the provision of the service the policies that were presented by the client and the applicable legal regulations, including: (a) technical standards and ethical-professional precepts; (b) the norms that govern intellectual property, personal and consumer rights; (c) Information Security standards and policies; (d) the norms and policies of environmental preservation; (e) the norms and policies related to corporate social responsibility, constitutional social rights and, especially, the rules regarding the prohibition of forced labor and child labor; (f) the regulations related to security and banking secrecy, including, among others, Law 861/96, as well as those related to the prevention and combat of activities related to the crimes provided for in Law No. 1,015 / 97, and its regulatory and complementary standards. (g) anti-corruption regulations and regulations that prohibit the practice of harmful acts against the public administration, being responsible for infractions of any cause.

    We agree that, during the performance of our obligations under any contract, it will not carry out, or offer commissions, bonuses or favors that benefit any individual and / or commercial group with the intention of influencing their conduct and participation as a resource for its service.
    We declare as an affidavit that we are up to date in the payment of contributions corresponding to tax, legal obligations and the relevant social security system.

  • Implementation
  • Description of concrete actions to implement anti-corruption policies, address anti-corruption risks and respond to incidents.

  • After hiring new attorneys, they are copiously trained to comply with the following rules:
    • Seek leadership in performance and results, ethically, performing work with responsibility, honesty and loyalty.
    • Identify, hire and promote suitable human resources, seeking the development of high-quality teams, always based on merit.
    • Preserve the corporate and professional image of the company.
    • Maintain the confidentiality of all information and data of our clients from third parties.
    • Undertake not to use the client’s name in sales, marketing and advertising under any circumstances without the formal written consent of the client’s authorized persons for such purposes.
    • Commit not to perform, or offer commissions, bonuses or favors that benefit any individual and / or commercial group with the intention of influencing their conduct.
    • Undertake to immediately inform client in the event of becoming aware that its personnel, assigned to carry out activities under an agreement, have family ties with the client’s officials, either by consanguinity or affinity up to the fourth degree and that could constitute a conflict of interest. In this case, the client may request the appointment of other persons to carry out the work provided for in this contract, a request that must be fulfilled by BKM immediately.
    • After the termination of the agreements for any reason, BKM, if by the nature of the provision of the service were in possession of documents or others from the client, must return any documentation that is owned by the client and that due to the nature of the activity are necessary to use.
    Likewise, BKM must return all information of a confidential nature to which it has accessed during the term of this agreement, as well as proceed to the destruction / elimination of remaining copies of said confidential information, which will include copies filed in electronic form, with the Except that said confidential information is necessary to respond for the guarantee and subsequent control of the product / service delivered, which must be made known to client.

  • Measurement of outcomes
  • Description of how the company monitors and evaluates anti-corruption performance.

  • We are extremely careful on the work our attorneys provide and the way they decide to do it, our senior attorneys provide us with a monthly report on each of its team members, evaluating their work and attitudes.
    The senior attorneys are evaluated on their leadership capabilities and attitudes each semester by the partners and our Laboral psychologist.