The judges were impressed by the breadth and depth of Arnold Bloch Leibler’s support of public interest clients through the 2019 calendar year, including:
- Building consensus within the legal profession for Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians - in the form they presented in the Uluru Statement from the Heart - including a historic event at ABL involving the Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt.
- Assisting First Australians Capital to apply $30 million in capital for Aboriginal businesses and entrepreneurs in a ground-breaking agreement with a major financial institution - the first of its kind in Australia.
- National Association of Visual Artists in all governance and contractual aspects of its seminal work, as it fearlessly and passionately supports and stands shoulder to shoulder with visual artists throughout Australia. In recent months this has included assisting NAVA roll out a financial support package to artists struggling to maintain their practice in the face of COVID-19.
Peter has established a strong values-led approach within his practice group who collectively approach matters with enormous dedication and effective teamwork. They are a credit to their firm and to the wider profession.
In support of the nomination, clients expressed their admiration and gratitude for the advice Peter and the firm provide.
Robyn Gawenda from Footscray Community Arts Centre wrote: “For an emerging Not-For-Profit organisation, to be able to let stakeholders and potential partners know that Peter Seidel is providing legal advice is a huge endorsement for our organisation. But more importantly, knowing that Peter is standing side by side with us, gives both the Board and myself great comfort.”
And from David Ritter, CEO of Greenpeace Australia Pacific: “Peter has established a strong values-led approach within his practice group who collectively approach matters with enormous dedication and effective teamwork. They are a credit to their firm and to the wider profession.”
In the nomination, Peter described Arnold Bloch Leibler’s approach to public interest work: “Our unique approach, shaped over the 25 years of our formalised pro-bono practice, is based on a ‘whole of partnership’ model. Depending on the nature of the matter and the expertise required, the best team of lawyers from across the firm will work on pro-bono matters.
“The pro bono culture at ABL is viewed as just as good for the firm as it is for our clients,” Peter explained in the nomination. “We recognise the many benefits of us doing this work, including that it helps us attract and retain the very best and brightest law graduates, in addition to the work being a fundamental part of our professional and ethical responsibilities. Our leadership around causes of national and international significance is recognised and valued by clients as a core element of who we are as a firm, no less fundamental than our esteemed litigation, commercial, competition, property and tax practices.”
To view Lawyers Weekly's announcement, click here.