As deadline approaches, the Bar Pro Bono Unit is urging practitioners to enter their nominations for the 2008 Bar Pro Bono Award.
The Award is given to an individual barrister, set of chambers or legal department employing barristers in recognition of their outstanding commitment to pro bono work. The eleventh Bar Pro Bono Award will be presented at the 2008 Bar Conference on Saturday 1 November 2008 at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, London.
The Bar Pro Bono Award was set up by Lord Goldsmith QC in 1996 in honour of his late father, Sydney Elland Goldsmith, who worked as a solicitor in Liverpool and who died during Lord Goldsmith's year as Bar Council Chairman in 1995.
The panel of judges for this year's award are:
Desmond Hudson, Chief Executive of the Law Society; David Hobart, Chief Executive of the Bar Council; Steve Johnson, Chair of the Advice Services Alliance; Diane Burleigh, Chief Executive of the Institute of Legal Executives; and Gary Brown, Chair of the Institute of Barristers' Clerks.
The closing date for nominations is 5.00 pm on 31 July 2008. Nominations should be in the form of a letter addressed to Rebecca Wilkie at the Bar Pro Bono Unit. The nomination may be accompanied by up to four supporting testimonials.
Nominations will be accepted from any source. The judges will consider a broad range of factors including the commitment of time by the barrister or chambers, the importance of the assistance given, innovation, inspiration or example in the work undertaken as well as commitment to the pro bono ethic.
Commenting on the awards, Robin Knowles QC, Chairman of the Bar Pro Bono Unit said: "This Award is a celebration of the dedication and commitment of the many legal practitioners who give their time freely to advise, support and represent those who need but cannot afford legal assistance. Every barrister, at every stage in his or her career, can be involved in pro bono work in some way. A pro bono contribution is part of being at the Bar, and a member of the wider legal profession."