Environmental law teams across ClientEarth are celebrating this morning following recognition at two major awards ceremonies last night, in multiple categories.
The environmental democracy team’s work was labelled ‘Standout’ at the Financial Times Innovative Lawyers Awards Europe. We were ranked second overall against all law firms and legal services providers from across Europe, for our originality, leadership and impact.
ClientEarth’s team works on access to justice and information, ensuring and enhancing people’s rights to protect the environment in court. This summer, we challenged the UK government over new cost rules that would deter people from bringing challenges, and won.
In the spring, the UN body responsible for monitoring access to justice agreed with us that the EU is unlawfully blocking court access in environmental cases. These two wins are hugely important for the environment, as they help people use the strongest tool possible – the law – to protect it.
Air pollution challenge wins further accolades
The FT also awarded our air pollution team ‘Highly Commended’ in the dispute resolution category for our work to tackle the UK’s illegal and harmful levels of air pollution. We were ranked fifth overall in Europe for our dispute resolution work.
ClientEarth has been engaged in a seven-year legal battle fighting the UK government’s failure to protect its citizens’ health. We have just launched our Poisoned Playgrounds campaign to highlight the particular risks posed to children by air pollution.
Charity Times grants ClientEarth a top spot
Meanwhile, at awards presented by the Charity Times, ClientEarth was named Charity of the Year. The largest event of its kind, the Charity Times Awards celebrates success and impact achieved by organisations across the UK charity sector.
James Thornton, chief executive of ClientEarth, said: “I’m immensely proud to see how ClientEarth has developed and increased in impact over the past ten years.
“Recognition from our peers in both the not-for-profit and legal spheres is immensely valuable to us. Once again these awards speak to the imagination, dedication and skill of our tremendous staff.”
Increasing influence reflected in rankings
ClientEarth’s work across all programmes continues to increase in influence and global reach – across Europe and newly in both the US and China. The Financial Times recognised this by placing us at number 35 overall in the top 50 Law Firms and Legal Services Providers 2017.
This is 11 slots higher than our ranking last year, when our CEO James Thornton gave the keynote speech and was presented with the FT’s Special Achievement Award. ClientEarth also received an accolade for innovation at the 2016 ceremony, securing the “New Model Legal Business” title.
The Financial Times says: “The FT Innovative Lawyers Report has become one of the top legal rankings in Europe and the accompanying awards are widely regarded as the best researched in the market.
“[It] represents a unique analysis of the legal industry, assessing lawyers on their innovation both for clients and in their own businesses. We base both the report and awards on thorough research and robust journalism.”