The public law team is delighted that Andrew Lidbetter, practice head, has won the Best Contribution by an Individual Award at the LawWorks Annual Pro Bono Awards 2019. This category considers pro bono lawyers as well as senior partners who have championed pro bono legal work in a firm. The award was presented by the Rt Hon. The Baroness Hale of Richmond DBE at an event on 3 December 2019 attended by over 260 finalists and guests from across the pro bono, advice, legal aid and charity sectors.
For well over a decade, Andrew has been leading teams of lawyers at Herbert Smith Freehills acting pro bono on numerous high-profile strategic interventions in cases, particularly in the Supreme Court, for NGO clients, using the same public law skillset that he deploys for his commercial clients. Providing pro bono legal support to charities through this work increases the organisations’ capacity to take part in strategic interventions and allows them to focus their resources during such interventions on marshalling their expert knowledge or experience in the relevant area.
Andrew has long standing links with the NGOs concerned, for example Andrew has been a JUSTICE Council member since 2013 and was part of JUSTICE’s working party that reported on Delivering Justice in the Age of Austerity (2015). Andrew leads the firm’s collaboration with the Public Law Project, who have held their annual conference at Herbert Smith Freehills for more than 10 years. He has championed rolling trainee secondments to Liberty and (more recently) the AIRE Centre for over 15 years.
This award follows the public law team’s success in winning the pro bono award at the LexisNexis awards 2019. The firm was also highly commended in the Best Contribution by a Large Firm category for its work with charity Steel Warriors and in the Most Effective Pro Bono Partnership for the firm’s partnership with the Asylum Support Appeals Project. Maryam Oghanna (Associate, Disputes) was also highly commended in the Junior Lawyers Division Pro Bono Award category.