Law firms, solicitors and in-house legal departments lead shortlist for inaugural social mobility awards

updated on 30 August 2017

Nominees for the first ever UK Social Mobility Awards have been revealed to hail overwhelmingly from the legal profession.

Magic circle firm Clifford Chance and international firm Pinsent Masons and have been shortlisted for the 'recruitment programme of the year' award, while Allen & Overy and Herbert Smith Freehills have been shortlisted for 'community programme of the year'. In addition, the Ministry of Justice has been nominated for 'organisation of the year', while the Law Gazette reports that international firm Simmons & Simmons will be competing with the Law Society of Scotland and the Legal Social Mobility Partnership for the 'innovation award'. Meanwhile, national firm Browne Jacobson has been nominated for 'progression programme of the year'.

A number of individual solicitors have also been nominated for their sterling work in the cause of social mobility. Sarah Hyde, counsel at international firm CMS has been nominated for the 'outstanding achievement of the year' award. Hyde has been recognised for her work on CMS’ bursary scheme, which supports aspiring lawyers from disadvantaged backgrounds. In-house solicitor Barry Matthews, director of legal and third party sales at ITV is up for the same award. Matthews is the founder of the Legal Social Mobility Partnership.

Elsewhere James Wickes, a partner at RPC, is a nominee for the ‘mentor of the year’ award – Wickes has been running a mentoring programme for school pupils in his hometown of Barking and Dagenham for over a decade. Finally Claudia Adeyemi, associate at Mishcon de Reya, has been nominated for the ‘rising star of the year’ award following her founding and running of The Student Development Co, a non-profit which supports students from less-privileged backgrounds.

Good luck to all the nominees.