Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year - shortlist announced





A judging panel chaired by Michael Mansfield QC has selected 28 finalists for the 10th anniversary Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year awards.


Those shortlisted for a prestigious ‘LALY’ award include:


- Raj Chada from Hodge Jones & Allen who acted for ‘Jonnie Marbles’, the man who attacked Rupert Murdoch with a foam pie during a parliamentary hearing; and also won acquittals for protestors who staged a peaceful ‘sit-in’ at Fortnum & Mason during the 2011 TUC demonstration.


- Public Interest Lawyers, the Birmingham-based firm known for its groundbreaking work challenging human rights abuses in Iraq and Afghanistan. Roger Smith, director of Justice, said the firm had used legal aid to ‘achieve constitutional change as well as an effective result for their own clients’.


- Liz Barratt, an immigration solicitor at Bindmans whose work challenging the removal of children led to the suspension of child returns from the UK. Her nomination was supported by a former asylum client who has gone on to train as a social worker.


- Julian Hayes, a solicitor in west London, who acted in the so-called ‘Ricin Plot Trial’, the first major terror trial in this country post 9/11, which resulted in the acquittal of four of the five defendants.


- Tunde Okewale, a young barrister at Doughty Street, who founded, an organisation that aims to educate young people about the criminal law and their rights.


- Razia Jogi, from Switalskis in Bradford, who works with domestic violence and forced marriage victims. One barrister said: ‘Razia sees her role not just as a lawyer in the academic sense but as someone who is there to cajole, encourage and foster hope in those who can see no end to their suffering.’


The winners will be announced and presented with their awards by Michael Mansfield at a ceremony in central London on 12 June.


The 11 LALY judges selected finalists in nine award categories after reading over 1,000 pages of nominations. Entries were supported by testimonials from clients, medical and other experts, judges and campaigners. They will also be making an award for Outstanding Achievement.


The LALYs, which were launched in 2003, are the only awards aimed solely at those doing legal aid work. They are organised by the Legal Aid Practitioners Group on a not-for-profit basis.


LAPG director Carol Storer said: ‘The judges had such a difficult job to do because the nominations in all categories were terrific. We congratulate everyone on the shortlist. Like so many legal aid lawyers they work flat out for their clients’.


For more information, contact Carol Storer or Fiona Bawdon:

07801 593963


Fiona Bawdon

07740 644474




The LALY judges were:


Michael Mansfield QC (chair)

Lord Justice Andrew McFarlane

Doreen Lawrence, OBE, Stephen Lawrence Trust

Jenny Beck, co-chair, LAPG

Fiona Bawdon, freelance legal affairs journalist

Maya Wolfe Robinson, Guardian Law

Rob Brown, partner, Corker Binning

Jawaid Luqmani, partner, Luqmani Thompson

Debo Nwauzu, director Black Lawyers Directory

Vicky Ling, Partnership Quality Systems

Julie Burton, Julie Burton Law




Criminal defence lawyer

Raj Chada, Hodge Jones & Allen, London

Edward Grange, Sonn Macmillan Walker, London

Julian Hayes, Hayes Law, London


Family legal aid lawyer

Rachel Horman, Watson Ramsbottom, Blackburn

Razia Jogi, Switalskis, Bradford

Lindsay Taylor, Watkins Gunn, Pontypool



Immigration lawyer  

Bushra Ali, Thaliwal Bridge, Leicester

Liz Barratt, Bindmans, London

Eileen Bye, Luqmani Thompson, London



Mental health solicitor    

Mike Bishop, David Gray, Newcastle

John Blavo, Blavo & Co, London

John O’Donnell, odonnell Solicitors, Preston


Social welfare lawyer

Rosaleen Kilbane, Community Law Partnership, Birmingham

Paul Ridge, Bindmans, London

Mitchell Woolf, Scott-Moncrieff & Associates LLP


Young legal aid solicitor

Sasha Barton, Hodge Jones & Allen, London

Katie Brown, Philcox Gray, London

Jed Pennington, Bhatt Murphy, London


Young legal aid barrister

Bibi Badejo, 4 Brick Court Chambers, London

Jude Bunting, Tooks Chambers, London

Shu Shin Luh, Garden Court Chambers, London

Tunde Okewale, Doughty Street, London


Legal aid barrister

Stephanie Harrison, Garden Court Chambers, London

Kate Purkiss, Coram Chambers, London

Leslie Thomas, Garden Court Chambers, London


Legal Aid Firm/Not-for-profit Organisation

Public Interest Lawyers, Birmingham

Swain & Co, Havant

Turpin & Miller, Oxford





The LALYs are non-profit-making and would not be possible without the support of our sponsors:


Legal Action Group (media partner)

Matrix Legal Aid Link



Allen & Overy LLP

Irwin Mitchell LLP

Legal Services Commission




The Law Society



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