We are incredibly excited to announce that MJC Law has won Legal Aid Firm of the Year at the prestigious Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards held annually by the Legal Aid Practitioners Group (LAPG), also known as the ‘Legal Oscars’. We feel this award is a testament to the team’s fantastic work that we do for our clients, and it is brilliant to see that our hard work has paid off.
During the awards ceremony which took place on 6 July 2021, MJC Law was described as having rapidly developed a national reputation for the excellence of its Court of Protection, Mental Health and Community Care work. It acts for vulnerable clients on a range of complex issues including where they should live, how they should be cared for, consenting to sexual relations, Deprivations of Liberty and Advance Decisions. Its three founders and directors, Conor Maguire, Kate Jackson and Lauren Crow, are all recognised as experts in their field and are described collectively as “outstanding trailblazers and inspirational role models”.
In accepting the award, Conor Maguire said “a firm like this does not exist in a vacuum, it exists because we are supported by the judiciary, by barristers and by the independent experts we instruct. It is a huge effort, not just within our firm, that enables us to do what we do”. We would like to say a huge thank you to our team, our clients and our supporters over the last three years, without whom we would not be where we are now. We look forward to continuing this journey with you all and carrying on the vital work we do!
Our director, Kate Jackson was shortlisted for the Disability Rights Award this year and whilst she did not come out on top, we are incredibly proud of her as it is an enormous achievement to be nominated for the LALY awards. In the testimonies put forward for the award, Kate was described as bright, compassionate, fearless and a formidable lawyer. During the pandemic, she has worked to find thoughtful and creative ways for her clients to appear before the court and have family contact. A barrister in the practice area endorsed Kate for the award in stating “my admiration for Kate can be summed up by the simple fact that if I were ever the subject of Court of Protection proceedings, I would want her as my solicitor, fighting my corner with skill and compassion”.
Chris Minnoch, CEO of the LAPG says: “This year’s awards are a celebration of the way social justice lawyers have risen to all the challenges of the pandemic and continue to fight doggedly for their clients. During the ceremony we heard about the lawyers who are fighting to stop children and families being left hungry and destitute because of government policy; for women who are being failed by state bodies; and who challenge the unforeseen and unfair consequences of coronavirus legislation that has been passed at great speed and with little parliamentary scrutiny. Those are the lawyers we are proud to recognise, and we call on our government to give them equal recognition and act now to repair our underfunded and increasingly overwhelmed justice system.”
We would like to give our congratulations to the fellow finalists who also deserve huge recognition for the amazing work they do. Being a legal aid lawyer is not easy, but we are all passionate about the work we do. It was lovely to celebrate the successes of those in our profession during the awards evening.