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What is the Clifford Chance Access to Justice Award?

Now in its seventh year, the Award is a donation of money and time by the Clifford Chance Foundation, to a charitable organisation that promotes access to justice

Clifford Chance has a longstanding commitment to access to justice, one of the three key pillars in its pro bono activities alongside access to finance and access to education.

The award is open to not-for-profit organisations that help individuals, groups or communities use the law to achieve significant social impact. Applicants should be involved in some way with the legal process to improve social justice in their communities.

The winning organisation will receive a donation of £50,000 from the Foundation and 500 hours of pro bono and volunteering work from lawyers and Business Services professionals across the Firm.

Access to Justice Award 2017 Winner:  AdvocAid     

Clifford Chance has named AdvocAid as the winner of its annual Access to Justice Award. The charity will receive a £50,000 donation and 500 hours of pro bono support towards its mission of ensuring that all women and children in the criminal justice system of Sierra Leone can access their full legal and human rights.

AdvocAid's work involves a combination of hands-on legal aid, innovative outreach programmes and tight collaboration with the justice sector. Clifford Chance's support will come from across the business including lawyers and business services employees with a wide range of relevant skills and expertise to offer. This will include providing training for ActionAid's paralegals and young lawyers, research into Sierra Leone's police complaints procedures, and assisting with the development of a strategy for corporate fundraising.

Roger Leese, pro bono partner at Clifford Chance said, "Access to justice is something that is central to our firm philosophy, and so I'm delighted that we are once again able to offer our support to another fantastic charity as part of our annual Access to Justice Award. Now in its seventh year, we continue to hear from many wonderful charities promoting access to justice across a range of contexts and geographies. We look forward to working with AdvocAid to help them achieve their goals in improving access to justice in Sierra Leone."

Simitie Lavaly, Executive Director of AdvocAid said, "in Sierra Leone, under-funding and corruption have weakened the foundations of the justice system, and structural and cultural problems lead to girls and women being particularly vulnerable. Furthermore, since the Ebola outbreak, critical funds have been diverted to rebuild the health and education sectors, making it increasingly difficult to secure funding for legal aid. We are delighted and honoured that Clifford Chance has chosen AdvocAid for its 2016 Access to Justice Award and look forward to working with its lawyers and other staff to drive forward some of our most exciting projects to date."