A Cairns lawyer has been recognised for his pro bono work and has now been nominated for a prestigious award.

HoldingRedlich senior associate James Harding has been short-listed by the Lawyers Weekly 30 Under 30 annual awards program as a finalist in the pro bono category.

The award recognises outstanding volunteer contribution to the community. Finalists are selected for not only a commitment to the legal professional, but also by bringing their expertise to make a meaningful impact on those in need.

It comes off the back of the law firm launching a new pro bono initiative to support local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Partner Ranjit Singh said the firm had not reduced salaries nor made redundancies, but like a lot of businesses in Cairns was seeing a reduction in demand in some areas."The partners and staff together have come up with an initiative to use this current excess capacity to provide pro bono legal assistance to registered charities, community organisations and sporting organisations," he said.