Hogan Lovells Pro Bono Manager Awarded OBE

LONDON, 31 December 2010 - Hogan Lovells International Pro Bono Manager, Yasmin Waljee, was awarded an OBE in the New Year's Honours List for services to the Muslim community, in recognition of her significant contribution to pro bono legal services, in particular her work with Mosaic.

Yasmin's appointment in 1997 as a legally qualified, full time pro bono manager was the first of its kind in Europe.  She is an international human rights lawyer, and has represented prisoners facing the death penalty at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the constitutional court of the Caribbean, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.  More recently she advised on issues relating to compensation for victims of crime, including victims of forced labour and trafficking. This work also included advising victims of overseas terrorism and the July 7 bombing victims.  Her public policy work on these issues has resulted in policy changes in the area of the rights of British nationals imprisoned abroad to request assistance from the UK Government for support in clemency applications, a change in immigration law to eliminate discrimination in nationality law and a change in UK law to allow for compensation of British nationals injured through terrorism abroad.

David Harris, Co-CEO of Hogan Lovells said:

"Yasmin has made a fantastic contribution to the development of pro bono legal affairs at Hogan Lovells and in the legal sector as a whole.  Her creative input, tenacity and determination in tackling the most challenging of issues has had a real impact on people's lives. I am delighted her efforts have been recognised in this way."

In addition to her pro bono activities, Yasmin is part of the firm's Citizenship panel and manages the worldwide giving initiative and community investment programme.  Her commitment to community investment is evidenced by her involvement in a number of community-based programmes, including Mosaic.

Mosaic was founded by HRH The Prince of Wales and convened in November 2007 by Business in the Community to challenge the growing concern around the issues facing young Muslims living in deprived areas of Britain.  The organisation helps British Muslims successful in their own field to give back to the community by bringing them together with young Muslims and their peers growing up in our most disadvantaged communities where they can act as positive role models and mentors.  It is a Muslim led initiative which recognises the contribution which many British Muslims have made to the UK, and harnesses that success to inspire younger Muslims to achieve their full potential.  Mosaic has supported over 10,000 young people through the voluntary support of over 1000 volunteers in some 100 schools, youth groups and prisons.

In 2007, Yasmin was one of the very first individuals to respond to HRH The Prince of Wales' call for focussed activity to support young Muslims and their peers growing up in our most disadvantaged communities.  Yasmin understood the clear demand for such work and responded with passion to The Prince's call to action.  Yasmin also understood the important role which corporates such as Hogan Lovells could play in identifying and supporting individuals to become mentors and in raising the aspirations of young Muslims and their peers.  Yasmin's personal commitment, leadership and persuasive influencing powers have been key to attracting support for Mosaic, as has the very real practical support she has been able to secure on Mosaic's behalf.

Yasmin has been instrumental in the creation and success of Mosaic, from its initial modest mentoring programme in a single school in London to a multiple set of initiatives across six regions of the UK and with affiliated networks in 18 countries overseas.  She serves as a member of the Mosaic UK Advisory Board, a post she has held since its inception, and is co-Chair of the London Region of Mosaic.

HRH Princess Badiya, Chairman of Mosaic UK, said:

"We are so grateful to Yasmin for all she has done, and continues to do, for Mosaic. It is wonderful that her tremendous contribution is recognised in this way."

Yasmin Waljee said:

"I am enormously proud to be given this award.  Mosaic's success, and the success of almost every pro bono and community project I have been involved with, is attributable to the collaborative and inspiring colleagues with whom I work and the dedication of the people who give their time so freely to provide pro bono advice, be mentors and supporters."   

Notes for Editors

Yasmin Waljee is a solicitor and the International Pro Bono Manager at the international law firm Hogan Lovells.  Yasmin's appointment in 1997 was the first of its kind by a City law firm.  Since then she has worked with partners in the firm to develop an international pro bono programme providing free 21,000 hours of legal advice to over 200 charities and individuals a year unable to afford legal advice.

She regularly works on human rights cases including compensation for the July 7 victims, Article 2 issues and support for victims of crime.

Yasmin received an award for the most inspirational women of the year. Daily Mail, 2008, 50 most influential women in the law 2007; finalist Asian Woman of the Year 2005 and Woman Solicitor of the Year 2000, The Times.

Yasmin is married with two young children. 

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