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Access Pro Bono Announces 2014 Award Winners

Written on Friday, April 24th, 2015

Access Pro Bono (ABP) has announced the winners of its 2014 awards, which were presented at the 10th Annual Pro Bono Appreciation Breakfast on April 16, 2015.

Jeremy Shragge of Harper Grey LLP was awarded the 2014 Allan Parker QC Award, which recognizes the exemplary representation services of an individual volunteer lawyer. According to APB,

"Jeremy has been involved with APB’s Civil Chambers Program and Roster Program since 2012. Last year, he took on more Civil Chambers Program clients than anyone else. He also took on several Roster Program cases where his creative approach to advocacy served his clients very well.

In one example, Jeremy represented a single mother who fled an abusive relationship and was staying at a women’s shelter when she approached APB for legal help. She faced a $40,000 clawback of her Income Assistance benefits due to a series of clerical errors. Jeremy eschewed the conventional judicial review route, and instead filed a civil claim in estoppel against the government. His argument was successful and his client was able to get back on her feet without the burden of an unpayable debt.

Jeremy repeatedly stepped up to represent APB’s clients when no one else would. His strong pro bono ethic is an inspiration to the legal profession in BC, and APB is privileged as an organization to have his support."

Hartney & Company was awarded the 2014 Dugald Christie Award for Advice Services, which aims to "recognize an individual Canadian or a Canadian organization that has made an outstanding contribution to the provision of free legal services."

"In 2014, Valerie Hartney served 70 low-income clients in the Brentwood area of Burnaby, while her son Nathaniel Hartney served 67 low-income clients in the Downtown Eastside.

Valerie volunteers on a weekly basis at APB’s new Burnaby Community Services clinic. And as a direct result of her commitment to pro bono service, the clinic has developed into one of APB’s busiest clinics overall. It is now established and well-known in the Brentwood area. People have come to rely on it.

Further west in the Downtown Eastside, Nathaniel reinvigorated APB’s Carnegie Community Centre clinic by also volunteering on a weekly basis. This restored the Carnegie clinic to its former position as one of APB’s flagship clinics. It regularly serves individuals with some of the most critical legal needs in the province.

Together, Valerie and Nathaniel epitomize the true spirit of pro bono. And it is because of their dedication to pro bono—each exemplary as separated but potent as combined—that APB awarded the 2014 Dugald Christie Award to their law firm."

Congratulations, Mr. Shragge and Hartney & Company!

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