We are pleased to announce that seven of our solicitors have been shortlisted for multiple awards at this year’s Asian Legal Awards. Public law lawyers Sumbul Phillips, Sulaiha Ali, and Husein Meghji have all been shortlisted for the Rising Star Award 2019. Birmingham based Sat Bains, solicitor in the crime department is shortlisted for Criminal Lawyer 2019, and housing director Manjinder Kaur Atwal as well as public law director Toufique Hossain and solicitor Raja Rajeswaran Uruthiravinayagan are each shortlisted for the Civil Lawyer 2019 award.
Sumbul Phillips returned to law following seven years abroad. Despite having no prior experience in public law, Sumbul has, within two years, secured accreditations up to Supervisory Level and is now responsible for her team in our Milton Keynes office.
On learning of her shortlisting, Sumbul commented;
“I am delighted to have been shortlisted for the Asian Legal Awards this year. I came to the firm with no prior knowledge of public law and in just two years, my Director, my team and the firm have fully supported me in everything I have done, resulting in some great outcomes for some very vulnerable clients. It is an honour to represent this firm at the awards, and to showcase the work that we do to the rest of the profession.”
Sulaiha Ali is based in the Harrow office’s public law department. Sulaiha specialises in human rights related judicial reviews, focussing on trafficking claims, refugee law, and immigration detention. In the first successful case of its kind, Sulaiha challenged the SSHD’s refusal to return an individual who had been deported in the wake of its ‘deport now, appeal later’ policy. Sulaiha’s work in this matter resulted in her being named The Times’ Lawyer of the Week in May 2019.
Husein Meghji also works in the Harrow public law department as a trainee solicitor. His areas of practice include immigration and asylum, human trafficking, and public law matters, particularly removals challenges and Dublin III third country cases.
Sat Bains joined the firm’s recently established crime department in Birmingham earlier this year. She has over 12 years of criminal defence experience and is both a duty solicitor and Higher Courts Advocate.
Her work primarily consists of police station attendances and advocacy at Magistrates’ Court. She deals with serious cases at the Crown Court and works closely with instructed barristers, forming excellent working relationships to ensure that her clients are best represented at all times. Representing both privately and publically funded clients, her experience ranges from minor road traffic offences, assaults, and thefts, to cases of murder, rape, kidnapping, MTIC fraud, conspiracy to supply drugs, and terrorism.
Sat commended on her shortlisting;
“It is an honour to be shortlisted for such a prestigious award after qualifying six years ago. The Birmingham office is the perfect platform to expand the criminal department, and the support from the directors in Birmingham, Harrow and beyond has been amazing.”
Harrow’s public law team received two further shortlistings, those of director Toufique Hossain and recent winner of the Public Law Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year at the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards (LALY), Raja Rajeswaran Uruthiravinayagan who are both up for the Civil Lawyer award.
Toufique Hossain works predominantly under legal aid in order to represent those most in need. The majority of his clients are asylum-seekers, many of whom are victims of torture, rape and trafficking. His bold litigation strategy has resulted in success in a recent judicial review challenge to the Legal Aid Agency’s longstanding refusal to backdate payment for work done in emergency or urgent cases.
Raja Rajeswaran Uruthiravinayagan has been the instructing solicitor in multiple cases concerning access to justice for asylum seekers and other vulnerable migrants. This includes his notable challenge to the Home Office immigration removal window policy, R (on the application of FB and another) v SSHD (removal window policy)  UKUT 428 (IAC) described as ‘one of the most important cases in a generation in the sphere of immigration and asylum affecting all irregular migrants’.
Joining them is housing director Manjinder Kaur Atwal who is also shortlisted for the Civil Lawyer award. Manjinder has over 10 years’ experience in housing and property litigation law. She is dedicated to achieving the best possible outcome for her clients at all times and has earnt a reputation for taking on difficult cases and going on to achieving excellent results. Manjinder was shortlisted last year for both the Commercial/Civil Lawyer Award and the Rising Star Award.
Manjinder commented on her nomination;
“I am privileged to be shortlisted for the Civil Lawyer award at this year’s awards and to be in good company with my colleagues Toufique and Raja. It is an honour to be recognised for all the hard work I have carried out throughout the year on behalf of all my clients.”
This year’s shortlistings are a continuation of Duncan Lewis’ successes at the Asian Legal Awards. In 2017, immigration and public law solicitor, Krisha Prathepan won the Society of Asian Lawyers’ prestigious Civil Lawyer of the Year Award for her pro bono work which involved the blocking of the forced return of asylum-seekers to EU countries.
In 2016, family and child care consultant solicitor Jaswinder Kalsi received the Society of Asian Lawyers’ prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award for her Legal Aid work assisting the most vulnerable of our society.
The 25th Annual Asian Legal Awards will take place on 28th September at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London and will celebrate the individuals who have excelled in their fields. Congratulations to all our finalists!