We are delighted to announce that Sonali Naik and Tom Stoate have been shortlisted at the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards 2016: Sonali, for the Legal Aid Barrister Award and Tom, for the Legal Aid Newcomer Award.
Sonali Naik is an immigration and asylum practitioner who, throughout her 25-year career, has remained dedicated to representing legal aid clients. Sonali has particular expertise in Article 8 ECHR cases and in challenging Home Office policy via judicial review. She is also renowned for her work on protection claims of Iraqi and Afghan refugees. Most recently, she was lead counsel in a case which secured an unprecedented generic injunction from the Court of Appeal which stopped the removal by a charter flight of a group of asylum-seekers to Afghanistan.
Tom Stoate’s practice encompasses public and human rights law and civil liberties. He is particularly well known for inquests and public inquiries, with a focus on deaths in custody, mental health, engagement of Article 2 ECHR and actions against the police. Tom was instructed as junior counsel representing ten of the bereaved families at the Hillsborough Inquests, the longest-running inquests in British legal history.
We are also pleased to see that the Youth Justice Legal Centre (YJLC) has been shortlisted for the Access to Justice through IT category. YJLC, of which Garden Court barrister Kate Aubrey-Johnson is the Director, is educating lawyers and empowering young people and parents through its innovative use of technology.
We would also like to offer our congratulations to all the other nominees. At a time when legal aid remains under threat, the LALY awards provide a rare opportunity to celebrate those in the legal profession who remain dedicated to ensuring that legal services are accessible to all. We are very much looking forward to the awards ceremony on Thursday 7 July!