Outstanding achievement in legal pro bono was celebrated on 5th December 2017 at the LawWorks Annual Pro Bono Awards and Lecture kindly hosted and supported by the Law Society. The Awards recognised and celebrated excellence in legal pro bono undertaken by organisations and individuals, and the dedication and commitment of the legal sector to positively impact individuals and communities.
The evening was hosted by Paddy O’Connell, broadcaster and presenter of Radio 4’s ‘Broadcasting House’. Guests from across the pro bono, advice and legal aid sectors, were welcomed by Christina Blacklaws, Vice-President of the Law Society and Alasdair Douglas, Chair of LawWorks. James Harper, Executive Sponsor, Rule of Law and CSR at Lexis Nexis UK, also offered a few words as the awards sponsors.
Winners were chosen in nine categories representing the breadth and range of pro bono delivery across the profession in England and Wales. Michael Napier QC was honoured with an award for Outstanding Commitment to Pro Bono which was presented by the Solicitor-General, Robert Buckland QC MP.
Hilarie Bass, President of the American Bar Association (ABA) delivered the Annual lecture referencing law debates across both sides of the Atlantic; she said ‘the phrase “Equal justice under law” is engraved on the front of the United States Supreme Court building..but the idea is older and comes from Runneymede and Magna Carta.’ Ms Bass spoke about a growing “justice gap” in both the UK and US, and the importance of pro bono as a shared commitment to equal justice under the law.
LawWorks Chief Executive Martin Barnes said, ‘Congratulations to the winners and all the shortlisted nominees for the valuable work they are doing which is positively impacting individuals, families and communities across England and Wales. The judges were truly inspired by the range and quality of legal pro bono being delivered and the commitment of the legal profession to pro bono. I would like to thank Hilary Bass and Paddy O’Connell for helping to make the evening such a huge success’.
James Harper, Executive Sponsor, Rule of Law and CSR for LexisNexis UK & Ireland said, ‘On behalf of LexisNexis I would like to congratulate all those nominated, for their dedication and commitment to enabling access to justice. Lexis Nexis is honoured to support the LawWorks Pro Bono Awards which raise awareness of the impressive range of pro bono projects being delivered across the country.’
The winners of the Awards were:
- Best Contribution by a Small Firm - Joint winners: Curtis Law Solicitors LLP, and Hugh Jones Solicitors
- Best Contribution by a Firm with an English Regional Head Office - Muckle LLP
- Best Contribution by a Firm with a London Head Office - Duncan Lewis Solicitors
- Best Contribution by an International Firm - Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
- Best Contribution by an In-House Team - Microsoft Limited
- Best Contribution by an Individual - Joint nominees: Rebecca Greenhalgh, Ashurst LLP, and Felicity Kirk, Ropes & Gray LLP
- Junior Lawyers Division Pro Bono Award - Josh Little, Allen & Overy LLP
- The LawWorks Cymru Award - Citizens Advice Rhondda Cynon Taff
- Most Effective Pro Bono Partnership - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP and Haringey Law Centre
- Outstanding Contribution to Pro Bono - Michael Napier QC
Notes to editors:
- LawWorks is a charity working in England and Wales to connect volunteer lawyers both with people in need of legal advice, who are not eligible for Legal Aid and cannot afford to pay, and with the not for profit organisations that support them and their communities. LawWorks believes in the power of pro bono legal advice to improve the lives of people in need. For further information about LawWorks visit: www.lawworks.org.uk
- The shortlist and winners were chosen by a judging panel that comprised Mick Antoniw, former 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.
- LexisNexis Legal & Professional is 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 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 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.
- Press Contact: James Sandbach t: 0207 092 3943 e: [email protected]