Case study: a life-changing judgment

When a local shopkeeper discovered that an elderly woman was desperately trying to help her family emigrate to the UK from Afghanistan, he persuaded her that he could help them to be granted an entrepreneurial visa if they invested in his business. Once the money had been transferred, he denied receiving it – and denied making any promises to her. He even said he did not know her. He ignored her phone calls, hoping that she would grow tired and simply give up.

But she wouldn’t give up. Even though she couldn’t afford legal representation, she fought hard to pursue her claim for six years. Finally, Adam Kramer, a barrister at 3 Verulam Buildings, agreed to represent her pro bono in a one-off hearing. Once he had met the claimant, however, he knew he wanted to continue to represent her to trial. This meant they would also need a solicitor, so Pro Bono Connect brought Morrison Foerster LLP in on the case.

Adam and the Morrison Foerster team, led by Jonathan Wheeler and Jason Mbakwe, worked tirelessly over the next few months to prepare the strongest case possible, putting in over 500 pro bono hours.

They won. The court ruled in the woman’s favour in a life-changing judgment for her and her family. In what is suspected to be a record, not only was a successful claim of £80,000 made, but a landmark pro bono costs order of £54,000 was also ordered, resulting in additional funds for the Access to Justice Foundation. After so many years of fighting, this amazing collaborative effort resulted in justice for one woman and her family.