West London lawyer awarded for legal aid housing work
A London lawyer who has spent nearly 30 years “fighting for the dispossessed and repossessed, the mentally ill and the poor” has been handed an outstanding achievement award by legal aid lawyers.
Sue James from the Hammersmith and Fulham Law Centre in west London picked up the prize at the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year awards. James runs two housing duty desk schemes and was cited for being “the driving force” behind the creation of Ealing Law Centre after the borough’s main social welfare law provider collapsed in 2011.
A colleague said of James: “There can’t be many people who work full time in a law centre and in their spare time set up another.”
Other winners on the night were: Tom Royston, a barrister at Garden Court North, who was the legal aid newcomer of the year; Kaweh Beheshtizadeh of the London law firm Barnes Harrild & Dyer, who was the immigration and asylum lawyer of the year; Philip Rule of No5 Chambers, legal aid barrister of the year; Mary Shaw, David Gray Solicitors in Newcastle, private family law; Sheila Donn, Philcox Gray Solicitors in London, public family law; Stuart Luke from Bhatia Best in the east midlands, social welfare; Keith Lomax from Minton Morrill Solicitors in Leeds, public law; Graeme Hydari from Hodge Jones & Allen in London, criminal defence; Solange Valdez-Symonds at the Project for the Registration of Children as British Citizens/Migrant Resource Centre, children’s rights; the Community Law Partnership in Birmingham, not-for-profit agency; and Advicenow, Law for Life, justice through IT.