Attorney General's Community Service Law Awards

Presented as part of WA Law Week in May, the two Law Awards recognise one individual legal practitioner and one organisation which have provided outstanding pro bono legal services to the Western Australian community.

Nominations for the 2017 awards are now closed.


2016 Winners – Michael Tucak and King & Wood Mallesons

Michael Tucak is the winner of the 2016 Attorney General’s Community Service Law Award in the individual category.

Michael has been providing pro bono legal services to the WA arts and cultural community for 20 years. He has organised regular free, pop-up legal clinics for artists, as well making available free or reduced-fee legal consultations to artists, project teams and cultural communities.

Other individual award finalists were Judy Harrison from Kimberley Community Legal Services, and Mary McComish of Daydawn Advocacy Centre.

The inaugural winner of the organisational category is King & Wood Mallesons.

Since 2011, the company has provided advice on 114 pro bono matters, representing more than $1.7 million in fees, which equates to more than 5,580 hours in pro bono time.

The finalists in the organisational category were Jackson McDonald and Clayton Utz.

2015 Winner: Adam Levine

Adam Levine is the winner of the 2015 Attorney General’s Community Service Law Award.

Adam has been described as a passionate advocate for pro bono work, despite being a busy corporate partner at large international law firm K&L Gates.

Adam has co-ordinated pro bono work for the firm’s Perth office for more than 10 years and spends hundreds of hours every year doing pro bono work, including all the legal work for Manna Inc., a local charity which provides meals and other assistance to the homeless and disadvantaged.

Also shortlisted for this year’s award was Felicity Heffernan, who has spent the past nine years engaged in pro bono legal work for a wide range of community causes, both within Australia and overseas.

2014 Winner: Elspeth Hensler

Elspeth Hensler is the winner of the 2014 Community Service Law Award.

Elspeth has contributed many hours of free legal assistance to help the disadvantaged.

One of her key projects was co-ordinating fundraising to provide clean water to the Mekong River delta region of Vietnam through Care Australia. She has also acted pro bono for clients including refugees, tenants involved in property disputes, foster carers and war veterans.

The finalists were Michael Tucak, of creative legal, and Lyn Ladhams, of King and Wood Mallesons.

2013 Winner: David Jenaway

David Jenaway from Herbert Smith Freehills is the recipient of the 2013 Attorney General's Community Service Law Award, in recognition of his commitment to pro bono legal service.

Since 2010, Mr Jenaway has volunteered to handle the day-to-day management of the Herbert Smith Freehills pro bono program.

The role sees him identify pro bono opportunities to assist a range of individuals and not-for-profit organisations who would otherwise be unable to obtain access to legal advice, services and representation.

The finalists for this year's award were Doubleview resident Catherine Eagle of the Welfare Rights and Advocacy Service and Mosman Park sole practitioner Stephen Walker.

2012 Winner: Kylie Groves

Kylie Groves from Squire Sanders is the recipient of the 2012 Attorney General's Community Service Law Award, in recognition of her pro bono legal services.

With more than 14 years experience specialising in the areas of employment and workplace law, Ms Groves has used her skills to provide pro bono legal services to individuals, charitable and not-for-profit organisations who could not bear the burden of large legal costs.

The finalists for this year’s award include Matthew Holgate of Holgate Legal and Richard Klimek from Klimek & Co Family Lawyers.

2011 Winner: Michael Cockram

Michael Cockram is the recipient of the 2011 Attorney General's Community Service Law Award, in recognition of his services to the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Mr Cockram specialises in family and estate law, however he provides a broad range of legal advice to people about wills, Powers of Attorney, probate, Family Court documents, personal injury claims, employment contracts, fraud and neighbour disputes.

The finalists for this year's award included Richard Klimek of Klimek and Co Barristers and Solicitors; Gulmina Miocevich of C & G Miocevich Law Offices; and Ian Murray of Blake Dawson.

2010 Winner: Samantha Maddern

Ms Maddern was nominated by Ms Toni Emmanuel of the Employment Law Centre for her volunteer work helping the disadvantaged get a fair deal in the workplace.

The other nominees short-listed were Mr Jaswant Singh Brar, nominated by Ms Julie Burch of Midland Information, Debt and Legal Advocacy Services, Ms Linda Cao, nominated by Ms Diane Annear of the Women's Legal Referral Service, and Ms Terri-Anne Famlonga, nominated by Ms Kate Davis from the Women's Law Centre and also the Gosnells Community Legal Centre.

2009 Winner: Richard Price

Mr Price was nominated by the Youth Legal Service WA for the many hours of pro bono expertise he gave Western Australian youth organisations, including the YLS and the YMCA.

Other nominees short-listed were Ms Frances Veltman, barrister, nominated by Mr Jeffery Claughton of the Fresh Start Recovery Programme and Mr Neville W Marsh, Principal Julienne Penny & Associates, nominated by Ms Lisa Yu of Julienne Penny & Associates.

2008 Winner: Bruce Dodd

Mr Dodd, formerly a partner with Mallesons Stephen Jaques, was nominated by Mallesons’ colleague Mr Laurence Iffla. Mr Dodd has spent more than 20 years carrying out pro bono work. This has included more than 3500 donated hours between 2001 and 2008, estimated to equate to about $1 million in professional legal fees.

Other nominees short-listed were Mr Agostino Irdi of Irdi Legal, nominated by Ms Lisa McCarthy of Irdi Legal, Mr Neville Marsh of Julienne Penny and Associates, nominated by Ms Lisa Craig of Peel Community Legal Services, and Dr Johannes Schoombee of Francis Burt Chambers, nominated by Mr Cameron Poustie of the Environmental Defender’s Office.

2007 Winner: Graham Castledine

Mr Castledine was recognised for his 10 years of community service work, particularly helping asylum seekers and refugees.

Two other nominees shortlisted for the 2007 award were John Cooke of Godfrey Virtue and Co. and Julia Johnston of Calverley Johnston.

Last updated: 3-May-2017

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