We are thrilled to announce that we have been shortlisted for the LawWorks Annual Pro Bono Awards for the LawWorks Cymru Award, and that immigration solicitor Samuel Bass has also been shortlisted for the Junior Lawyers Division Pro Bono Award.
The awards celebrate the best legal pro bono activities undertaken by organisations and individuals and the positive impact they have had on those helped.
The LawWorks Cymru Award recognises the pro bono initiatives carried out in Wales, and our Wales-based immigration department has been consistently providing pro bono services to those most in need of legal assistance and advice.
The team, led by director Vinita Templeton, has provided pro bono services to hundreds of vulnerable individuals and by recognising the difficulties that many people in the local communities face, they have sought out relevant charities and organisations to collaborate with and best enable them to assist those in need.
Vinita herself continues to take on significant pro bono work in relation providing essential advice to those who have been unfairly let down as a result of the Windrush Scandal and by also prioritising cases of Commonwealth veterans who have experienced significant historical injustices post-discharge from the army. In her latest action, acting on behalf of Commonwealth veterans of the British Army who now face extortionate immigration fees after not being made aware that they needed to apply for indefinite leave to remain immediately upon discharge, Vinita carried out all of the investigative work on a pro bono basis prior to launching the pre-action protocol.
A major contributor to the pro bono work carried out by the Wales team is solicitor Samuel Bass. His shortlisting should come as no surprise to those who know the extent of his pro bono work. He routinely goes above and beyond to provide quality pro bono services to those most in need and as such, has dedicated a considerable amount of his free time to volunteering for Asylum Justice, the only charitable organisation in Wales that offers free legal advice and representation to asylum seekers, recognised refugees, and vulnerable migrants.
This long-standing commitment to volunteering for Asylum Justice has seen Samuel devoting his Monday evenings to assisting every refugee or asylum seeker that attends the drop-in session, often taking on over 30 clients in a single evening. During these sessions, Samuel has identified the merits of numerous cases which have gone on to achieve successful outcomes at application, appeal, and judicial review stages.
His commitment to Asylum Justice does not end with the clinic, throughout the week – in addition to the work he does full time with the rest of the Duncan Lewis immigration team – Samuel organises bundles for court listings, takes instructions from clients, and continually assists Asylum Justice by answering queries from other volunteers and their staff.
We are incredibly proud of the pro bono work carried out by Samuel and everybody in the Wales-based team and are delighted that their commitment has been recognised and acknowledged by LawWorks through these shortlistings.
This year’s awards will be held online and broadcast live from 6pm on Wednesday, 2nd December. We offer huge congratulations to Sam and to the team and wish them the best of luck at the ceremony. Llongyfarchiadau a phob lwc!