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City’s Wig & Pen Prize for pro bono legal work awarded to Travers Smith’s Sam Cottman


Travers Smith LLP is delighted to announce that Director of Pro Bono, Sam Cottman, has been awarded the Wig & Pen Prize in recognition of his transformational pro bono work over the last 14 years.

The prize, awarded jointly by the City of London Law Society (CLLS) and City of London Solicitor’s Company, celebrates the pro bono legal work of lawyers within the catchment area of the CLLS.

Since joining Travers Smith as a trainee, Sam has been a vital part of the firm's Pro Bono Practice, bringing in partnerships and programmes to the firm, and since March 2020, acting as the firm’s first Director of Pro Bono. His pro bono work has seen him focus particularly on victims of domestic violence and refugees, as well as climate, environment and sustainability, through projects with organisations such as The Chancery Lane Project, Charity: Water, the Green Finance Institute and the National Centre for Domestic Violence.

Alongside his dedication to pro bono, Sam developed a promising commercial career as a senior counsel in the firm's Dispute Resolution team, with his commercial work leading to him being recognised as a ‘Rising Star’ by The Legal 500.

In 2017, Sam founded the Cottman Foundation, which aims to protect those at risk of physical or sexual violence, facilitate youth outreach programmes and fund clean water projects globally.

Sam Cottman said in response to the prize: I am delighted to be this year's recipient of the Wig & Pen Prize for pro bono. I have been fortunate enough to work for pro bono clients at Travers Smith since 2006 across a wide spectrum of issues including domestic abuse, racial justice, international development and climate change. This work has provided me with some of the most challenging and rewarding professional experiences of my career. I am grateful for the commitment the firm has shown over the years and for its desire to do even more going forward to help those most in need.

Edward Sparrow, Chairman of the CLLS, said: Sam Cottman is clearly a hugely deserving Winner of this year's Wig & Pen Prize. In addition to the impressive range of new projects he has developed within Travers Smith over the last fourteen years, from taking on the firm’s first ever domestic violence case, to working with JUSTICE on its expert panel investigation into the over representation of BAME youth in the criminal youth justice system, his impact on the pro bono landscape across the City is clear, as is his dedication to each of the projects he takes on.”

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