LALY award winners in 2014 QC list
The crop of Queen’s Counsel (QC) who take silk this month includes four previous Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year (LALY) award winners. Barristers Leslie Thomas and Marc Willers have been made practising QCs, and solicitors Nicola Mackintosh and Saimo Chahal have been appointed honorary QC in recognition of their exceptional contribution to the development of the law.
Carol Storer, director of the Legal Aid Practitioners Group (LAPG), said: ‘We are delighted to see so many of our previous winners making silk. This just shows the high calibre of nominations, and that winning one of our awards really is a mark of exceptional quality and commitment.’ Carol Storer added that LAPG was particularly pleased to see Nicola Mackintosh, who is co-chairperson of LAPG, recognised in this way. ‘Nicola won the social and welfare award at the first ever LALY ceremony in 2003. The fact that she has now been made an honorary QC is proof of what her LAPG colleagues already knew: that the excellence of her work and her commitment to legal aid has remained undiminished over the last decade.’
•Saimo Chahal, who is joint head of public law and human rights at the leading civil liberties firm Bindmans, won the 2006 LALY for mental health law.
•Leslie Thomas, who is known for his work acting for families of those who have died at the hands of the state, including at the recent Mark Duggan inquest, won the Legal Aid Barrister of the Year award in 2012.
•Marc Willers won the Legal Aid Barrister of the Year award in 2011 in recognition of his work protecting Travellers’ rights.
The nomination period for this year’s awards closed on 1 April and details of the finalists will be published in May 2014 Legal Action. The winners will be announced at a ceremony on 5 June in central London.