Reed Smith won the award for the growth of its pro bono practice over the past five years, the breadth of pro bono opportunities, and the impact of its work on its clients.
Judges specifically cited the firm’s immigration work with KIND in assisting undocumented children, its work with the Prisoners’ Advice Service, helping EU migrants with the AIRE Centre, its family law and domestic violence clinic with University House Legal Advice Centre and its disability benefit appeals.
They also recognised the firm’s significant increase in pro bono engagement during lockdown, delivering an average of 1,900 hours of pro bono work a month from March to June. They also acknowledged how difficult it is to operate during the pandemic and gave the firm special praise for managing this.
Michael Skrein, Reed Smith’s EMEA Pro Bono partner, comments: “Reed Smith is passionate about access to justice and bringing positive change to our communities. We are immensely proud of the work we do in this area and we are grateful for this award.”
Reed Smith’s Head of Pro Bono EMEA is Becca Naylor, and she is assisted by associate Jessica Tagg.
Associate Miriam Bandera was highly commended in the ‘Junior Lawyers Division’ category for her impressive pro bono record spanning multiple projects and subject matters. She leads on the firm’s work for Lawyers Without Borders, which involves coordinating a team of over 30 lawyers on large-scale research projects to combat human trafficking, child labour and forced labour.
The firm was shortlisted for two additional categories:
- Best International Pro Bono Award - for its involvement in drafting the Female Genital Mutilation Model Law, led by associate Anna Greenfield.
- Best Contribution by an Individual – for Partner Elle Todd’s significant contributions to the firm’s pro bono practice.