LawWorks Annual Pro Bono Awards

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

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

Alasdair Douglas, Chair of LawWorks Board of Trustees 

Paddy O'Connell (the host for the Awards), journalist and presenter of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Broadcasting house’

Christina Blacklaws, Vice president of the Law Society and a LawWorks trustee

James Harper, Executive Sponsor, Rule of Law and CSR for LexisNexis UK & Ireland

Hilarie Bass, President, American Bar Association, in conversation with Paddy O'Connell.

David Jones and Tom Young from Hugh Jones Solicitors collected Best Contribution by a Small Firm.

Best Contribution by a Firm with an English Regional Head Office - Hugh Welch, Muckle LLP, with Hilarie Bass.

Best Contribution by a Firm with a London Head Office - Emine Mehmet, Marios Kontos and David Head, Duncan Lewis Solicitors, receiving the award from Hilarie Bass.

Best Contribution by an International Firm was won by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, Bryon Spring and Natalie Farmer collecting the award from Hilarie Bass.

Best Contribution by an In-House Team winners - Microsoft Limited. Nadine Morgan and Mohammed Karim pictured collecting the award from Hilarie Bass.

Best Contribution by an Individual - The jointly nominated winners Felicity Kirk, Ropes & Gray LLP, and Rebecca Greenhalgh, Ashurst LLP, receiving their award from Hilarie Bass

Junior Lawyers Division Pro Bono Award winner Josh Little, Allen & Overy LLP, with Hilarie Bass

The LawWorks Cymru Award was won by Citizens Advice Rhondda Cynon Taff, Claire Ingrams pictured collecting the award from Hilarie Bass.

Most Effective Pro Bono Partnership winners Debevoise & Plimpton LLP and Haringey Law Centre - Peter Bates (Debevoise & Plimpton LLP), Victor Amadigwe (Haringey Law Centre), Julie Pickworth (Debevoise & Plimpton LLP), Charles Low (Debevoise & Plimpton LLP) Miranda Grell (Haringey Law Centre) joined Hilaire on stage to pick up the award.

Outstanding Contribution to Pro Bono - Michael Napier QC receiving his award from Solicitor General Robert Buckland QC MP and Hilarie Bass.

 

Sponsored by:                                                              Supported by:

Bryon Spring and Natalie Farmer, 
          Claire Ingrams