Recognition for 'social justice heroes of the pandemic'

Two Law Society committee members are among those who have been honoured as ‘social justice heroes of the pandemic’ by the Legal Aid Practitioners Group (LAPG).

The group’s board has made four LAPG Special Awards in response to this year’s COVID-19 outbreak.

Recipients include Richard Atkinson, co-chair of the Law Society’s criminal law committee, who was responsible for the development and introduction of a nationwide protocol for lawyers attending clients at police stations.

“His almost single-handed efforts undoubtedly saved lives,” said Chris Minnoch, the LAPG CEO.

Also recognised is Jenny Beck, a member of our Access to Justice Committee, who has “devoted huge energies to campaigning for greater protection of victims of domestic abuse during lockdown”.

The special awards are in addition to – and entirely separate from – the annual Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year (LALY) awards, which take place virtually on 7 July.

“Congratulations to all the recipients who deserve to be honoured for their considerable contributions,” said Simon Davis, Law Society president.

“Legal aid is a challenging area to work in at the best of times – let alone during the pandemic – and the under-resourced and beleaguered practitioners who resiliently battle on deserve the recognition that both the annual LALY awards and the special awards provide.”

The Law Society has long highlighted that the legal aid system is reaching breaking point and more government investment is needed.

“To preserve access to justice and the rule of law, legal representation must be available to those without the means to provide for it,” concluded Simon Davis.

About the Law Society

The Law Society is the independent professional body that works globally to support and represent solicitors, promoting the highest professional standards, the public interest and the rule of law.

Press office contact:Nick Mayo | 020 8049 4100 

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