We are pleased to announce that Duncan Lewis has been shortlisted for Pro Bono Initiative of the Year at the 2018 Lawyer Awards! The Lawyer Awards reward best practices and celebrate excellence across the legal profession, making the awards ceremony one of the biggest nights on the legal calendar.
The Pro Bono Initiative of the Year award recognises the dedicated pro bono work undertaken by a firm in the last year. We are proud that the work carried out by our different departments and our Pro Bono Committee, chaired by Emine Mehmet, has been recognised by The Lawyer Awards.
Our nomination includes the remarkable work carried out by the Immigration team as part of the RLS Athens Project last year, where a number of our solicitors went to Greece to offer pro bono assistance to asylum seekers. Our Immigration Director, Zofia Duszynska, secured £10,000 from Norton Rose Fullbright to further the project. Trainee solicitors Marios Kontos and Elena Georgiou’s fluency in Greek enabled them to translate asylum documents when assisting claimants. Sondos Arafa, trainee solicitor, as an Arabic speaker, facilitated Syrian refugees’ communication of their claims.
Led by Housing Director Heather Iqbal Rayner the Cardiff branch’s housing pro bono work has also been recognised as part of our nomination. Not only does the team run two housing surgeries in Cardiff but individuals have also contributed to Duncan Lewis’ pro bono initiative. Heather works with pro bono support and disability action groups, Lynda Reid has set up two pro bono surgeries in the Blaenau Gwent area, and Christopher Simmonds uses his annual leave to attend tribunal hearings for his Asylum Justice pro bono clients.
In June 2017 our London offices’ Crime, Housing, Public Law and Personal Injury departments collaborated to support the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire, providing drop-in pro bono clinics and helped to raise money for the victims.
Our recognised work extends to the assistance we have provided overseas. Senior Caseworker Patrick Page and Director Toufique Hossain, both from the Public Law team, led a seminar on the 1951 Refugee Convention hosted by the Xavier Project (XP) in Uganda, which works in Kenya and Uganda to enable refugees to access education and vocational training.
The results will be announced on Tuesday 26th June at the Grosvenor House Hotel. Huge congratulations to everyone whose hard work and dedication has helped secure this nomination.