Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year

Fiona is co-ordinator of the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year awards, which she founded and launched in 2003 with the Legal Aid Practitioners Group.

Raju Bhatt, winner of 2013 Outstanding Achievement award in recognition of his work bringing actions against the state

Raju Bhatt, winner of 2013 Outstanding Achievement award in recognition of his work bringing actions against the state

The LALYs are non-profit-making and are a unique opportunity to celebrate the work of lawyers at the legal aid coalface. They attract strong support from the grassroots profession and have become the key date in the legal aid calendar.

Doreen Lawrence presents district judge Nick Crichton with the Outstanding Achievement award 2010

Doreen Lawrence presents district judge Nick Crichton with the Outstanding Achievement award 2011

Previous winners include trail-blazing civil liberties lawyers like Louise Christian, Imran Khan, Michael Mansfield QC and Gareth Peirce. But an essential part of the LALY ethos is also to recognise the foot soldiers of legal aid, such as Makin Dixon in West Yorkshire, which won legal aid firm of the year in 2013 for its work in care proceedings and domestic abuse. Each year, the line up of winners includes some of the foot soldiers of legal aid, whose work, although poorly rewarded and otherwise unrecognised, is vital for protecting the rights of the poor and vulnerable.

From 2003 to 2011, the LALY judging panel was chaired by Cherie Booth QC. Our current chair is Lord Justice Andrew McFarlane, who sits in the court of appeal. Former panel judges include Doreen Lawrence, Joshua Rozenberg, Polly Toynbee, along with leading lawyers and campaigners.

Michael Mansfield QC, presented with the award for Outstanding Achievement 2010 by LALY chair Cherie Booth QC

Michael Mansfield QC, presented with the award for Outstanding Achievement 2010 by LALY chair Cherie Booth QC

The LALYs rely on the generosity of our sponsors to survive and if you are interested in being a sponsor, please contact Fiona for more information: fiona.bawdon@blueyonder.co.uk

http://www.theguardian.com/law/video/2010/jun/01/law-michael-mansfield

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zNNsry4nyM

 

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