The best pro bono efforts of the legal profession to provide access to justice were honoured last night at a special ceremony in London, with winners receiving their awards from Labour MP David Lammy.
More than 250 people gathered for the latest LawWorks Annual Pro Bono Awards. This year's honours included a special award to mark the 10th anniversary of the Access to Justice Foundation, which generates new sources of funding to support the free legal advice sector, and receives funds from pro bono costs orders and donations of dormant client account funds.
Lammy, who was commissioned by the government to conduct a landmark review of potential racial bias in the criminal justice system, delivered the annual lecture. He 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.'
The 2018 LawWorks Pro Bono Awards winners 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