The leading criminal defence firm Tuckers Solicitors was announced as the winner of the TLEF-sponsored 'Access to Justice through IT' award at the 2018 Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year awards last week [17 July].
Tuckers practice manager Adam Makepeace and colleague Chirag Pareek were presented with the trophy by Baroness Doreen Lawrence at a ceremony in central London, attended by 500 legal aid lawyers.
Tuckers accepts its 'Access to Justice through IT award'
The LALY awards are organised by the Legal Aid Practitioners Group on a not-for-profit basis to celebrate excellence within the publicly-funded sector. TLEF has sponsored the 'Access to Justice through IT' award since 2015, as a way of recognising the growing role of technology in the delivery of legal advice, information and support.
Tuckers was honoured for its CaseRatio software, which it developed inhouse to allow its defence lawyers to work more quickly and efficiently, providing an online diary, map and register of members. Developed for its own use, Tuckers also provides CaseRatio free to other firms.
Accepting the award, Adam Makepeace admitted that it had proved 'quite hard' to persuade other firms to take up the software. He said: 'I am really, really pleased to get this award,' which, he added, would help spread the word about the value of CaseRatio. 'This software is our way of trying to give something back to our community. It is our way of saying to other firms, "Come to us. Let us show you how it works. Let us work collaboratively on this.".'
The LALY ceremony was also attended by a number of Justice First Fellows, who were singled out for special mention during the opening speech by LAPG co-chair Jenny Beck. 'We are particularly delighted to have so many newer members of the profession with us this evening,' she said. 'We always get fantastic support from the Young Legal Aid Lawyers group, and this year the Justice First Fellows are also here in force. We could not be more pleased to welcome you.'
LAPG co-chair welcomes TLEF's Justice First Fellows to the LALY18 ceremony
For a full list of LALY18 winners, see: www.lapg.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/LALY18-winners-press-release-FINAL.pdf