The Law Society presented the award to 12 law firms for their work supporting Asylum Aid’s Statelessness Project which is helping to create ‘lasting and dramatic change in an area of significant public importance’.
The project involves volunteer lawyers working to help stateless individuals in the UK navigate the complex statelessness determination procedure. To date, the project has taken on 45 matters and helped 13 clients obtain recognition as stateless or other permanent status.
In addition to Reed Smith, the firms providing pro bono support include Orrick, Akin Gump, Ashurst, Cooley, Dentons, Freshfields, Latham & Watkins, Morrison & Foerster, O'Melveny, Skadden and White & Case.
Law Society of England and Wales president I. Stephanie Boyce, said: “Solicitors help so many people – including the most vulnerable in society – in so many ways and it is a great pleasure to be able to recognise the efforts of our outstanding winners.
“I would also like to pay tribute to the hard work, skill and dedication of their counterparts across England and Wales, who continue to champion the rule of law and to defend the right to justice for all despite the difficult circumstances so many of us have faced in the past year.”
Last year, Reed Smith was also highly commended for the Excellence in Pro Bono Award for its work with Kids in Need of Defense UK alongside Arnold & Porter, Covington & Burling, Ropes & Gray, Shearman & Sterling. Through the initiative, the free legal advice and support helps undocumented children and their families regularise their status so they can remain in the UK.