LALY barristers of the year

Legal aid
Family barrister Jane Hoyal, of 1 Pump Court, has won Legal Aid Barrister of the Year at the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards (LALY) 2013.

Hoyal has spent her whole legal career doing legal aid work, and was co-founder of 1 Pump Court in 1978. She specialises in public and private family law and “is known for taking on cases that others wouldn’t touch – fighting for unpopular clients, with ability and tenacity,” said compere John Howard, ex-BBC broadcaster and solicitor. The other finalists in this category were Amanda Weston (Tooks) and Ranjiv Khubber (1 Pump Court).

Leonie Hirst of Tooks Chambers won Legal Aid Newcomer: Barrister. Hirst has a broad civil practice, usually acting for children and people with severe mental health problems or physical disabilities. “In the last year, her work has led to a redefinition of the approach to assessing capacity,” noted Howard. Others shortlisted in this category were Katy Chokowry (1KBW) and Sarah Daley (Garden Court North).

Lord Justice McFarlane, chair of the judging panel, when presenting the awards underlined their importance in “demonstrating to the public at large just what goes on all over the country”.

The LALY awards are now into their 11th year. They are run on a not-for-profit basis by the Legal Aid Practitioners Group to recognise excellence among access-to-justice lawyers.

The winners of the 10 categories were announced at a ceremony at the Globe Theatre in London on 2 July.