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Herbert Smith Freehills disputes partner Ante Golem has been announced as the winner of the firm’s 2016 Keith Steele Pro Bono Leadership Medal. Ante was presented with the Medal at the firm’s annual Pro Bono Lunch held in Sydney on 27 October 2016. 

The Medal, which recognises individuals from within the firm who have demonstrated outstanding contribution to the pro bono sector, was created in 2011 to honour the memory of Keith Steele, a former Freehills partner and founding member of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee.

Ante received the Medal in recognition of his work on a range of pro bono cases throughout his career at the firm including numerous matters relating to transgender rights.

Most recently, Ante led a team of lawyers in Perth acting for a transgender client who successfully sought a review of an administrative decision relating to the ability to recover the cost of gender reassignment treatment.

Earlier this year, Ante supervised Herbert Smith Freehills’ contribution to a large, multi-jurisdictional pro bono research report prepared by a number of law firms for a human rights foundation on the status of transgender rights in the Asia Pacific region. This report involved input from Herbert Smith Freehills lawyers across 11 offices in the Asia Pacific region and addressed the topic of legal gender recognition in 41 jurisdictions.

Previously, during his time as a senior associate, Ante also worked with a team of Herbert Smith Freehills lawyers to successfully obtain a unanimous High Court decision on the status of transgender rights in Western Australia. As a result, people with gender dysphoria in the State no longer have to undergo dangerous and invasive surgery to have their sex legally recognised, paving the way for transgender human rights for many future generations

Herbert Smith Freehills partner and Chairman of the Global Pro Bono and Citizenship Council, Peter Butler congratulated Ante on his commitment to pro bono. He said:

“Ante has always demonstrated a strong commitment to social justice and has championed several pro bono causes during his time at the firm. In particular, he has shown incredible passion and dedication to working with  marginalised LGBTI individuals and organisations with a view of driving policy reform and breaking down barriers for the community.

“As a firm we are committed to supporting diversity and inclusion and that commitment extends well beyond our firm to our clients and the wider community. We have undertaken pro bono activities on behalf of the LGBTI community for many years and I congratulate Ante on his success in continuing the tradition.

“His work has created significant and lasting change in the human rights of thousands of Australians and their families, and is testament to the importance of pro bono and the positive contribution that lawyers can make to the community.”

Brooke Massender, Head of Pro Bono & Citizenship, Australia & Asia at Herbert Smith Freehills added: “We have a very strong pro bono culture at Herbert Smith Freehills.  

“Ante is an excellent example of our pro bono culture in action. He is a great role model for his team, for others in the firm, and indeed, for lawyers across the country.”