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21 November 2008
The Solicitor General, Vera Baird QC MP, and the Shadow Home Secretary, Dominic Grieve QC MP, presented the awards at a ceremony at the Law Society in London.
Cardiff Law School established a joint legal clinic with Hugh James in 2007 to advise on continuing healthcare cases as part of its pro bono scheme. Hugh James is a leading firm in this area of practice and the clinic allows them to pass on significant professional experience and expertise to law students.
The Law Society award recognised that Cardiff Law School and Hugh James have developed the provision of high-quality pro bono services in an innovative and niche area of law and practice which is not always served by legal aid. This pro bono service assists in addressing the nationwide problem of assessment for NHS continuing healthcare funding.
Cardiff Law School’s Pat Brand, who supervises the legal clinic, expressed the School’s gratitude to Hugh James for their unstinting generosity and commitment to supporting the students, without which this venture could not have succeeded in its endeavours to assist vulnerable members of the community.
Professor Gillian Douglas, Head of Cardiff Law School, said "I'm delighted that the School and Hugh James have received this award. We are committed to continuing to develop our Pro Bono Clinic to support the community and allow our students to gain exposure to the law in action, and learn valuable skills that will prepare them for legal practice."
Malcolm Evans, Partner with Hugh James, congratulated the clinic on its success: "I’m delighted that the scheme has been recognised in this way and would like to congratulate Cardiff University Pro Bono Team for their success in this prestigious competition. I am confident that the clinic has made a valuable contribution by making legal services available to those who might not otherwise have benefited from them. I look forward to our continued working relationship."
More than 170 Law School students were given a comprehensive training programme in October 2008, which included a session by Hugh James, and about 60 have gone on to casework. The service is also supported by the Alzheimer’s Society and Age Concern Cymru.
Picture caption (from left): Dominic Grieve QC, MP, Shadow Home Secretary and Shadow Attorney General, Pat Brand (Cardiff Law School), Carl Bodman (Law student), Lisa Morgan (Hugh James), Nicola Martin (Hugh James), Carys Lodwick (Law student), Vera Baird QC, MP and Solicitor General.
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