Ariel Ricci is the 2014 winner of the Family Law Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year
The recent swingeing cuts to legal aid have left many vulnerable people without access to legal representation and advice. It has also left the publicly funded Bar in a state of low morale and anxiety about the future. One might forgive those entering the profession for focusing solely on building their practice in a difficult climate. However, since being called in 2012, Ariel Ricci has demonstrated huge commitment to pro bono work alongside her practice.
Prior to pupillage she volunteered with the Personal Support Unit. Ariel joined the Bar Pro Bono Unit panel in April 2013. In the last 12 months she has given approximately 40 hours of her time (a total of 7 cases) to pro bono work and has received glowing feedback from clients whom she has thereby assisted.
One example of Ariel’s commitment and skill making all the difference, was in the reported decision of Kinderis v Kineriene (No 2)  EWHC 693 (Fam) where she appeared pro bono for the respondent mother in a Hague Convention abduction case.
In these trying times, it is difficult enough for the profession to retain dedicated and experienced practitioners, let alone attract new “star potential”. For a rising star like Ariel to be upholding the principles of pro bono support in a way that is not only devoted, but enthusiastic, is highly commendable. That is why Ariel is a worthy recipient of the Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year award.
We would like to congratulate Ariel and thank everyone who submitted a nomination.
We would also like to thank the judges for carefully reading all the nominations and drawing up the shortlist.We hope you can join us at the Brewery on 8 October.