Herbert Smith Freehills Team Helps Domestic Violence Survivor Secure Order of Support

Christina Pryor is an associate in the Government Enforcement and White Collar Crime group in

Christina Pryor is an associate in the Government Enforcement and White Collar Crime group in the New York office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. She is also a member of Sanctuary’s Pro Bono Council.


At this year’s Above & Beyond Awards, Sanctuary for Families is honoring a pro bono team from Herbert Smith Freehills’ New York office consisting of Partner Thomas Riley and Associates Pamela Terry and Christopher Boyd.

“It has been a wonderful experience for Herbert Smith Freehills to partner with Sanctuary on multiple projects over the years. Being able to help Sanctuary’s clients in meaningful ways is an honor, and it is inspiring to see our lawyers fully devote themselves to these cases to achieve positive and impactful outcomes.” –Tom Riley

In May 2018, this team from Herbert Smith Freehills took on the representation of Sanctuary client Stephanie Lee (“Ms. Lee”) in related child support and child support violation proceedings against the abusive father of her two children. Ms. Lee had filed for child support in September 2017, and filed a violation in April 2018 because the abuser had outright refused to pay the Temporary Order of Support awarded by the court. The abuser had claimed he was not working, so it was an uphill battle to prove that he was in fact employed and expending money on frivolous and expensive purchases rather than paying child support.

Pam immediately dove in, compiling copious documents and records in order to assist with the client’s cases and serving upwards of 35 subpoenas to seek access to Ms. Lee’s abuser’s finances to demonstrate his ability to pay. When opposing counsel finally provided documentary evidence, Pam drafted a persuasive and thorough brief explaining the reasons in favor of granting a child support order. Her dedicated and powerful advocacy ultimately resulted in an incredibly favorable $5,000 per month child and spousal support order.

“Advocating for Ms. Lee and her children was an eye-opening, challenging, and rewarding experience.  I’m grateful for the experience and thrilled to know that I made a difference in an individual’s—in an entire family’s—life.”–Pam Terry

When Pam went on secondment in December 2018, Chris quickly jumped in. He assisted with enforcing the final child support order as well having a money judgment enforced against the abuser. Chris sat with the client and her children for an entire day at the Sheriff’s Office to ensure that the money judgment was properly docketed and would be executed.

“Working on this case alongside Sanctuary’s Lindsey Song was a real honor. I had a great experience, I learned a lot, and most importantly I am very proud to have played a part in achieving a positive outcome for the client and her family.” –Chris Boyd

Lindsey Song, Senior Staff Attorney at Sanctuary for Families, who worked together with the Herbert Smith Freehills team on Ms. Lee’s case, praised the team’s tireless work, stating:

“Pam did an incredible and thorough job throughout the case. If not for her dedicated and diligent efforts, the client would not have received the strong Order of Support that she did. Chris matched the same level of passionate advocacy for the client, organizing documents, writing briefing, and connecting with and supporting the client and her family. When I asked the client for feedback for Pam and Chris, she said, ‘I have no words to express how much you and they have done for me.'”

Join us at our Above & Beyond celebration on November 12, 2019, at the RUMI Event Space, 229 W 28th St, New York, NY as we honor the HSF team’s outstanding pro bono work.  You can buy tickets here

If you can’t join us, but would like to support Sanctuary for Family’s work, please consider making an Above & Beyond donation here.