LONDON – The Domestic Abuse Response Alliance (DARA), a major nationwide collaboration between nine leading international law firms including Reed Smith, won the Pro Bono Initiative of the Year category at The Lawyer Awards 2023.

DARA was launched in February 2022 to provide pro bono legal advice and representation to survivors of domestic abuse in need of protective injunctions. Lawyers for DARA have acted for dozens of clients across the UK.

The Reed Smith team supporting DARA includes partner Sally-Ann Underhill, associates Alia Khalil, Alfred Perkins and Louisa Martac, and Becca Naylor, Reed Smith’s Head of Pro Bono across EMEA.

Becca Naylor commented: “We are delighted that DARA has received this prestigious recognition. We are so proud to be a founding member of the alliance. DARA is providing much-needed support and advice to survivors of domestic abuse who might otherwise not be able to afford, or have access to, legal guidance.”

More details on the project can be found on the DARA website.

Reed Smith’s Afghan Pro Bono Initiative (APBI) was highly commended at the awards. APBI was set up in collaboration with Safe Passage, Refugee Legal Support, and 13 other City law firms in 2022. APBI supports Afghan individuals in need of legal advice, support, and representation as they try to find safe routes to sanctuary.

A third Reed Smith initiative, the Ukraine Refugee Project (URP), was also shortlisted. Through the URP, Reed Smith, in collaboration with Safe Passage and other City law firms, supports refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine who are in need of legal advice, support, and representation. The scheme is particularly focused on those wanting to resettle in the UK.