The Awards recognised and celebrated the pro bono commitment of LawWorks members, their charity and corporate partners, and the work of independent clinics in the LawWorks clinics network. This year included a special award to mark and celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Access to Justice Foundation (AJTF).
The Rt Hon David Lammy MP spoke at the event and presented the awards to all the winners. The evening was hosted by Matthew Stadlen, radio and television presenter, producer and writer.
Over 250 finalists and guests from across the pro bono, advice, legal aid and charity sectors, were welcomed by Christina Blacklaws, President of the Law Society and Alasdair Douglas, Chair of LawWorks. James Harper, Executive Sponsor, Rule of Law and CSR at LexisNexis UK, also offered a few words on behalf of the awards sponsor.
Winners were chosen in ten categories representing the breadth and range of pro bono across England and Wales – by individuals, firms, in-house teams, law schools and law students, supported by charities, advice agencies, law centres and many non-legal volunteers. Carol Storer, until recently Director of the Legal Aid Practitioners Group, was honoured for outstanding contribution to access to justice.
The Rt Hon David Lammy MP delivered the Annual lecture referencing some of the recent debates about the justice system in England and Wales and the rule of law.
David Lammy said:
“The pro bono work you do is great, addressing unmet needs and helping people secure their rights. It is important though that we recognise how much more needs to be done. Providing access to justice is a fundamental duty of the state. The outcomes in the justice system for minority communities show how much we need better provision for publicly funded legal aid and support.”
LawWorks Chief Executive Martin Barnes said:
"Congratulations to the winners and finalists – all deserve recognition and celebration of their work and the difference make in enabling access justice.., so I would like to thank the Judges for their work. I would also like to thank David Lammy and Matthew Stadlen for helping to make the evening such a huge success."
James Harper, Executive Sponsor, Rule of Law and CSR for LexisNexis UK said:
“On behalf of LexisNexis, I would like to congratulate all those nominated and the winners, for their dedication and commitment to enabling access to justice. Advancing the Rule of Law and, including securing access to justice, is the central objective of LexisNexis, and as such we are honoured to support the LawWorks Pro Bono Awards.”
The winners of the Awards are:
- Best contribution by a small firm Fry Law
- Best contribution by a firm with an English head office Irwin Mitchell
- Best contribution by an international firm Allen & Overy
- Best contribution by an in-house team Barclays Bank Plc.
- Best contribution by an individual Gareth Keillor, Herbert Smith Freehills.
- Junior Lawyers Division Pro Bono Award Louise Taylor, Anthony Gold
- LawWorks Cymru Award Swansea Law Clinic, Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law
- Best contribution by a pro bono clinic Dentons PopLaw Clinic
- Best new pro bono activity St Hilda's East Legal Advice Clinic
- Most effective pro bono partnership Cardiff University Law School Pro Bono Unit Mencap WISE student advice project
- Outstanding contribution to Access to Justice Carol Storer
You can find out more about all the nominees and winners in the 2018 LawWorks Pro Bono Awards programme.
Notes to editors:
LawWorks (the Solicitors Pro Bono Group) promotes, supports and facilitates pro bono legal services that extend access to the law for individuals and communities in need and the organisations that support them. It champions pro bono because of the positive contribution and difference it makes for individuals, communities and society. The charity works (in England and Wales) with the solicitors’ profession and our members, the Law Society, law schools and law students, law centres, advice agencies and others to develop and support pro bono legal services, and to promote access to justice for all. For further information about LawWorks visit: www.lawworks.org.uk
The shortlist and winners were chosen by a judging panel that comprised, Adele Edwin-Lamerton, previous Chair of the Junior Lawyers Division; Jeremy Miles, the Counsel General for Wales and Wales Assembly Member; Chris Minnoch, Director of the Legal Aid Practitioners Group; Dame Janet Smith, Trustee of the Access to Justice Foundation; and Paul Rogerson, the Editor-in-chief of the Law Society Gazette.
The Awards sponsors, LexisNexis Legal & Professional are a leading global provider of content and technology solutions that enable professionals in legal, corporate, tax, government, academic and non-for -profit organisations to make informed decisions and achieve better business outcomes. As a digital pioneer, the company was the first to bring legal and business information online. Today, LexisNexis Legal & Professional harnesses leading-edge technology and world-class content to help professionals work in faster, easier and more effective ways. Through close collaboration with its customers, the company ensures organisations can leverage its solutions to reduce risk, improve productivity, increase profitability and grow their business. LexisNexis Legal & Professional, which serves customers in more than 175 countries with 10,000 employees worldwide, is part of RELX Group, a world-leading provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries.
This year included a special award to mark and celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Access to Justice Foundation. The Foundation focuses on generating new sources of funding to support the free legal advice sector, and has supported hundreds of charities and projects working to provide free legal advice and assistance. The Foundation also receives funds from pro bono costs orders and donations of dormant client account funds. www.atjf.org.uk
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