Resolution lawyer Tony McGovern of Creighton & Partners was celebrated by his peers last night, receiving a Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year (LALY) award in the Family (including mediation) category. He has been practicing for over 20 years, specialising in cases of utmost complexity. His clients are often troubled and damaged and in 2017 he successfully appealed a court circuit decision, giving a mother and her children the chance to have their Article 6 rights upheld.
All finalists in the family category were members of Resolution, recognising the organisation’s non-confrontational approach and Code of Practice as a standard of best practice in family law.
After winning the award, Tony said: “It’s fantastic to be recognised for work that supports the most vulnerable, particularly young people who find themselves in most difficult circumstances. It is of the utmost importance that the voice of the child is heard and is independently represented. Following the cuts it has become increasingly difficult for all of us to provide legal aid support to the vast number of people in need of it and we all do the very best we can going the extra mile. Events like the LALYs are not only inspirational but crucial to keep morale up and to recognise all the exceptional lawyers nominated for the crucial and often overlooked work we do.”
Margaret Heathcote, National Chair of Resolution said: “Congratulations to all of the winners and nominees at last night’s LALY awards, and in particular Tony McGovern who won the Family category award. It’s great to see that this year all nominees in the family category are Resolution members, showing that Resolution’s Code of Practice really does tie into best practice across the sector.
“It’s also wonderful to see the incoming President of the Family Division recognised by the legal aid communication at the ceremony.
“Resolution will continue to campaign to improve the availability of legal aid, including by providing evidence to the government’s review of LASPO – and we’ll be asking practitioners for their input into this evidence very soon. In the meantime, we salute Tony, the winner, nominees Lesley Monkhouse and Philip Wilkins and all other legal aid lawyers who work tirelessly to ensure that vulnerable and disadvantaged people continue to have access to justice.”
The Award ceremony comes as the Government continues part two of its review of LASPO. Following the cuts in 2012, Resolution has been working to communicate its members’ views to government and campaigning for changes to legislation. This work has already led to a number of concessions, including widening the evidence gateway.
Notes to editors
– Resolution represents over 6,500 family law professionals committed to a non-confrontational approach to resolving family disputes that considers the needs of the whole family, especially any children. Resolution also campaigns for improvements to the family justice system.
– The Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year awards are run by the Legal Aid Practitioners Group (LAPG) are legal aid’s most prestigious event and exist to honour the often unsung champions of the legal profession who do so much to support some of society’s most vulnerable people.
– Photo credit: Robert Aberman