Helen Marshall Shortlisted for IBA Pro Bono Award

(London) – Akin Gump partner Helen Marshall has been shortlisted by the International Bar Association for its annual IBA Pro Bono Award.

The award seeks to honor a lawyer who has shown outstanding commitment to pro bono work as part of their legal career.

Ms. Marshall’s nomination is in recognition of her work leading an Akin Gump team working alongside Reprieve, a legal action non-governmental organization, and Malawian lawyers from the Legal Aid Bureau who were leading an effort to prepare appeals for prisoners on death row in Malawi.

Chipiliro Lulanga, Reprieve Fellow, Malawi, said, “Through strategic case assessment and planning, analyzing evidence and drafting submissions that lawyers in Malawi presented before the court, as well as traveling to Malawi to meet with clients and listen to their stories, Helen and her team have made invaluable contributions to our work assisting people who are on death row or at risk of such punishment. We could not have worked on all these cases without her.”

Commenting on her nomination, Ms. Marshall said, “I’m delighted and humbled to be considered for this award. Over the last four years it’s been an absolute privilege to lead a team of over twenty lawyers in our London office, helping the exceptional team at Reprieve and our legal peers in Malawi with their valuable and important work there. The opportunity to involve junior lawyers in such meaningful work, helping them experience the value and impact of pro bono, has unquestionably been among the highlights of my career.”

In April this year the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal declared the death penalty unconstitutional and ordered all prisoners sentenced to death should have a re-sentencing hearing. The Legal Aid Bureau brought this landmark case, which is a result of decades of work by a group of stakeholders including Legal Aid; the Malawi Human Rights Commission; Paralegal Advisory Services Institute; Centre for Human Rights Education, Advice and Assistance; the DPP; Judiciary; Malawi Law Society; Chancellor College; Reprieve and Cornell University’s Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide.

Ms. Marshall added, “This tremendous news made all our efforts even more worthwhile. We will now work with Reprieve and lawyers in Malawi to help put the judgment into effect for each of the prisoners on death row.”

Katie Campbell, Africa Project Lead at Reprieve said, “Helen’s strong collaboration and listening skills, together with her significant experience and knowledge, have cemented a strong and productive relationship with Malawi's Legal Aid. She is a model for pro bono work and the support she provided is exactly the kind we look for in all of our projects.”

The IBA will announce the winner of the annual IBA Pro Bono Award later this week.

The work of Ms. Marshall and the team were among the matters highlighted for distinction at Akin Gump’s 2021 Pro Bono Awards, held last month. To learn more and see all of the honorees, please click here.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leading international law firm with more than 900 lawyers and advisors in offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

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