The Swindon office of Withy King solicitors has been named a finalist in the Ethical Initiative of the Year category at the prestigious Lawyer Awards 2015.
Family solicitor Rebecca Stevens was nominated by her employers Withy King for this award following her tireless pro bono work on behalf of a father with learning difficulties who had been denied legal aid to try and prevent Swindon Borough Council from having his young son adopted.
Rebecca, who provided over 100 hours of her time free of charge to help her client, was praised by the Head of Family Justice in England and Wales, Sir James Munby, in a court judgement in which he threw a spotlight on the lack of funding available for legal representation.
“It is an absolute honour to be shortlisted for the Ethical Initiative award,” said Rebecca. “Times are changing for law firms and cuts to legal aid have had a devastating impact on the most vulnerable members of society. Being a viable business whilst continuing to offer legal aid is becoming increasingly difficult for most firms. I am very privileged to work with a team who are dedicated to undertaking legal aid work to help others and to work for a firm who is committed to upholding the traditional morals and ethics of the legal profession. Being a legal aid lawyer is not a job. It is a vocation and I am proud to work for a firm which values this.”
Withy King, which has offices in Swindon and Marlborough, is one of eight legal services providers – many of them heavyweight London-based firms operating internationally – to be shortlisted for the Ethical Initiative of the Year Award which will be presented along with a host of others at a gala dinner to be held in London on 23 June. Now in its 21st year, the Lawyer Awards in association with Travelers attracted a record number of entries across 26 categories, making competition for the industry’s top accolades fiercer than ever.
Pictured above: Rebecca Stevens of Withy King