Firm Highly Commended for Excellence in Pro Bono At The Law Society Excellence Awards 2016

24 Oct 2016

International law firm Simmons & Simmons has been Highly Commended at the 2016 Law Society Excellence Awards for Excellence in Pro Bono.

The awards ceremony took place on Thursday 20 October at the Hilton Park Lane, London with the award being accepted by representatives of the firm, including pro bono lawyer Diane Sechi, international pro bono manager Olga Hancock, litigation associate Amelia Handoll-Clark and senior partner Colin Passmore.

The awards celebrate the very best work in the legal profession and the firm was recognised for its Access to Justice Programme, founded in May 2015 to deliver end to- end case work for welfare benefit appeals at the First Tier Tribunal. Now in its second year, the Programme has been very successful, with 65 cases opened and 53 concluded, the vast majority of which have been disability benefit appeals.

Colin Passmore, who collected the award, commented on the accolade, ‘‘It’s great to see our people rewarded for their time and efforts dedicated to pro bono and to lawyers at the coal face of welfare law actively making a difference to so many lives. I particularly take my hat off to the lawyers at the firm drawn from many disciplines and of varying degrees of seniority, who have in their own time become familiar with the essential elements of welfare law necessary to help this most vulnerable section of society”.

The Programme is not stand alone as it forms part of the firm’s wider Corporate Responsibility and Pro Bono strategy. Although the Programme can’t possibly address the massive unmet need, it has demonstrated that, with the correct conduit, the collective of Corporate Responsibility can make a meaningful societal difference.


Notes to editors:

1. We are a leading international law firm with fully integrated teams working through offices in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, and bring experienced professionals to some of the most active growth markets today. Our focus on a small number of sectors means we are able to understand and respond to our clients’ needs. Our industry sectors are: Asset Management & Investment Funds, Financial Institutions, Life Sciences and Telecoms, Media & Technology (TMT). We also focus on the Energy & Infrastructure market, in particular through our international projects and construction teams. We have a track record for innovation and delivering value to clients through new ways of working.

2. Simmons & Simmons is an international legal practice carried on by Simmons & Simmons LLP and its affiliated practices. Accordingly, references to Simmons & Simmons mean Simmons & Simmons LLP and the other partnerships and other entities or practices authorised to use the name “Simmons & Simmons” or one or more of those practices as the context requires. The word “partner” refers to a member of Simmons & Simmons LLP or an employee or consultant with equivalent standing and qualifications or to an individual with equivalent status in one of Simmons & Simmons LLP’s affiliated practices. For further information on the international entities and practices, refer to

3. In May 2015, Simmons & Simmons launched its UK Access to Justice Programme, as part of its commitments under the broader UK Collaborative Plan, which is a collaboration of the leading 30 UK law firms to promote access to justice for low income individuals. The scheme employs an in-house social welfare lawyer to oversee the work of lawyers employed by Simmons & Simmons in our London and Bristol offices. The Scheme delivers end to end case work for welfare benefit appeals at the First Tier Tribunal; an area of law removed from legal aid funding scope by the Legal Aid Punishment of Offenders Act 2012.

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5. For further information, please contact Jodi Young, Head of Marketing & Communications on +44 20 7825 3134 or at , or Lauryn McKinney, Communications & PR Executive on +44 20 7825 3764 or email