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 urbanlawyers.co.uk, 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:
NOTES FOR EDITORS
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
Raj Chada, Hodge Jones & Allen, London
Edward Grange, Sonn Macmillan Walker, London
Julian Hayes, Hayes Law, London
Rachel Horman, Watson Ramsbottom, Blackburn
Razia Jogi, Switalskis, Bradford
Lindsay Taylor, Watkins Gunn, Pontypool
Bushra Ali, Thaliwal Bridge, Leicester
Liz Barratt, Bindmans, London
Eileen Bye, Luqmani Thompson, London
Mike Bishop, David Gray, Newcastle
John Blavo, Blavo & Co, London
John O’Donnell, odonnell Solicitors, Preston
Rosaleen Kilbane, Community Law Partnership, Birmingham
Paul Ridge, Bindmans, London
Mitchell Woolf, Scott-Moncrieff & Associates LLP
Sasha Barton, Hodge Jones & Allen, London
Katie Brown, Philcox Gray, London
Jed Pennington, Bhatt Murphy, London
Bibi Badejo, 4 Brick Court Chambers, London
Jude Bunting, Tooks Chambers, London
Shu Shin Luh, Garden Court Chambers, London
Tunde Okewale, Doughty Street, London
Stephanie Harrison, Garden Court Chambers, London
Kate Purkiss, Coram Chambers, London
Leslie Thomas, Garden Court Chambers, London
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