Press release: LawWorks announces shortlist for the 2020 Pro Bono Awards

LawWorks (the Solicitors Pro Bono Group) is pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2020 Annual LawWorks 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. The finalists represent the breadth and range of pro bono activity undertaken by LawWorks members, pro bono clinics and others across England and Wales.

The awards are kindly sponsored by LexisNexis whose rule of law champion, James Harper, has been a great supporter of our Awards.

The winners will be announced at an online event that will be livestreamed on December 2nd. The host for the evening will be Matthew Stadlen, radio and television presenter, producer and writer.

Alasdair Douglas, the Chair of LawWorks said:

“Congratulations to all those shortlisted. We had an amazing number of nominations, and, given just how challenging this year has been for everyone, it is hugely encouraging to see that pro bono has thrived and developed. I would like to thank all those who were nominated - it has not been an easy endeavour for the judges to settle on a shortlist.  I would also like to thank the judges for giving their time.

These Awards acknowledge and celebrate the commitment of law firms, from their senior management to their trainees and administrative staff, in-house teams and the many individuals who volunteer their time and expertise to improve the lives of others. Whilst we cannot meet in person to celebrate this year’s awards and the finalists’ achievements, I hope that by holding a remote event we can capture and recognise their huge contribution.”

James Harper, Executive Sponsor for Rule of Law and CSR at LexisNexis, said:

“At a time when the Rule of Law and access to justice has more attention on it than ever before, it is only right that we should use that focus to loudly call out the incredible work done and contribution made by solicitors across the UK in providing pro bono legal support. 

Advancing the Rule of Law is the central objective of the LexisNexis business and is part of everything we do.  It is therefore with huge pride and pleasure that we are continuing our long-running sponsorship of these Awards, and we offer our heartfelt thanks and congratulations to all those nominated.”

A new ‘Best Digital / Virtual Pro Bono Activity Pro Bono Award’ recognises he increasingly important role of remote service delivery, especially during the pandemic.

The judging panel for the 2020 Pro Bono awards comprised:

  • Stephanie Boyce, Deputy President of the Law Society
  • Ruth Daniel, Chief Executive of the Access to Justice Foundation
  • Paul Rogerson, Editor of the Law Society Gazette
  • Adam Tear, former Chair of the Solicitors Association of Higher Court Advocates
  • Chris Minnoch, Director of the Legal Aid Practitioners Group
  • Koser Shaheen, Chair of the Law Society's Ethnic Minority Lawyers Division
  • Heidi Sandy, Chair of the Law Society's Women Lawyers Division
  • Yasmin Batliwala, Chief Executive of Advocates for International Development
  • Mark Evans, Chair of Wales Committee of The Law Society and Council Member for North Wales

The shortlisted nominees are:

Best Contribution by a Small or Medium Firm

  • AltraLaw
  • Goodman Derrick

Best Contribution by a Large Firm

  • DLA Piper
  • Howard Kennedy    
  • Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK
  • Reed Smith

Best Contribution by an In-House Team or an In-house Solicitor

  • BPP University
  • Deborah Smith (Goldman Sachs)
  • London Borough of Barking and Dagenham
  • Visa

Junior Lawyers Division Pro Bono Award

  • Samuel Bass (Duncan Lewis Solicitors)
  • Miriam Bandera (Reed Smith)
  • Raphaella Gabrasadig (Travers Smith)
  • Katrina Thomson (Baker McKenzie)

Best Contribution by an Individual

  • Priscilla Addo-Quaye (Addleshaw Goddard)
  • Anne Collins (Clifford Chance)
  • Eddie Coppinger (Legal Advice Centre (University house))
  • Sam Cottman (Travers Smith)
  • Naga Kandiah (MTC Solicitors)
  • Elle Todd (Reed Smith)

The LawWorks Cymru Award

  • Aberystwyth University Family Law Clinic
  • Citizens Advice Rhondda Cynon Taff
  • Duncan Lewis Solicitors
  • Swansea Law Clinic, Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law, Swansea University/ Clinig y Gyfraith, Ysgol y Gyfraith Hillary Rodham Clinton, Prifysgol Abertawe
  • University of South Wales Legal Advice Clinic

Best Contribution by a Pro Bono Clinic

  • Aberystwyth University Family Law Clinic
  • Dracaena Webcam Advice Project: Dracaena Community Centre, Legal Advice Centre (University House), Charles Russell Speechlys and White & Case
  • Islington Legal Advice Centre
  • The Online Legal Clinic, Brixton Advice Centre
  • University of South Wales Legal Advice Clinic

Best International Pro Bono Award – in partnership with A4ID

  • The FGM Model Law: Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Latham & Watkins and Reed Smith
  • Greece Pro Bono Collaborative Project: Allen & Overy, Ashurst, Charles Russell Speechlys, Dentons, Orrick and White & Case, together with European Lawyers in Lesvos (ELIL)
  • The Human Dignity Trust (HDT) Team at Debevoise & Plimpton
  • Human Rights Watch and Clifford Chance

Best Digital / Virtual Pro Bono Activity

  • Justice Hub Covid-19 Virtual Vac Scheme, University of Manchester
  • Advice Portal, Legal Advice Centre (University House)
  • RCJ Advice and Advocate
  • South Westminster Legal Advice Centre

Best New Pro Bono Activity

  • Dads House Legal Advice Clinic, Dads House
  • Domestic Violence Advocacy Unit , Travers Smith
  • The Entrepreneurial Refugee Network (TERN) and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
  • Hertfordshire Law Clinic, University of Hertfordshire
  • The Online Legal Clinic, Brixton Advice Centre
  • Shoosmiths and Solent Mind

Most Effective Pro Bono Partnership

  • DV Flag East and London Borough of Barking and Dagenham
  • Innocence Project London and Weil, Gotshal & Manges 
  • National Centre for Domestic Violence, Dentons and NatWest Legal
  • RCJ Advice and Advocate
  • Shoosmiths and The Manuel Bravo Project
  • Toynbee Hall and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Notes to editors:

  1. LawWorks (the Solicitors Pro Bono Group) is a charity that promotes, supports and facilitates pro bono legal services that extend access to the law for individuals and communities in need and the organisations that assist them. LawWorks supports a network of over 300 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. LawWorks is supported by the Law Society of England and Wales, the independent professional body for solicitors.
  2. The LawWorks Annual Pro Bono Awards event is being held remotely on 2nd December. For more information, please contact Peter at: [email protected] 
  3. Nominees for the LawWorks Annual Pro Bono Awards must be, or include, a member of LawWorks or a clinic in the LawWorks Clinics Network. Detail about LawWorks membership is available at:  www.lawworks.org.uk/why-pro-bono/lawworks-membership-join-us 
  4. A4ID is a global charity that works in partnership with the world’s leading law firms, providing access to the best legal advice for those engaged in the fight against global poverty, and contribute to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For the new “Best International Pro Bono Award” special attention is given to pro bono projects that contribute to the achievement of the SDGs. www.a4id.org  
  5. Awards sponsor 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.

Join the conversation about the awards on Twitter using #LawWorksAwards

Contact: Peter Jackson at: [email protected]

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