Halsbury Legal Awards 2013 – celebrating what the law is all about

By Simon Hetherington, Publisher - Halsbury's Laws of England

The future of law is a big theme. It covers technology, how people work and how the legal profession is changing. LexisNexis is, naturally, committed to the future of law. But it isn’t simply a matter of self-interest. What has consistently motivated our company over the decades is to ensure that the legal profession has access to the law. We believe this is important because it sustains the rule of law.

People enter the legal profession for many reasons. What connects them is a sense of contribution: a belief in making the law work for everyone.

To work in the law – thinking about it, writing about it, making it, applying it and arguing it – is to work at the heart of society.

Society is dynamic, and the law has to be equally so to reflect that. Law is a massive structural element of society, and a major instrument of change, to be wielded both responsively and pro-actively. It is therefore the people in the legal community who maintain that structure and deliver that change.

The Halsbury Legal Awards have been established to acknowledge exactly that.

Halsbury is a name recognised by lawyers across the world. It stands for the whole of the law, denoting objectivity, breadth, authority and perhaps a little gravitas: features that we want to see on the legal landscape. The range of these awards embraces those features, and turns the spotlight onto the universal benefits of doing the right things, properly.

Awards for the best amongst solicitors and at the Bar recognise that the effective practice of law improves the wider world, economically and socially. Awards for pro bono work, promotion of the rule of law, and investment in promoting women in the law celebrate the efficient and ethical conduct of legal work. Awards for academic contribution, and for journalism and comment, underline the critical importance of thought-leadership.

In keeping with the breadth of the awards themselves is the range and expertise of the judges on the panel, including: Lucy Scott-Moncrieff, President of the Law Society for 2012-13; Maura McGowan, Chairman-Elect of the Bar Council for 2013; Professor David Ormerod, a current Law Commissioner; Paul Matthews, who combines an international academic presence with a city practice and the office of Coroner; Anand Doobay, a business crime specialist and leading authority on extradition; Ruth Daniel, Chief Executive of the Access to Justice Foundation; Andrew Hopper QC, a leading light in professional regulation; Professor Dame Hazel Genn, whose achievements and contributions to the field of civil justice are immense; Bruce Macmillan, Senior Vice President and Commercial Legal Counsel at Visa Europe.

The Awards will also be supporting the National Pro Bono Centre and the Access to Justice Foundation.
Those organisations, like the awards, embody the message that there is a single law serving the whole of society, and we are all connected within it.

To find out more about the awards, please go to the website: www.halsburylegalwards.co.uk

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