Sydney, 21 May 2019: Clayton Utz has been awarded the Who's Who Legal Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year 2019.
At the award ceremony in London on 16 May, Who's Who Legal said the award recognised that "there appear to be few firms that can match the strength of Clayton Utz’s pro bono culture and levels of firm engagement". Clayton Utz was described as serving "a fine example to the legal market internationally of the ways in which pro bono can be integrated into a firm's culture".
Accepting the award, Clayton Utz national Pro Bono practice group leader David Hillard said that he was honoured by the international recognition of the firm's long-standing commitment to pro bono work: "It is a remarkably strong pro bono culture at Clayton Utz. The real secret is that we made pro bono work normal, a part of everyone's everyday practice. From the beginning we made pro bono work real work, and a shared responsibility. From the beginning, we spoke in terms of pro bono being about access to justice, and being an inherent professional obligation of all lawyers."
In FY2018, Clayton Utz acted in 1,299 pro bono matters, and provided almost 40,000 hours of pro bono legal services to low-income and vulnerable people who cannot obtain Legal Aid and to the not-for-profits which support them. One in every 30 hours of legal work was for a pro bono client.
"We act for people to enforce their rights to secure housing, secure employment, avoid financial exploitation or to reverse an injustice. These are the basic things we all need as citizens to have confidence in our society and of our place in it," said David.
Clayton Utz has provided a total of 650,000 pro bono hours since its formal pro bono practice was established in 1997. This year, the firm expects to average over 50 hours of pro bono work per lawyer for the fourth year in a row.