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HomeLegal InsightEditor's PicksWinners of the 2022 TrustLaw Awards announced

Winners of the 2022 TrustLaw Awards announced

23 legal teams, non-profits and social enterprises have won this year’s TrustLaw Awards for their ground-breaking pro bono projects, which seek to address some of the world’s most pressing social and environmental challenges.

The award-winning projects facilitated through TrustLaw, the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s pro bono legal service, range from supplying affordable air purifiers to countries across Asia to enabling a ‘Rail to Refuge’ scheme to help survivors escape domestic abuse in the UK.

Now in their 11th year, the Awards aim to celebrate the extraordinary pro bono work undertaken by legal teams on behalf of NGOs and social enterprises through the TrustLaw service. This year’s award winners were announced at an in-person ceremony in London, UK, on 08 June, which brought together TrustLaw members from around the world for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ceremony was opened by the Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer, Antonio Zappulla OMRI, who highlighted that the total value of free legal assistance facilitated through TrustLaw since 2010 now stands at $225 million.

“The projects being awarded today show us what is possible when we combine our expertise across sectors for the common good. Even in the most uncertain of times, collaboration can effect positive change,” said Zappulla.

“These are only a handful of activities from the past year that are supporting those on the ground with the right resources to better serve their communities. All of this would not have been made possible without the generosity of our legal partners; that is what we celebrate and encourage more widely today.”

The event also saw Nicholas Glicher, the Foundation’s Chief Operating Officer, joined by Dr S. Chelvan, Barrister and Head of Immigration and Public Law at 33 Bedford Row, and Farah Nazeer, Chief Executive Officer of Women’s Aid, for a panel discussion on the role of the law and civil society in responding to surging threats to humanity.

2022 TrustLaw Award Winners:

With projects covering a range of sectors across five continents, this year’s winners demonstrate the global scale of the TrustLaw service and its role in spreading pro bono – particularly in regions where the practice of providing free legal assistance is less widespread.

The winners in the eight award categories, in alphabetical order, are:

1. TrustLaw Collaboration Award: Supporting Venezuelan migrants in the Americas

The TrustLaw Collaboration Award went to Venezuelan non-profit Un Mundo Sin Mordazaand law firms Philippi Prietocarrioza Ferrero DU & Uría from Colombia and Peru;Robalino Abogados from Ecuador; Foley Hoag from the US; Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr. e Quiroga Advogados from Brazil; Morales, Besa y Cía Ltda from Chile; andRichards, Cardinal, Tutzer, Zabala & Zaefferer from Argentina, for developing a legal guide that summarises laws and regulations applicable to Venezuelan migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers in seven host countries.

The collaboration resulted in an easy-to-use tool, designed to help Venezuelans who are forced to flee their country better navigate the challenges they could face. The exponential reach of this vital work was quickly demonstrated: in just one month after the launch of the guide, Un Mundo sin Mordaza had already assisted more than 4,500 Venezuelans in need.

2.  TrustLaw COVID-19 Response Award: Helping survivors escape abuse in the UK

Women’s Aid and law firm Milbank received the TrustLaw COVID-19 Response Award for spearheading efforts to formalise a ‘Rail to Refuge’ scheme in the UK, which provided survivors of domestic abuse free train travel to a safe place at a recognised refuge during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of December 2021, the scheme has enabled around 2,000 people – predominantly women, as well as 500 children – to escape domestic violence.

3. TrustLaw Impact Award: Protecting journalists during protests in the US

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a US-based non-profit, and law firm Allen & Overy, won the TrustLaw Impact Award for developing a ‘Know Your Rights’ guide for journalists covering protests in the US.

The guide filled a gap in the safety information available to journalists in the US and has been shared by CPJ with journalists and newsrooms ahead of several planned protests following the summer of 2020. It has been read more than 1,000 times on CPJ’s website and continues to be circulated amongst media professionals, including by the White House Correspondents’ Association, Online SOS, and US Press Freedom Tracker.

4. TrustLaw Powered by Pro Bono Award: Improving access to affordable air purifiers in Asia

Smart Air, a social enterprise based in China, and law firms Gibson Dunn & Crutcher; White & Case; Latham & Watkins; DLA Piper; Baker Botts; Weerawong, Chinnavat & Partners Ltd; and SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan won the TrustLaw Powered by Pro Bono Award for helping Smart Air expand its operations and provide its affordable air purifiers across six countries in Asia.

5. TrustLaw International Law Firm of the Year: Eversheds Sutherland

The TrustLaw International Law Firm of the Year Award was given to Eversheds Sutherland for providing free legal assistance on a large number of advisory projects, including providing webinar sessions to non-profits and social enterprises in Europe and the US through TrustLaw in 2021.

6. TrustLaw Regional Law Firm of the Year Award

The TrustLaw Regional Law Firm of the Year Award was presented to Bowmans for its pro bono legal assistance on various advisory and research projects in Africa through TrustLaw between 2020 and 2021.

7. TrustLaw In-house Legal Team of the Year Award: DXC Technology

DXC Technology, a US-based information technology services and consulting company, was announced the winner of the TrustLaw In-House Legal Team of the Year Award. It offered pro bono expertise on a range of projects, including those related to intellectual property and trademark, to Europe and US-based NGOs and social enterprises.

8. TrustLaw Lawyer of the Year Award: Fernanda Gajardo Manríquez

From more than 50 nominations received from NGOs and social enterprises, Fernanda Gajardo Manríquez from Chile’s law firm Q&C Abogados was voted in an online poll as the TrustLaw Lawyer of the Year. Gajardo Manríquez contributed to projects related to research on improving the quality of journalism in Argentina, and governance assistance for non-profits to support underserved communities through emerging technologies.

In addition, Latham & Watkins received the TrustLaw 10-year Anniversary Award, which the law firm won in 2020, but was unable to collect after the disruptions from COVID-19 led to the cancellation of an in-person ceremony.

Operational since July 2010, the TrustLaw service is today the world’s largest pro bono network. More than 5,600* NGOs and social enterprises are members, receiving free legal assistance from around 1,000 law firms and in-house corporate counsels. The service has facilitated more than 8,400 legal projects across 175 countries, empowering thousands of organisations to achieve greater impact.

For more details about the winners, nominees and TrustLaw Awards, please visit www.trust.org/trustlaw/awards/2022.

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