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Laura O’Brien, Criminal Defence Partner Receives LALY Recognition For Her Protest Law Work

Earlier this month, hundreds of lawyers got together to celebrate the Legal Aid Practitioners Group 20th Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards. It was the first in-person ceremony since July 2019.


Laura O’Brien received the Criminal Defence 2022 award for acting for the Colston Four and for her wider Protest Law work. An independent judging panel considered the references and comments from Laura’s peers and clients. She was described as “exceptional in every way” by a leading QC. She described representing her client, Rhian Graham, as a privilege.

On the night (12th July), Laura was supported by Raj Chada, Head of HJA’s Criminal Defence Team along with many of her colleagues. Now the dust has settled from that wonderful evening, Laura is awaiting the judgment from the Court of Appeal on the Colston Four case which was referred by the Attorney General for clarification on whether defendants can cite human rights as a defence in a case of criminal damage. Judgment is expected imminently.

Speaking about Laura and the recognition she has received, Raj Chada said “We were so pleased for Laura as the award and the recognition, by her peers and clients, is hugely deserved. It is inspiring to work with Laura and to see first-hand her dedication to gaining justice for her clients.”

The Criminal Defence Team at Hodge Jones & Allen is one of the leading teams in the UK. Laura O’Brien is a specialist defence solicitor and Crown Court Advocate who stands up and fights for her clients.