Press Release - LawWorks announces shortlist for the 2017 Annual Pro Bono Awards

At the start of National Pro Bono Week, LawWorks (the Solicitors Pro Bono Group) is pleased to announce the shortlist for the LawWorks Annual Pro Bono Awards.

The Awards recognise and celebrate achievement in legal pro bono work, undertaken by organisations and individuals, and the commitment of the legal sector in enabling access to justice and supporting individuals, communities and not-for-profit organisations. The finalists represent the breadth and range of pro bono activity undertaken by LawWorks members and others in England and Wales.

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony and reception at the Law Society on Tuesday 5th December 2017.

Details of the Awards evening (beginning at 6.30pm) and to book (free) tickets to attend here. 

The annual Awards lecture will be given by Hilarie Bass, President of the American Bar Association, and the evening will be hosted by Paddy O’Connell, broadcaster and presenter of Radio 4’s ‘Broadcasting House’. The Awards are kindly supported by LexisNexis.

Alasdair Douglas, Chair of the LawWorks Board of Trustees, said: ‘The LawWorks Pro Bono Awards are an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the commitment of law firms, in-house teams and the many individuals who volunteer their time and expertise to improve the lives of others. The number and quality of nominations has been high, demonstrating the scale and impact of pro bono. We are grateful to the judges, everyone who took the time to nominate, and congratulations to all the finalists.”

President of the Law Society of England and Wales Joe Egan said: “I am so proud of the scale and range of the pro bono legal advice offered by lawyers every year. The LawWorks awards recognise the largely unsung work our profession does for the public good. On behalf of the Law Society I would like to congratulate all today’s nominees, and to thank every lawyer who is working pro bono for their contribution to society.”

James Harper, Executive Sponsor of Rule of Law initiatives at LexisNexis commented: “Advancing the rule of law is the foundation on which LexisNexis is based.  We are therefore delighted to continue our long-running association with LawWorks in sponsoring these Awards, which rightly praise, and raise awareness of, the fantastic pro bono projects being delivered across the country.  Our congratulations to all those nominated and shortlisted for their tireless efforts, and we look forward to celebrating with you all on 5 December”.

The judging panel for the 2017 Pro Bono awards comprised Mick Antoniw, Counsel General, Wales; Alison McKenna, Principle Judge, Charity Tribunal; Chris Minnoch, Operations Director, Legal Aid Practitioners Group (LAPG); Paul Rogerson, Editor-in-chief, Law Society Gazette and Bryan Scant, Chair, Junior Lawyers Division. 

The shortlisted nominees are:

Best contribution by a small firm

  • Curtis Law Solicitors
  • Hugh Jones Solicitors

Best contribution by a Firm with a Regional Head Office

  • Attwaters Jameson Hill Solicitors
  • Fisher Jones Greenwood LLP
  • Hugh Jones Solicitors
  • Muckle LLP
  • Shoosmiths LLP
  • Thompson Smith and Puxon

Best contribution by a Firm with a London Head Office

  • Addleshaw Goddard LLP              
  • Berwin Leighton Paisner
  • Duncan Lewis Solicitors
  • Goodman Derrick LLP
  • Howard Kennedy LLP

Best contribution by an International Firm

  • Allen & Overy LLP
  • Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP    
  • Dechert LLP
  • Herbert Smith Freehills LLP         
  • Proskauer Rose  LLP

Best contribution by an In-House Team

  • Barclays Bank Plc
  • BPP Pro Bono Centre
  • Microsoft Limited           

Best Contribution by an Individual

  • Sarah Calder – Citizens Advice Harlow
  • Rebecca Greenhalgh – Ashurst LLP & Felicity Kirk - Ropes & Gray LLP (joint nomination)
  • Heather Iqbal Rayner – Duncan Lewis Solicitors
  • Tim Johnson – Shoosmiths LLP
  • David Jones – Hugh Jones Solicitors
  • Emine Mehmet – Duncan Lewis Solicitors
  • Tom Young – Hugh Jones Solicitors

Junior Lawyers Division Award

  • Francis Keepfer – DLA Piper
  • Josh Little - Allen & Overy LLP
  • Isabelle Westbury – Allen & Overy LLP
  • Melissa Wilkinson – DLA Piper
  • Morgan Wolfe – Goodman Derrick LLP
  • Julia Wookey - Howard Kennedy LLP

The LawWorks Cymru Award

  • Cardiff Pro Bono Employment Clinic
  • Citizens Advice Rhondda Cynon Taff
  • Duncan Lewis Solicitors
  • School of Law & Politics, Cardiff University
  • University of South Wales Legal Advice Clinic     

Most Effective Pro Bono Partnership

  • Berwin Leighton Paisner and St Hilda's East Community Centre
  • BPP’s Enterprise Legal Advice Clinic and The Entrepreneurial Refugee Network (TERN)
  • Clyde & Co LLP and Citizens Advice Brent (the John Fisher Free Advice service)
  • Debevoise & Plimpton LLP and Haringey Law Centre
  • Herbert Smith Freehills LLP and the Whitechapel Legal Advice Clinic
  • Microsoft Limited and Covington & Burling LLP
  • Suffolk Law Advice Centre: Ashtons Legal; Attwells Solicitors; Bates Wells Braithwaite; Birketts LLP; East Anglian Chambers; Eversheds Sutherland; Fairweather Law ; Fenners Chambers; Goodwin Cowley Solicitors; Gotelee Solicitors; Immigration Legal Services; Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality;  Jackamans Solicitors; Kerseys Solicitors LLP; Landmark Chambers; Marshall Hatchick Solicitors; Prettys Solicitors LLP and Suffolk and North Essex Law Society
  • The AIRE Centre, Ashurst LLP, Reed Smith LLP and Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
  • University of East London and Romford Autism Hub Legal Advice Clinic
  • University House’s Disability Benefits Appeal Tribunal project: Dechert LLP; Reed Smith LLP; Ropes & Gray LLP;  Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP; Slaughter and May and White & Case LLP


Notes to editors:

  1. LawWorks (the Solicitors Pro Bono Group) is a charity working in England and Wales to connect volunteer lawyers with both people in need of free legal advice and with smaller charities and not-for-profit organisations. LawWorks supports a network of over 220 independent pro bono clinics across England and Wales, and facilitates free legal advice for smaller charities and social enterprises through its Not-For-Profits Programme.
  2. The LawWorks Annual Pro Bono Awards event is on 5th December 2017. To attend the event, please contact Olga at: [email protected]
  3. Hilarie Bass is President of the American Bar Association, the world’s largest voluntary professional organisation with more than 400,000 members. Hilarie is widely recognized for her pro bono work, including on behalf of two foster children that led to the elimination and declaration as unconstitutional Florida’s 20-year- old ban on gay adoption.
  4. Nominees for the LawWorks Annual Pro Bono Awards must be, or include, a member of LawWorks. Clinics in the LawWorks network in Wales can also be nominated for the LawWorks Cymru Award. Detail about LawWorks membership is available at:
  5. National Pro Bono Week takes place between  6th and 11th November 2017.  Sponsored by The Law Society, The Bar Council and CILEx, the aim of the week is to celebrate the breadth and impact of pro bono work undertaken by the legal profession across the year, and to encourage further involvement and development. More information about the events at:
  6. LawWorks is supported by the Law Society of England and Wales, the independent professional body for solicitors.
  7. LexisNexis Legal & Professional is a leading global provider of legal, regulatory and business information and analytics that help professional customers make more informed decisions, increase productivity and serve their clients better. As a digital pioneer, the company was the first to bring legal and business information online with its Lexis® and Nexis® services. 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 organizations 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 global provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries.
  8. Join the conversation about the awards on Twitter using #LawWorksAwards
  9. Contact: Peter Jackson at: [email protected]

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