Introducing Deborah Anderson: Pro Bono Chambers Professional of the Year 2018 and dedicated champion of pro bono

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The Pro Bono Chambers Professional of the Year award is an important way for us to shed light on the wonderful work undertaken by practice managers, clerks and other chambers professionals in championing pro bono. Last year’s winner, Deborah Anderson, compellingly demonstrates how important this is in making it possible for barristers to take on pro bono work. Currently a Practice Director at Hardwicke, and previously a Senior Clerk at Brick Court Chambers and Littleton Chambers, Deborah’s work has been instrumental in promoting and instilling a culture of pro bono engagement at the Bar and throughout chambers.

“I cannot think of a more publicly spirited person, nor one with greater commitment to access to justice and pro bono legal services” – Maya Lester QC, Brick Court Chambers

Deborah has transformed attitudes towards pro bono for the better through her role as Practice Director at Hardwicke. Interweaving pro bono into the fabric of the chambers, Deborah has raised the priority and profile of pro bono to that of fee-earning work, fostering a chambers-wide commitment to social justice. The Hardwicke website now even has a whole section dedicated to pro bono thanks to Deborah, publicly sharing that important ethos. She is also an avid supporter of other schemes including Chancery Bar Litigant in Person Support Scheme and the Employment Law Appeal Advice Scheme, making her a deserving winner of this award.

“Client numbers at WLAS have increased over the years, from around 35 clients on a Thursday to 100 and upwards”

Alongside her work at Hardwicke, Deborah co-ordinates the running of the Waterloo Legal Advice Service (WLAS), a drop-in-centre supplying legal advice for vulnerable people in the area. The sharp increase in WLAS clients over the years displays the growing need for this kind of support, and Deborah strives to maintain efficient administration as well as to find new recruits to help keep the service up and running.

“It is disappointing to hear lawyers so often referred to as ‘fat cats’ when so many are unsung heroes giving over their personal time and professional skills willingly without payment”

Deborah’s efforts have provided the framework for more and more lawyers to take on pro bono cases, leading by example in championing pro bono. This year’s award is kindly sponsored by the Legal Practice Management Association. If you know someone who deserves recognition as Pro Bono Chambers Professional of the Year 2019, nominate them here!