Staff and volunteers at Derbyshire Law Centre are thrilled to learn that they have been shortlisted for the Law Society’s prestigious Excellence Awards 2019 in the Access to Justice category. Law Centre solicitor Lisa Haythorne has also been shortlisted for the In-house Solicitor of the Year award.
“I am so delighted to have been shortlisted for the Solicitor of the Year – In-house award” said Lisa Haythorne, previously also one of 3 finalists for the Legal Aid Practitioners Group (LAPG) Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Award, Social Welfare category, earlier this year. “It’s lovely to be nominated by my colleagues for the recognition of the work I do”.
One of the Co-ordinators, Sharon Challands added, “We are thrilled to be shortlisted for the Access to Justice award. I can’t believe that we are one of eight finalists from all over the country. It certainly has given us all a boost and is an appreciation of our hard work and commitment to ensure that people on low incomes across Derbyshire can access justice.”
This year is the 30th anniversary of the Law Centre first opening its doors to offer free specialist legal advice. The Centre now employs a team of 26 people including caseworkers, administrators, coordinators, homeless prevention workers, paralegals, personal navigators, solicitors, trainee solicitors and a social worker.
Chris Collard, Chairperson of Derbyshire Law Centre’s Management Committee, commented: “Being shortlisted for two Excellence awards has given us the opportunity for the Law Centre’s staff and volunteers to shine on the national stage. It highlights their sheer dedication to improving the lives of many people in the county.”
Law Society President Simon Davis said: “There are more than 140,000 solicitors in England and Wales – to be shortlisted for an Excellence Award is to be recognised as among the very best of the profession.
“The firms and solicitors shortlisted should be commended for going above and beyond to support their clients, often navigating tricky and sometimes contentious areas of the law.
“With the justice system so under strain, we should take this opportunity to celebrate the incredible work solicitors do day-in and day-out, and to recognise the immense contribution they make to our society.”
Winners are announced at the Law Society’s Excellence Awards ceremony in London on 23 October 2019.