Addleshaw Goddard is pleased to announce that it has awarded the 2015 Sonia McMahon Award to El-Ruth Harmony, a pupil at Exeter College. The award is in its fourth year and continues to assist talented students aiming for a career in law who meet certain social mobility criteria. The firm set up the award in memory of partner Sonia McMahon.


Monica Burch (Addleshaw Goddard Senior Partner), Ged Barnes (partner in the firm's Business Support and Restructuring team) and Mary Gallagher (Head of Diversity and Talent), who made up the judging panel, were extremely impressed by El-Ruth's application, which demonstrated real ambition and determination to pursue a legal career.

The award means that El-Ruth will receive a bursary of £2,000 towards the cost of studying for a law degree at Cardiff University. In addition she will receive access to a mentor at the firm and a period of work experience during her time at university. El- Ruth applied for the award through the Pathways to law programme which is run for academically bright pupils in years 12 and 13 from non traditional backgrounds.

Ged Barnes said: "It is fitting that, in Sonia's memory, we are able to help young people from diverse backgrounds as they embark on the next stage of their professional journey. We established the Award as a tribute to partner, colleague and friend Sonia McMahon. Sonia was a great lawyer and "people person", and a real inspirational mentor to younger lawyers. We wish El-Ruth every success in her future legal career."

El-Ruth Harmony said: " I know that I do not even need to begin to explain the many extensive costs that come with going to university. For me, winning this award means that my financial burden has become lighter. It will pay for my hefty law textbooks, a new laptop and even part of my accommodation. 'Thank you' does not even begin to epitomise my gratitude in being chosen as this year's winner".


Notes to editors:

Sonia McMahon joined Addleshaw Goddard in 1998 as a trainee, qualifying into the Business Support & Restructuring practice in 2000. In May 2008, she became a Legal Director before becoming a Partner in May 2010. Sonia passed away unexpectedly in 2011.