Addleshaw Goddard is delighted to announce that it has awarded the 2016 Sonia McMahon Award to Maria Kai, who is a student at St Dominic's Sixth Form College in London.

The award is in its fifth 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.

Partner Ged Barnes, Managing Associate Sarah Foster and Head of Diversity and Talent Mary Peterson, who made up the judging panel, were extremely impressed by Maria's application, which demonstrated real ambition and determination to pursue a legal career.

The award means Maria will receive a bursary of £2,000 towards the cost of studying for a law degree at Sheffield University. In addition she will receive access to a mentor at the firm and a period of work experience during her time at university. Maria 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 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 five years ago now 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 Maria every success in her future legal career."

Maria said: "Words cannot explain how honoured I feel winning this award. Both the practical and financial support given will have such a significant impact on my future and for that I am truly grateful."