Sydney, 13 November 2020: Announcing its annual awards in London, Who's Who Legal has named Clayton Utz as the leading pro bono law firm for the second consecutive year, "in recognition of the firm's continued excellence" in pro bono work.
Who's Who Legal said that "in a field replete with outstanding pro bono practices from across the globe, Clayton Utz once again distinguished itself".
The award recognised that Clayton Utz has "two dedicated partners leading its pro bono group (David Hillard and Jessica Morath) and impressively high engagement figures throughout all levels of the firm. The way in which pro bono work is made intrinsic to the firm’s working practice really stood out".
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 FY2020, Clayton Utz acted in 1,239 pro bono matters, and provided 47,000 hours of pro bono legal services to low-income and vulnerable people who could not obtain Legal Aid and to the not-for-profits which support them. One in every 27 hours of legal work was for a pro bono client. And those numbers are growing with the increased legal need caused by Covid-19. The last six months were the firm's busiest ever for pro bono work.
"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 over 725,000 hours of pro bono legal services since its formal pro bono practice was established in 1997. In FY2020, the firm averaged 55 hours of pro bono work per lawyer, exceeding a 50 hours pro bono average for the fifth year in a row.