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Herbert Smith Freehills has won the 2017 Allianz Arts and Business Northern Ireland (NI) Employee Engagement Award. 

The Allianz Arts and Business NI Awards celebrate the best in creative and pioneering partnerships between business and the arts in Northern Ireland. Entrants cover a diverse variety of art forms ranging from theatre to festival and literature to heritage. This is the second time that Herbert Smith Freehills has been successful, having taken home a Community Engagement Award in 2014 for "The Rowallane Plays" – a series of plays written by Herbert Smith Freehills lawyers, and staged at Rowallane Garden in County Down and based upon the memories of local residents.

The firm's success in this year's Awards was achieved in respect of the firm's 'Towering Tales' initiative – a creative writing competition open to all age groups and based around Belfast's historic Belmont Tower. Devised and implemented by Herbert Smith Freehills, in conjunction with The National Trust, the competition inspired and engaged the local community to celebrate and reimagine Belmont Tower through a short story or poem. The shortlisted entries were judged by the award-winning author and journalist Linda Grant and showcased by rehearsed readings and live illustrations at a Gala at Belmont Tower itself.

Lyn Harris, Head of Disputes for the firm's Alternative Legal Services business and leader of the Towering Tales initiative, commented:

"We are hugely proud to have been recognised for this important project, which enabled us to connect with the local community in a unique way. We worked closely with local schools and writing groups and with a number of other bodies including Young at Art, the illustrator Patrick Sanders and The Belfast Community Gospel Choir to successfully deliver the project – it's fair to say that it was a real labour of love for all concerned. We are delighted both with the outcome and with the recognition we have received through this prestigious Award."

About Herbert Smith Freehills

With more than 3,000 top-flight lawyers, operating from over 26 offices across Asia Pacific, EMEA and North America, Herbert Smith Freehills is at the heart of the new global business landscape providing premium quality, full-service legal advice. We provide many of the world’s most important organisations with access to market-leading dispute resolution, projects and transactional legal advice, combined with expertise in a number of global industry sectors, including energy, natural resources, infrastructure and financial services.

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