Wednesday 12 April 2017
Award for Legal Advice Centre solicitor committed to social justice
Faye Deverell, Solicitor of the Year 2017
A solicitor who has helped to recover more than £800,000 in benefit gain for Nottinghamshire clients through a free legal advice service has been awarded Solicitor of the Year 2017 by the Nottinghamshire Law Society.
Faye Deverell is the senior supervising solicitor at Nottingham Law School’s Legal Advice Centre, a ‘teaching law firm’ which works closely with local firms, advice agencies, voluntary sector organisations and schools to develop pro bono opportunities for Nottingham Law School students.
In 2013, Faye set up the Free Representation Unit (FRU) Social Security service at the Legal Advice Centre, the only FRU branch outside London, which helps people in Nottingham who are facing both employment and social security tribunals.
Her role sees her supervise students and junior staff through the intricacies of court and Tribunal procedure, with feedback from District Judges commending the high quality of the representation Faye and her students provide.
Faye has also established links with local organisations, particularly advice agencies, and has developed strong and sustainable referral arrangements with local advice agencies including Nottingham Women’s Centre, Broxtowe Citizen’s Advice, the Personal Support Unit and the Ark in Gedling.
Commenting on the award win, Faye said: “It was a real surprise and an honour to win this award for doing something I enjoy so much. I am very lucky to be able to continue giving back to the local community in providing much needed representation in Social Security Tribunals, whilst also supporting Nottingham Law School students to develop essential legal skills to assist them in their future careers.”
Dean of Nottingham Law School, Professor Janine Griffiths-Baker, said: “This award was truly well-deserved, we are delighted for Faye and very proud of her achievement. Through Faye’s outstanding work she provides vital access to justice to the area’s most vulnerable clients. This commitment to social justice, coupled with her excellent technical legal skills, make her a valued role model for our students.”
The Legal Advice Centre recently won the LawWorks Award for Best Contribution by a Law School and the Access to Justice Foundation Award 2016. It was also nominated for a Law Society award for Excellence in Pro Bono. Nottingham Law School was named Legal Education Provider of the Year in the Solicitor's Journal Awards 2016.
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