A new-look Bar Pro Bono awards is set to be launched this autumn with nine categories up for nomination and a star-studded judging panel, which includes the Lord Chief Justice, Chair of the Bar and the elusive Secret Barrister.


This year’s awards will be expanded beyond the one Bar Pro Bono Award which has been presented to a barrister each year since 1997, in order to recognise the wider contribution barristers and chambers make to providing free legal advice and advocacy to the most vulnerable in society.


Jess Campbell, Chief Executive of the BPBU, said: “We have long taken pride in celebrating the commitment of the Bar to providing free legal services via the Unit and other organisations and I am delighted that we are now expanding the awards to truly reflect the breadth of that contribution.”


“These awards will also showcase the impact of those who support the profession, which is why we have new categories across the different elements of the barristers’ profession as well as a chambers’ staff pro bono award. These awards go to the heart of what motivates the Bar and those who work within it and will be a celebration of the Bar’s deeply-held commitment to access to justice.”


To mark this year’s awards, the Unit will be hosting the awards at historic Fleet Street bank Child & Co on 24 October 2018, in addition to presenting the Lifetime Achievement in Pro Bono and Young Pro Bono Barrister of the Year awards at the Bar Council’s Annual Bar & Young Bar Conference on 24 November at De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms, London, as has been tradition for many years.


This year’s award categories are:


  • Young Pro Bono Barrister of the Year, sponsored by Place Campbell
  • Junior Pro Bono Barrister of the Year, sponsored by Juriosity, the Legal Knowledge Network
  • Pro Bono QC of the Year, sponsored by Judicial & Silk (formerly JSB Judicial)
  • International Pro Bono Barrister of the Year
  • Employed Pro Bono Barrister of the Year
  • Pro Bono Chambers' Staff Member of the Year, sponsored by the Legal Practice Management Association
  • Pro Bono Innovation of the Year, sponsored by Lexis Nexis
  • Pro Bono Chambers of the Year
  • Lifetime Achievement in Pro Bono




To judge the new categories at this year’s awards, the BPBU has called in big names from across the sector. This year’s judges are:


  • Bar Pro Bono Unit Founder and President - Lord Goldsmith QC - Chair of the Judging Panel


  • Chair of the Bar Council’s Employed Barristers' Committee - Jennifer Agnew


  • Director of the Law Centres Network - Julie Bishop


  • Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales - Lord Burnett


  • Co-Chairs of the Legal Practice Management Association - Catherine Calder and Robin Jackson


  • Editor, Counsel magazine - Sarah Grainger


  • Chairman of the Institute of Barristers’ Clerks - Nicholas Hill


  • Chair of the Bar Council’s Young Barristers’ Committee - Richard Hoyle


  • Editor, The Legal 500 UK Bar and Asia Pacific - John van der Luit-Drummond


  • Bar Pro Bono Award 2017 winner - Tanya Murshed


  • Chair, Bar Council Pro Bono Committee - Alison Padfield QC


  • Chair of the Bar - Andrew Walker QC


  • The Secret Barrister


Nominations are now open for this year’s Bar Pro Bono Awards, which are supported by the Bar Council of England & Wales.

For more information, please contact Mary Dobson at mdobson@barprobono.org.uk