Haldane Society activists were honoured on Wednesday 26 May for their commitment to legal aid. At the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year awards, organised by the Legal Aid Practitioners Group (LAPG), Kat Craig (Haldane Vice-Chair) won Young Legal Aid Solicitor of the Year, Adam Straw (former Haldane executive member) won Young Legal Aid Barrister of the Year and Haldane President Mike Mansfield QC was given an award for Outstanding Achievement amongst legal aid lawyers.
In their acceptance speeches, Kat reminded the audience that lawyers in Colombia have been murdered for their commitment to human rights and Adam stressed the importance of lawyers campaigning and lobbying as well as litigating. Mike Mansfield called for vigorous action to defend legal aid services from public spending cuts.
Haldane Chair Liz Davies said: "Each of these Haldane activists does outstanding legally aided work and they have made a difference to the lives of their clients. We're proud that their talent and commitment has been recognised by the profession. The government needs to realise that there will only be similarly talented and dedicated lawyers in the future if the legal aid system - already cut to shreds - is protected from public spending cuts. Without legal aid, it will be impossible for ordinary people to engage lawyers to help defend their rights."
HALDANE SOCIETY VICE-CHAIR KAT CRAIG SHORTLISTED FOR "YOUNG LEGAL AID LAWYER OF THE YEAR"
Kat Craig, solicitor at Christian Khan solicitors and Vice-Chair of the Haldane Society, is on a shortlist of three for the prestigious award of "Young Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year", organised by the Legal Aid Practitioners' Group. Legal aid lawyers are the unsung heroes of the legal profession and act for some of the poorest and most socially disadvantaged people in society.
Kat works on public and private law challenges to the police and the Home Office and other detaining authorities. She also represents the families of those who died in police and prison custody during the respective investigations by the police or Prison and Probation Ombudsman and at the Inquest.
Haldane Chair Liz Davies said: "The Haldane Society was proud to support Kat's nomination for Young Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year. Kat combines political activity with an extremely demanding publicly funded case-load. She's active in campaigns to defend legal aid, and to support human rights defenders in Colombia and elsewhere. We can't think of a better person to be Young Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year and thank LAPG for shortlisting her."
Further information at www.lapg.co.uk