Debevoise Wins at LawWorks Annual Pro Bono Awards

4 December 2019

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has been recognised at the annual LawWorks Pro Bono Awards, winning the Best New Pro Bono Activity category, and being highly commended in the Best International Pro Bono Award category.

The awards celebrate the best legal pro bono activities undertaken by UK organisations and individuals, and the positive impact they have on those helped.

Debevoise won the Best New Pro Bono Activity category for its work with UK charity Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID).

BID launched the BID ECF project in January 2019 with Debevoise and three other law firms. The project sees trained volunteer lawyers apply for exceptional case funding (ECF) on behalf of clients facing deportation currently in prison, detention centres or on bail. Successful ECF applications allow clients to access publicly funded advice and representation to make the case against deportation. This then saves the client and their family from having to go through 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, 22 referrals from BID, and had seen eight successful applications for ECF, and zero unsuccessful applications.

The firm was also highly commended in the Best International Pro Bono Award category for its work with the Centre for Reproductive Rights (CRR).

A team from Debevoise’s London office worked with the CRR in submitting communications to the UN Human Rights Committee, asking for Nicaragua, Guatemala and Ecuador to be found in breach of its international human rights obligations for failing to protect young survivors of sexual violence. To view a video profiling the work, click here.

Since the firm’s founding in 1931, pro bono work has been central to Debevoise’s culture. This latest recognition follows the firm’s UK pro bono programme being named in a GivX report as amongst the best in the country (details here).