The winners, announced on Wednesday 2 November at Middle Temple Hall, have gone above and beyond in their pro bono work. From assisting Afghan Judges escape the Taliban, to representing bereaved families at inquests, to encouraging social mobility within the Bar, to inspiring transformational change within chambers, all the winners have undertaken important pro bono work that have made a difference.   

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees, you are all #ProBonoHeroes.

Advocate received the highest number of nominations ever this year, a total of 78 nominations across 10 categories, which is testament to all the incredible pro bono work going on at the Bar.

Click here to download the brochure with the full list of shortlisted nominees.

Click here to watch the awards online.


Junior Pro Bono Barrister of the Year

Sponsored by Westgate Wealth Management 

Winner: Catherine Meredith, Doughty Street Chambers

Special Mention: Joanne Porter & Joanne Brown, 4PB

Special Mention: Abigail Bright, Doughty Street Chambers

Catherine Meredith (Winner)

‘Catherine worked tirelessly on their cases for months, before any funding was available, exploring all potential avenues to help bring these individuals and their families to safety.’

Catherine is a human rights, anti-trafficking and refugee specialist. She has been involved in significant pro bono work relating to prominent immigration issues across the past year.

Through Advocate, she took on the cases of eight Afghan BBC journalists seeking urgent relocation to the UK under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP). Catherine created a litigation, media and parliamentary campaign strategy and worked on pre-action correspondence and judicial review against the government. The case settled and the government issued an apology and conducted a ‘lessons learned’ review.

Catherine provided extensive legal and strategic advice to a coalition of anti-trafficking groups and written evidence to the Select Committee on Modern Slavery and Trafficking under the Nationality and Borders legislation. She also represented the UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons in relation to the processing of victims of trafficking under the Memorandum of Understanding with regards to removals to Rwanda. Catherine provided unique expertise to other lawyers regarding the process of obtaining a Rule 39 ‘injunction’ to stop the first flight to Rwanda.

Joanne Porter & Joanne Brown (Special Mention)


‘To do all of this for a vulnerable client pro bono shows a depth of commitment to their client, but also to the interests of justice more widely. The trial simply would not have functioned had they not provided this representation.’

Joanne and Joanne appeared pro bono for a carer under suspicion when a severely disabled child was poisoned with excessive salt, causing irreversible brain damage. As she is a Polish native speaker, there were potential language barriers to their participating in the complex hearing.

The two Joannes joined the case late and faced significant preparatory work. The papers were over 30,000 pages and five medical experts were instructed. The four-week hearing also involved significant travel and accommodation costs for them all. Joanne Brown partly funded their client’s travel costs and paid for an interpreter for most of their pre-trial conferences with their client.

Their written and oral advocacy was described as ‘exceptional’ and their client was fully exonerated, with her high quality of care for the child acknowledged by the judge. The judge commended Joanne and Joanne for their extraordinary work in a postscript to her judgment.

Abigail Bright (Special Mention)

‘She is highly respected by other lawyers for her pro bono work... her enthusiasm for pro bono work is a constant incentive to others to give of their time.’

What sets apart Abigail’s pro bono caseload is that it has much wider significance for the law. In February of this year, Abigail represented Paul Cleeland, who was convicted of murder in 1971, in his claim brought in judicial review of the Criminal Cases Review Commission. The court’s preliminary ruling established an important point of jurisdiction concerning claims in judicial review brought against decisions of the CCRC.

In addition, Abigail spends many hours per month providing free training and support to younger members of the legal profession. This contributes to the quality of advocacy and service which clients receive. Many of those she has trained have sought her out for ongoing mentoring.

Pro Bono KC of the Year

Sponsored by Hewetson & Co

Winner: Mark Harries KC, Serjeants’ Inn

Special Mention: Sophie Cartwright KC, Deans Court

Mark Harries KC (Winner)

‘Mark’s enthusiasm in even the most challenging situation is inspiring for both us at Advocate and for our applicant to provide a glimpse of hope. Mark is an invaluable member of our volunteer panel.’

Mark’s practice stands out for the importance, impact and range of pro bono cases he undertakes. In the last 12 months alone, he has promoted access to justice by representing:

  • a nurse with mental health fragility in disciplinary proceedings;
  • solicitor Claire Mathews in a case ‘which put the spotlight on mental health in the UK [legal] profession’;
  • a party in disciplinary proceedings involving a high-profile senior soldier in the British Army.

The impact for his clients is clear. Mark’s reassurance and guidance, as well as his legal expertise, is key. As an advisory panel member of the charity Inside Justice, Mark has provided pro bono legal advice to prisoners in joint enterprise cases and in two murder cases. He also secured Leave to Appeal in a multi-hander drug case in which a prisoner is serving a minimum of 19 years. Mark led a pro bono review of this case which covered neurodiversity, challenging trial representation, securing new evidence connected to a related conviction from a different jurisdiction and the admission of bad character evidence.

Sophie Cartwright KC (Special Mention)

‘Sophie’s dedication on this case is a testament to her expertise as a barrister and to her willingness to help those in need. She has been a lifeline for our applicant who is grieving, and her work has been truly life changing.’

Sophie Cartwright KC is an Advocate Pro Bono Champion at her Chambers, Deans Court. Earlier this year she was one of only a few Northern Circuit Silks to complete #25for25: The Pro Bono Challenge, in which barristers were asked to do 25 hours of pro bono as part of Advocate’s 25th anniversary.

Sophie has been involved in a complex and difficult judicial review matter for an inquest case through Advocate. Her client tragically lost their four-year-old son, and Sophie has spent many hours working tirelessly on this matter and laboured hard to achieve a favourable outcome for her client.

Without Sophie’s help to hold the coroner’s office to account, as well as the local authorities, other children in the area may be at risk and failed by the local care authorities.

Sophie's efforts go far beyond her duty to her clients and her compassion shines through in her preparation and diligence in dealing with the most difficult cases.

International Pro Bono Barrister of the Year

Sponsored by DX Delivery

Winner: Tatyana Eatwell

‘The level of Tatyana’s expertise and passion has been critical to our successes on the case. She has been wonderful to work with and has always made herself available to support pro bono. We are truly grateful for all she has done.’

Tatyana is Head of Doughty Street International and specialises in public international law and international human rights law. She leads a team of over fifty practitioners, in the UK and abroad and devotes much of her time to assisting and encouraging junior members of the team with the development of their important international pro bono work.

Her international pro bono work has, for the last year, been focused on three main cases:

  • Supporting the Yazidi Justice Committee by co-authoring a report on State Responsibility and the Yazidi Genocide.
  • Seeking justice for Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe through her work with Redress, a commitment which has spanned nearly five years.
  • Seeking justice for two journalists killed in South Sudan (Christopher Allen) and Libya (Anton Hammerl), much of which has been done pro bono.

Her work led directly to Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's release and secured justice for the Yazidi community. Tatyana really goes above and beyond, spending countless hours drafting legal analysis, attending strategy meetings, and dedicating herself to her clients.

Pro Bono Chambers' Professional of the Year

Sponsored by the LPMA

Winner: Tom O’Connor, Serjeants’ Inn

Special Mention: Jamie Tucker, 12KBW

Tom O’Connor (Winner)

‘Whenever I call Tom, day or night, trying to place cases he is 99.9% always able to help us find a volunteer. Tom does all of this with such care and kindness, we could not do what we do without him.’

Tom plays a crucial role in driving a pro bono ethos in his Chambers to support and steer clients through what sadly is often the crisis of their lives. Tom’s commitment to helping vulnerable people shapes everything he does and inspires those within his Chambers.

He and his team have clerked many pro bono cases this year, including a High Court case in which a hospital trust sought declarations that it was lawful and in the best interests of a nineteen-month-old child, who sustained a profound neurological injury at birth, for ceilings of care to be imposed. Three Serjeants’ Inn barristers, Emma Sutton, Neil Davy and Susanna Rickard, were instructed pro bono. 

The judge noted in his judgment that: ‘…parents such as these have little option but to rely upon the goodwill, availability, and dedication of members of the Bar acting for free.

It is a significant clerking challenge to find three counsel to act in a case at such short notice. It will be no surprise that the ‘availability’ of counsel for this, and other pro bono cases, is in no small part down to Tom.

Jamie Tucker (Special Mention)

We are incredibly grateful that Jamie has been so willing to make supporting pro bono work an important part of his career. He has truly set the standard.’

Jamie is a Senior Practice Manager at 12KBW, where he has played a huge role in promoting Chambers’ pro bono work with staff and barristers. Within only a few months of joining 12KBW, he contacted Advocate about becoming an Advocate Pro Bono Champion to encourage pro bono in Chambers.

Since then, Jamie has promoted pro bono among both staff and barristers at 12KBW, successfully obtaining representation for individuals in numerous practice areas. As of August 2022, ten members of chambers had taken on twelve pieces of work with Advocate, an increase on the same period in 2021.

By promoting pro bono work in chambers, Jamie has had a positive impact on claimant access to justice. 12KBW barristers Catherine Peck, Jeremy McKeown, Tim Goodwin, and Martina Murphy achieved positive results for their clients aided by Jamie’s relationship with Advocate, his promotion of pro bono work, and excellent clerking.

Pro Bono Chambers of the Year

Sponsored by ABC Chambers Solutions 

Joint Winners: Deans Court Chambers & Gatehouse Chambers

Deans Court Chambers (Joint Winner)

‘We would not be able to operate our service without the support of barristers and clerks like those at Deans Court Chambers.’  

Deans Court Chambers have taken on an impressive thirteen pieces of pro bono work this year alone. They were the only set on the Northern Circuit that had a trio of individuals who completed #25for25: The Pro Bono Challenge.

Deans Court’s commitment to pro bono goes further than taking on cases. In May 2022, they organised and hosted an event for Advocate and the Northern Circuit which focused on discussing pro bono and how it can develop your career. They are also working with Alexandra Andrei, President of the Manchester Pro Bono Society, at the University of Manchester, on an event about the benefits of pro bono for career development among junior barristers and those considering a career in the legal profession.

Additionally, barristers and clerks are in the process of actioning a plan so that future members and pupils are actively encouraged to sign up to Advocate to gain valuable experience in their career development. Matthew Gibbons of Deans Court, and the Northern Circuit representative for the IBC, is assisting in the development of a new educational programme for clerks all around the country, which includes the benefits of developing pro bono work in all Chambers nationwide.

Gatehouse Chambers (Joint Winner)

‘The incredible commitment to access to justice is evident in the culture and practice of Gatehouse and deserves to be acknowledged.’

Gatehouse was the most active Chambers in Advocate’s anniversary initiative #25for25: The Pro Bono Challenge. Twenty members completed almost 1,000 hours of pro bono cumulatively. Pro Bono Champion Catherine Piercy’s support and enthusiasm were integral in generating such Chambers-wide engagement.

What really sets Gatehouse Chambers apart is the many people at all levels and within every facet of the organisation who give time to diverse, wide-ranging causes in the pursuit of access to justice. Heads of Chambers and CEO lead these efforts by example, but it is importantly carried through by many colleagues.

Gatehouse barristers provide pro bono advice and advocacy through Advocate, and also numerous other schemes: ELAAS, CLIPS, COIN, EAT mentoring scheme, FRU, Taylor Wessing Pro Bono Scheme, volunteering at CLCC, Court 10 and through the Court 37 pro bono scheme.

In May and June 2022, barristers from Gatehouse volunteered 5 days to the CLIPS scheme. They also volunteer as case reviewers for Advocate and have come forward as mentors for less experienced colleagues including those in other chambers. Reviewer commitment is considerable and truly enables Advocate to help as many people as possible. 

John Collins Pro Bono Excellence Award

In partnership with the North-Eastern Circuit

Winner: Joshua Griffin, Gatehouse Chambers

Special Mention: Simon Rowbotham, 7BR

Joshua Griffin (Winner)

‘I am so pleased and cannot thank you enough for all your pro bono work. Without your assistance I would not have been able to achieve anything at all.  You are simply amazing.’

Joshua has undertaken pro bono work since pupillage and has increased his commitment year on year, not only in relation to the number of cases in which he acts, but also increasing his time commitment as he takes on increasingly complex matters. 

This year Joshua has appeared unled in the Court of Appeal on a pro bono matter, completed many hours on cases through Advocate as well as volunteering for CLIPS. He was the first member of his chambers to complete #25for25: The Pro Bono Challenge for Advocate, completing 60 hours of pro bono work between June and November 2021. 

Joshua has a consistent history of commitment to pro bono work.  He volunteered with Citizens Advice from 2013 to 2016. He also assisted in drafting Lasting Powers of Attorney for the Alzheimer’s Society. More recently, Joshua spoke at a joint Property Bar Association and Advocate session on pro bono and career development.

Joshua has been a supporter of Advocate ever since joining the Bar and is a role model to others in showing how pro bono forms part of a busy and successful practice. He does not simply demonstrate a commitment to pro bono work himself, but what sets him apart from others, is that he is also very active in encouraging other barristers to take on pro bono work. 

Simon Rowbotham (Special Mention)

Simon has been exceptional; his quality of work has been mind-blowing, the amount of time and dedication he has spent on helping me has left me lost in admiration.

Over the past year, as well as being the Chambers’ Advocate Pro Bono Champion, Simon has undertaken a significant amount of pro bono work himself, largely focused on a case for Advocate representing a father in private family law proceedings. He has also undertaken a number of direct access cases on a pro bono basis, representing a terminally-ill father who wished to see his son one last time. 

Simon has been advising the father since February 2021. To date, he has dedicated considerable time and expertise in representing him at five directions hearings, a three-day Finding of Fact Hearing and the hearing for judgment, in total nine days of court time. In addition, Simon has drafted two detailed witness statements, five position statements and a schedule of allegations, as well as advising in four conferences. In the last 12 months alone, this has totalled over 62 hours of pro bono work.

The sheer number of hours committed is testament to his commitment, as is the progress that has been made in the father’s case, with the outcome of the Finding of Fact Hearing being a particular achievement. Simon remains committed to seeing F’s case through to conclusion. We believe this level of dedication to the pro bono ethic goes above and beyond what might be expected of a junior barrister undertaking pro bono work.

Pro Bono Initiative of the Year

In partnership with the Bar Council

Winner: Ukraine Advice Project

‘UAP is an excellent example of pro bono work that changed the lives of thousands. I have a great deal of respect and affection for what UAP has managed to achieve - in terms of supporting Ukrainians who needed urgent help, but also in the founders’ ability to create a real community of practice.’

The Ukraine Advice Project (UAP) provides free initial information to people fleeing Ukraine about their immigration options, backed by a network of over 600 immigration lawyers who give specialist pro bono advice in cases where it is needed. The project combines the resources of large law firms, who can offer initial information and triaging, with the specialist expertise of volunteer barristers, solicitors, and immigration lawyers who provide further advice in complex cases.

The project sprung up almost overnight, when a group of barristers identified that Ukrainian refugees, created by the conflict, would need clear, high quality legal advice about their immigration options for coming to, or remaining in, the UK. Unlike EU countries, which unilaterally granted leave to Ukrainians in their territory, the Home Office created several bespoke schemes for Ukrainians and their family members, which have fairly been criticised as both byzantine and fast-changing. UAP has supported applicants to navigate these schemes; obtaining visas to move to the UK, reuniting family members, extending leave to remain they already hold, and finding sponsors to allow them to enter the UK.

The UAP has worked on 3,028 cases, which represents a much larger number of individuals seeking help, as many of these cases involve families or groups. With over 600 immigration lawyers having worked on the project so far, which likely represents most immigration practitioners in the UK, it is believed that this is the largest mass mobilisation of UK immigration lawyers in history. The Ukraine Advice Project is an innovative and effective response to one of the most pressing human rights disasters of our time.

Social Responsibility Initiative of the Year

Winner: Bridging the Bar

‘As aspiring barristers from non-traditional, diverse backgrounds, Bridging the Bar has been an indispensable source of support for us on our journey to the Bar.’

Since launching in July 2020, Bridging the Bar (BTB) have assisted 4,709 candidates through workshops, seminars and work experience opportunities.  They have partnered with over 70 barrister Chambers across the UK, 26 sponsorship partners and over 300 barristers.

BTB have secured alternative work experience programmes providing internships at the Law Commission and Government Legal Department. The fact that BTB instigated and secured the first ever paid internship programme at the UK Supreme Court, including life coach sessions, for eight BTB candidates, showed breath-taking ambition and ground-breaking delivery. This was a life and career changing opportunity demonstrated by the outcome - by May 2022, 85% of the UK Supreme Court interns who applied had secured pupillage at leading sets.

To bridge the gulf between aspiration and opportunity, BTB have set up a summer school programme to give aspiring lawyers exposure to key skills to help with applications, interview technique, advocacy and networking. They have also paired candidates with partners at 6 King's Bench Walk, Temple Garden Chambers and The Kalisher Trust for the opportunity to attend advocacy sessions.

These openings offer not just an introduction to the working legal world but the opportunity to gain confidence and skills. The candidates learn that being a barrister involves communication with all sectors of the public and that their non-traditional backgrounds (social, financial, cultural, religious, ethnic or any combination of the aforementioned) are things to be celebrated and built upon, not camouflaged out of embarrassment. 

Sustainability Initiative of the Year

In partnership with the Bar Council Sustainability Network

Doughty Street Chambers (Winner)


'The Green Team have taken considerable and significant steps to reduce and mitigate emission through switching to renewable energy, initiating the process to install solar panels and reducing office-based emissions.’

Doughty Street were among the first chambers to implement a sustainability policy, conduct a carbon audit, set carbon reduction targets and an ambitious net zero policy for 2023. 

The Chambers have created a ‘Green Team’, which consist of members and staff motivated to act on the climate and ecological emergencies. Established in 2018 and chaired by Ben Cooper KC, the Team also acts as Chambers’ hub for exchanging ideas about using professional skills to lead change in environmental issues among our peers. 

Their primary work in taking proactive steps to reduce Chambers’ environmental impact has centred around reducing their carbon footprint. This commenced with a carbon audit to assess and target their carbon neutral goals. The audit revealed that the biggest source of emissions derives from energy use within their office spaces and transportation. 

Doughty Street Chambers is a member of the Camden Climate Change Alliance comprising other businesses operating in Camden, and Camden Council. In June 2022, Chamber’s planning application to install 86 solar panels on three chambers’ office buildings was approved. Doughty Street Chambers continues to exemplify and demonstrate the many benefits of moving towards greener, more sustainable practices. 

The winner of the Young Pro Bono Barrister of the Year award will be announced at the Annual Bar and Young Bar Conference on 26 November.