The prestigious Legal Aid Practitioners Group (LAPG) Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year (LALY) Awards Shortlist of Nominations for 2017 were announced today. KRW LAW LLP is proud and delighted to be the first law practice from Northern Ireland to be nominated for a second time for these prestigious awards in recognition of work on behalf of those in receipt of legal aid. The LALY awards were established 15 years ago. Last year our colleague Darragh Mackin won Legal Aid Newcomer of the Year for his outstanding work on behalf of The Hooded Men and other achievements.


This year KRW LAW LLP is nominated in two categories:


Legal Aid Firm of the Year and Public Law Lawyer


As a firm we have been recognised for our legal aid work in criminal defence and in our Conflict related Legacy litigation.


In criminal defence we are robustly independent. We were key in the collapse of the prosecution in “Stormontgate”. We have pioneered defence strategies relating to DNA evidence as evidenced in the trail of Omagh Bomb suspect Sean Hoey. We have represented those accused of the Northern Bank Robbery, the Masserene Barracks murders and the murder of Robert McCartney. KRW LAW LLP led the vanguard in the fight to defend legal aid service provision by announcing a unilateral withdrawal of services from the Crown Court, using the leverage provided to us by being the leading legal aid practice in the North of Ireland.


Our Conflict related Legacy litigation work is ground-breaking in using litigation to obtain truth, justice and accountability for the relatives of the victims and survivors of the Conflict in the North of Ireland. We are also importantly informing the discussion about how to address the Legacy of the Conflict. We act for a substantial number of relatives of victims and survivors in a range of legal actions. We are using our expertise to assist victims in other post-Conflict jurisdictions.


Our colleague Christopher Stanley, Litigation Consultant, based for us in London, is short listed for Public Law Lawyer of the Year award primarily for his work on the Birmingham Pub Bombings 1974 and in securing both a resumption of the original inquests and an amendment to the legal rules to enable a non-England and Wales legal aid supplier to apply for a legal aid contract from the LAA.  Christopher was formerly an academic lawyer, a refugee caseworker, a CAB specialist advisor and an NGO legal officer before joining us in 2014 in his present role in the Legacy Department and on our policy and media strategy.


The LAPG Awards ceremony will take place in July in London.


KRW LAW LLP congratulate our colleague Christopher Stanley and thank all our team for their outstanding work in achieving this recognition.  We thank those who made and supported our nomination including our clients, colleagues in the legal profession and friends in civil society.


Senior Partner Kevin Winters who co-founded KRW LAW LLP said:


“We are very proud of our team in achieving this recognition from the LAPG. These are prestigious awards for our profession and to be nominated in two categories for the second year running is outstanding. Christopher Stanley is a committed public lawyer and deserves this accolade. Our outstanding team at KRW LAW LLP is proud of this achievement and to be recognised for our legal aid work at home and now in the rest of Britain and Ireland.”