Success for Shoosmiths at LawWorks Pro Bono Awards

Success for Shoosmiths at LawWorks Pro Bono Awards


Author: Sophie Llewhelin

Shoosmiths has been celebrating its second year of success at the 2012 LawWorks Pro Bono Awards.

The national law firm won the category for Best Contribution by a Regional Firm, a year after winning the Partnership in Pro Bono award in 2011.

The prestigious event was hosted by the Law Society and held at the Chancery Court Hotel, London.

Legal advisers from Shoosmiths' Northampton and Milton Keynes-based offices worked closely with the Northampton and District Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) - who host the monthly clinic - to help launch the pro bono legal advice centre, in 2011.

Clients at the clinic are given access to free legal advice from Shoosmiths legal experts on issues including employment, landlord and tenant, debt and civil litigation.

Significant support is provided by students from the University of Northampton Law School.

Award winners were selected by a panel of independent judges which included Baroness Patricia Scotland, John Wotton, President of the Law Society and journalist and commentator, Joshua Rozenberg.

Shoosmiths private client specialists Sharine Burgess and Shelley Nedimovic, collected the award. Burgess co-ordinates the pro bono project, while Nedimovic regularly supervises the clinics.

Burgess said: "We're thoroughly delighted to have won this award.

"A great deal of teamwork has gone into making the pro bono clinics a success; success that could not have been achieved without the significant support given by the Northampton and District Citizens Advice Bureau."

Chief Executive of Northampton and District Citizens Advice Bureau Martin Lord said: "We're very pleased that one of the elements of this scheme that seems to have been attractive to the judges, and endorsed through the winning of this award, is that of effective partnership working.

"More and more, this is one of the measures of success by which charities are judged, so we're naturally delighted to have been involved and recognised as such."

Senior lecturer in Law at the University of Northampton Law School Margaret Roberts added: "Many congratulations to Shoosmiths on winning this award. The University is delighted to be working alongside Shoosmiths and the CAB in this initiative.

"The pro bono clinic is of positive benefit to the local community and taking part in the clinic has enhanced the learning experience of our students. Working alongside advisers from Shoosmiths has enabled the students to understand the practical application of their knowledge and skills".

LawWorks is the operating name of the Solicitors Pro Bono Group, an independent charity which works with solicitors and in-house counsel to provide pro bono legal advice to individuals and community groups in need.

The LawWorks Pro Bono Awards celebrate the best legal pro bono activities undertaken by organisations and individuals and the positive impact they have had on those helped.

The event was sponsored by DG Legal and Mayer Brown.