Orrick’s London office was recognized with two awards during the 2019 LawWorks Pro Bono Awards ceremony, held December 3 in London. The annual LawWorks Awards celebrate the best legal pro bono activities undertaken by UK organizations and individuals, and the positive impact they have on the community.
We won the Best New Pro Bono Activity Award for our work with UK charity Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID). BID launched a new project in January 2019 with Orrick and three other law firms to support individuals at risk of deportation. Trained volunteer lawyers apply for exceptional case funding (ECF) to provide clients facing deportation with access to publicly funded advice and representation, which helps clients and their families avoid the often long and traumatic appeals process. By early October, the project had already involved 45 pro bono volunteers from across the four firms, 731 hours of pro bono advice and 22 referrals from BID, resulting in eight successful applications for ECF.
Orrick was also recognized for our collaboration with Mencap, a leading learning disability charity, which won the Most Effective Pro Bono Partnership Award. Launched in May 2018, the Mencap Legal Network pro bono program provides representation for people with learning disabilities to secure the social benefits to which they are entitled. A team from Orrick’s London office partnered with Mencap, two other law firms (Fieldfisher and Shearman & Sterling), the University of Liverpool, IBM and a panel of over 30 barristers for the initiative.
Last month, Legal Week recognized Orrick as one of the top pro bono firms in the UK, ranking us #5 in the publication’s first ever pro bono survey. And earlier this year, The American Lawyer ranked us top five for both U.S. and international pro bono among global law firms.
The BID Exceptional Case Funding Project won the Best New Pro Bono Activity Award. Pictured are Lara Nonninger (Orrick), Sara Ewad (Debevoise & Plimpton), Claire Fourel (Ashurst), Carmen Kearney (BID), Katie Cotton (Orrick), Emma Rehal-Wilde (Debevoise & Plimpton), Pierre Makhlouf (BID) and Mehreen Malik (Orrick), with Lady Hale.