Ashurst wins Pro Bono Program of the Year at the 2022 Australian Law Awards

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    Ashurst launched its Modern Slavery Action Plan (Action Plan), which not only honours the firm's Founder, but also his daughters who were also committed to the abolition of slavery and who were not recognised in their lifetimes.

    Our Action Plan provides a path for Ashurst to play a role in supporting the organisations leading efforts to eradicate slavery and includes:

    • a ten year funded Fellow role at Anti-Slavery International (the same organisation that organised the 1840 Convention that our Founder and his daughters attended); the "Matilda Ashurst Anti-Slavery Fellow Grant";
    • financial awards to support future Ashurst joiners to spend time assisting anti-slavery organisations in the UK and Australia, including Anti-Slavery Australia, before joining the firm. In doing this, we hope to inspire our future lawyers to play an active, leadership role in today's efforts to reform global approaches to the eradication of modern slavery; the "Caroline Ashurst Anti-Slavery Award"; and
    • development grants that support the development of women in the anti-slavery movement across Asia; the "Emilie Ashurst Development Grant".

    Another significant component the Action Plan is the provision of on-the-ground pro bono support to organisations tackling modern slavery, including through secondments.

    Ashurst Partner and Global Head of Pro Bono and Social Impact Sarah Morton-Ramwell comments, "We are so delighted to have our Modern Slavery Action Plan recognised with this award. This year marks Ashurst’s 200th anniversary and we have been working to honour our founder’s legacy. William Henry Ashurst was a progressive advocate who was deeply committed to social justice, particularly women’s equality and the abolition of slavery.

    "Recognising the continued growth of all forms of modern slavery and our global presence, we took the decision to expand our existing pro bono work in this area into a global focus for all at Ashurst. We are committed to combatting all forms of modern slavery as a firm and with our clients, colleagues and other stakeholders.”

    The Lawyers Weekly Australian Law Awards recognise leading legal professionals and firms in the Australian legal industry.