Caroline Liggins and Bianca St Prix, solicitors in our leading criminal defence practice have both been shortlisted as finalists in this year’s Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year (LALY) awards. Held annually since 2003, the LALY awards seek to highlight the work of outstanding legal aid lawyers who fight for justice on behalf of their clients. Caroline has been nominated for Legal Aid Criminal Defence Lawyer of the Year, whilst Bianca has been nominated as Legal Aid Newcomer of the Year.
Caroline Liggins is a Senior Associate in our Criminal Defence department and is the head of our specialist Youth Justice team. She is also a founding member of Women in Criminal Law, an organisation that connects and promotes professional women across the criminal justice sector.
Whilst Caroline undertakes the full spectrum of legal aid work, her focus is on defending young vulnerable people who are often victims of their circumstances. She recognises the issues facing these clients, including the absence of parental stability, exclusion from school, exploitation and lack of community support due to cuts. She is dedicated to tackling issues faced by young people in the justice system, which are often not fully appreciated.
Bianca St Prix is an Associate in our Criminal Defence team, having qualified as a solicitor with the firm in 2018. She is passionate and dedicated to representing youths and vulnerable people, often acting in cases involving serious allegations.
Bianca became a trustee for the Stop and Search Legal Project In 2019. Part of her role is to deliver a ‘know your rights work shop ‘to Inner London A-Level students. She has also been invited to become a trustee of the Action for Change organisation which explores new and innovative ways to provide support to youths who are risks of gang affiliation and substance misuse.
Raj Chada, Head of our Criminal Defence team commented: “I’m delighted that two of our lawyers have been shortlisted for the LALYS. It is a sign of the high regard that both Bianca and Caroline are held in by their colleagues, their peers and most importantly their clients.”
Chris Minnoch, CEO of LAPG, which organises the LALY awards on a not-for-profit basis to celebrate the work of social justice lawyers, says:
‘This year’s finalists give an insight into the range, depth and breadth of the incredible life-changing work that social justice lawyers do – and the vital role they play in ensuring access to justice for individuals, families and communities. It is testimony to the importance of the LALY awards to the legal aid sector that we had a bumper crop of compelling and inspiring nominations this year – despite the extreme pressures we are all facing due to the pandemic.’
The award ceremony will be broadcast live on 6 July. Tickets to the virtual event are available on the LAPG website.