We are delighted to reveal that we have been shortlisted for the Law Firm of the Year award at the 2020 Modern Law Awards.
The Modern Law Awards were launched to celebrate and identify the best talent and success in entrepreneurship, market development, business management, and best practice in the modern legal services arena.
The Law Firm of the Year award rewards firms that have demonstrated extensive development and progress as a business within the last year, and are able to show a rounded approach to the delivery of legal services, operating in the best interests of the client and profession.
At Duncan Lewis Solicitors we make a concerted effort to achieve the best possible results for our clients through the highest quality legal representation and our commitment to ensuring that access to justice is accessible to all. In the last year alone we have bettered the lives of countless individuals through both our high-quality legal representations and through a number of challenges to policies and practices that impede access to justice.
The restrictions effectuated by the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) have created numerous difficulties in our ability to provide our services to those most in need. With the best interests of our clients and the integrity of the legal profession in mind, we combated this issue by bringing two successful challenges to the LAA.
Our claim for judicial review of the LAA’s refusal to backdate legal aid certificates ultimately resulted in the legal aid regulations conferring a discretionary power on the LAA to backdate legal aid determinations to the date on which an application for funding or an amendment to an existing certificate was made. We also successfully challenged the blanket refusal to provide legal aid funding for judicial reviews where permission was refused on the papers. The result of this will assist all legal aid provides representing society’s most vulnerable and should enhance access to justice.
Additionally, earlier this year director Ahmed Aydeed challenged the Home Office’s policy that cut off all statutory support to slavery victims in the UK after just 45 days. The Home Office conceded that their policy was unlawful and agreed that support should be provided on the basis of individual need rather than any time limit. They were required to immediately extend assistance to all trafficking and slavery victims needing support in England and Wales. Over 600 individuals have already benefitted from this result.
This can only be achieved by our passionate workforce who are committed to nurturing talent and promoting diversity and equal opportunities. We encourage the development of young talent and offer relevant training using various providers with access to the latest field-specific programmes. Proof of our commitment to young talent can be seen in, now solicitor, Lewis Kett being the first trainee solicitor featured as The Times’ ‘Lawyer of the Week’ for his successful challenge to the Home Office’s approach to asylum claims from former Afghan interpreters who assisted Coalition forces.
By maintaining a diverse workforce, we can tailor our approach to consider different customs and traditions. We are proud to house a workforce that assists clients in over 60 languages. Our Pro Bono Committee Chairperson Emine Mehmet, targets communities where language barriers make access to legal services problematic, utilising her fluency in Turkish to access a wider range of clients.
We are thrilled with our shortlisting for the Law Firm of the Year award and for our continued recognition by the Modern Law Awards following our success at last year’s ceremony where Rebecca Carr won the Paralegal of the Year award and Lottie Hume was highly commended for the same.
The 2020 Modern Law Awards will be held on 6th February in Manchester.
Huge congratulations to everyone who has helped made a difference in the last twelve months and has contributed to our continued success and recognition.