The sponsors of the British Legal Awards (BLA) this year are recognizing a cohort of dedicated Reed Smith lawyers and staff in the UK for their innovative work. The BLA shortlisted the law firm’s Global Solutions division in Leeds for its Strategic Legal Operations award, and it shortlisted four of Reed Smith’s EMEA pro bono projects for the BLA Outstanding Social Impact award.

Global Solutions

Global Solutions Leeds offers supplemental services including legal engineering and continuous improvement methodologies, to Reed Smith practice and industry groups across the firm, and directly to the firm’s clients. Capabilities include bulk review and analysis of data/documents; automated document production; transaction management and project coordination; deal closing; information and document management, etc.

Pro bono team

The firm’s EMEA pro bono team gained recognition for its projects helping vulnerable clients.

Its Tower Hamlets Mediation Project is a community mediation service that helps residents of Tower Hamlets and Dover to resolve challenging conflicts. Project leaders include Resolution Consultancy founder Irene Grindell and Reed Smith’s Kevin-Paul Deveau, Sofia Papaspyropoulou and Elli Aidini.

Reed Smith is working with Kids in Need of Defense UK which focuses on regularizing the immigration status of undocumented children. At Reed Smith, this work is led by partner Mark Pring, associates Corina Lefter and Georgia Crossman.

The Afghan Pro Bono Initiative was set up in 2022 to support Afghan individuals in need of legal advice, support and representation as they try to find safe routes to sanctuary. Reed Smith works in collaboration with Safe Passage International, Refugee Legal Support and 13 other City law firms. Reed Smith partner Bronwen Jones and trainees Yasmin Duffy and Ahmed Wally lead the firm’s work on this project.

The Rule 39 Human Rights Project is a Europe-wide project in partnership with the Italian Coalition for Civil Liberties and Rights and eight other international law firms. Lawyers in the project help to prepare Rule 39 interim measures applications to the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of asylum seekers. Reed Smith partner Daja Apetz-Dreier and associates Dimitris Athanasopoulos and Katrin Gerceker lead the firm’s work on this project.

All these projects are coordinated by the firm’s EMEA pro bono team, including counsel Becca Naylor and associate Jessica Tagg.

The British Legal Awards, hosted by International, profess to being “the premier legal awards in the region, representing the best of the best within the UK’s legal community.”