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Sutherland Wins Law Firm Commitment Award, Daily Report's Highest Pro Bono Honor; Retired Partner Charlie Lester Named as Finalist for Lifetime Achievement

May 8, 2008

ATLANTA (May 8, 2008) – Sutherland received the Fulton County Daily Report's highest award for pro bono service, the Law Firm Commitment Award, at a luncheon attended by Atlanta attorneys, judges and elected officials. This award reflects an average of nearly 60 hours of pro bono service per lawyer in the firm’s Atlanta office; firm wide, nearly 84 percent of Sutherland’s attorneys provided pro bono services in 2007. A signatory to the Pro Bono Institute’s "Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge," Sutherland regularly devotes more than 3 percent of the firm’s total billable hours to pro bono matters.

"This award is a fitting tribute to Charlie Lester's many years of pro bono leadership and to the firm’s long-standing commitment to pro bono service," said Sutherland Partner Judy O'Brien, who took over as chair of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee when Mr. Lester retired in 2007.

Mr. Lester, who was Sutherland’s pro bono partner for six years, also was honored as one of three finalists for the Fulton County Daily Report’s "Lifetime Achievement Award." Mr. Lester remains active in pro bono activities, including the Election Protection Project coordinated by the Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and the Georgia Supreme Court’s Committee on Civil Justice, helping to oversee a survey to identify legal services for Georgia's neediest.

"Charlie inspires all of us," said Managing Partner Mark D. Wasserman. "He reminds us of the importance of giving back to our communities and using the law to serve others."

Since its founding, Sutherland has been recognized for its pro bono and public service contributions. "We 'walk the walk' when our lawyers and staff stand up for victims of domestic violence; help women who are fighting breast cancer obtain medical and income benefits; seek compensation for victims of consumer fraud; help establish the first permanently affordable, resident-controlled mobile home community in Georgia; represent detainees held in Guantanamo without legal process; or handle any of the many other pro bono cases we take," added O’Brien.

Sutherland is an Am Law 100 law firm known for solving challenging business problems and resolving unique legal issues for many of the nation’s largest companies. Founded in 1924, the firm has grown to approximately 500 lawyers with offices in Atlanta, Austin, Houston, New York, Tallahassee and Washington. Please visit

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Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is an international law firm helping the Fortune 100, industry leaders, sector innovators and business entrepreneurs solve their biggest challenges and reach their business goals. Dedicated to unfaltering excellence in client service, we are known for our business savvy and industry intelligence, providing creative and custom solutions for each of our clients. Industry and business experience makes the difference for our clients.

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