Melbourne, 18 May 2015: Clayton Utz was named Law Firm of the Year (more than 50 partners) at the 2015 Law Institute of Victoria Awards on Friday 15 May. The award recognises the firm's professional excellence, pro bono commitment and broader community involvement.
The Law Firm of the Year award is judged against a range of criteria, including: innovative initiatives to enhance or improve staff development and wellbeing, corporate social responsibility or business success; strategic vision and leadership resulting in successful outcomes and changes in culture, strategy or business growth; and commitment to corporate social responsibility.
As well as general professional excellence and innovation, Clayton Utz was commended for our pro bono contribution which will see us reach the milestone of 500,000 hours of pro bono legal services since the Pro Bono practice was established in 1997. This is the most pro bono hours conducted by any firm in Australia, and any outside of the United States.
Clayton Utz was also acknowledged for our broader community involvement in Victoria. The firm has longstanding partnerships with community organisations such as AMES, Ardoch Youth Foundation, Beacon Foundation, FareShare, Fitted for Work, Foundation for Young Australians, and The Footpath Library. The Clayton Utz Foundation has also funded an innovative three-year pilot project known as The Bendigo Advocacy-Health Alliance, which aims to improve access to justice for low income and disadvantaged Australians through medical-legal partnerships.
In support of the firm's nomination for the award, Ardoch Youth Foundation's Corporate Relationships Executive Danielle Griffin wrote that Ardoch took pride in and highly valued its "model business community partnership" with Clayton Utz. "The partnership has been foundational in enabling development of flagship education support programs and expanding nationally to work with more schools and students in disadvantaged communities," Ms Griffin wrote. In 2014 over 200 Clayton Utz employees across Australia volunteered as Big Buddy Mentors for Primary School Students in disadvantaged communities through the Ardoch Youth Foundation Literacy Buddies® program. This was the fifteenth year of Clayton Utz's involvement in the program.
Chief Executive Partner Rob Cutler said the award reflected the commitment and dedication of Clayton Utz partners and employees.
"Clayton Utz is proud of our leadership in pro bono as well as our reputation for professional excellence and innovation. Pro bono and social responsibility are part of our culture and a fundamental aspect of working at Clayton Utz. The actions of our people reflect these values, and this award is great recognition for their contributions to the legal profession and the wider community."
The Law Institute of Victoria Awards celebrate outstanding law firms and individuals who truly advance the legal profession, contribute to community or demonstrate excellence in legal practice in Victoria.