Indian American lawyer shortlisted for prestigious award


New York: Indian American attorney Richa Naujoks née Gautam has been shortlisted for Thomson Reuters Foundation’s TrustLaw “Lawyer of the Year” award.  

Celebrating grounTMPSNAPSHOT1435079987644-43ba2413-38f2-4e82-ba90-ec7faf24d3a3dbreaking pro bono projects undertaken by legal teams with NGOs and social enterprises around the world, the award recognizes lawyers who have gone above and beyond in providing exceptional pro bono support.

Among individual nominees, Richa Naujoks is the only Indian and the only US lawyer shortlisted for this prestigious award, said a statement. 

A senior associate at Nixon Peabody LLP’s New York City office, she is a graduate of the National Law School of India University in Bangalore and the University of Washington in Seattle (LLM). She currently serves as co-chair of the India Committee of the American Bar Association’s Section of International Law. 

Richa Naujoks was nominated by Mumbai-based Wello for her outstanding pro bono work on the complex restructuring of Wello’s US and Indian legal and operational structure. Wello makes water wheels that help women safely carry water from distant water sources to their homes. 

TrustLaw connects the world’s leading legal teams to provide free legal assistance to organizations working for social and environmental change. It is able to draw from its network of over 100,000 lawyers across the world to meet the legal needs of NGOs and social enterprises. 

In addition to Wello, other South Asian projects and NGOs are represented within the various categories for the 2015 awards. Indian firm LawQuest is nominated for its support of Nazdeek Trust with multiple projects around its efforts to organize tea workers for right of association and a basic minimum wage. Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa coordinated a team of firms including White and Case, Mughal Barristers, J Sagar Associates, and Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP to provide research on the admissibility of character evidence in rape cases for the Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST). 

Linklaters led a team of lawyers from Hewlett-Packard Company, HSBC Bank PLC, DLA Piper, and Adnan Kelana Haryanto & Hermanto to help Indian NGO Vidya Sagar understand legal capacity in disability legislation.