Recognising the very best of the Bar’s commitment to Pro Bono work

Nominations for the Bar Pro Bono Award 2017 have opened at and the search for the very best of the Bar in the last 12 months begun.

With 20 years of illustrious winners celebrated in the Bar Pro Bono Unit’s most recent Annual Review (above), a host of standout nominations are expected from across the Bar.

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 What is the Award for?

Every year the Bar Pro Bono Award recognises outstanding commitment to pro bono work by a barrister or chambers. In deciding the winner, the judges will also take the importance of the assistance given and innovation.

Jess Campbell, the Bar Pro Bono Unit’s Chief Executive commented: ‘The pro bono contribution of barristers is extremely important and deserves recognition and celebration. The gratitude of pro bono clients is often enough for volunteers but this award helps to inspire others by showcasing the very best of the bar. I hope that many of you will consider making nominations this year.’

How do I Make a Nomination?

Entry is free and could not be simpler; just download the form and guidance on the website before the closing date Monday 9th October.

Who decides the Winner?

The winner will be selected by an expert judging panel chaired by the Unit President, Lord Peter Goldsmith QC.

New judges have been appointed this year including last year’s winner, John Collins, and the Secret Barrister. Leaders of industry bodies such as the Bar Council, Legal Practice Management Association and Institute of Barristers’ Clerks among others are also core members of the judging panel.

When will the Winner be Presented with their Award?

The winner will be presented with the award at this year’s Bar Conference, which takes place on Saturday 4th November.


Mary Dobson

Head of Fundraising and Communications

Bar Pro Bono Unit

Tel: 020 7092 3961


 The Bar Pro Bono Unit matches members of the public who are ineligible for legal aid and cannot afford legal help with a barrister. With over 3,800 volunteer barristers on their panel which includes a third of all QCs in England and Wales and after 20 years, the Unit remains one of the few free legal advice charities that covers every area of law, across all courts for members of the public who would otherwise have no avenue to access justice.

  1. Previous award winners have included Sir Keir Starmer KCB, PC, QC and Andrew Walker QC (the Vice-Chair, Bar Council).
  2. Bar Pro Bono Award Judges 2017:
  • Lord Goldsmith QC – Chairman of the Judging Panel
  • Julie Bishop – Director of the Law Centres Network
  • Catherine Calder – Co-Chair of the Legal Practice Management Association
  • John Collins – Bar Pro Bono Award 2016 winner
  • Sarah Grainger – Editor, Counsel magazine
  • Nicholas Hill – Chair of the Institute of Barristers’ Clerks
  • Andrew Langdon QC – Chair of the Bar
  • Duncan McCombe – Chair of the Young Barristers’ Committee
  • Lucinda Orr – Chairman of the Employed Bar Committee
  • The Secret Barrister

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