The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) has honoured excellence in study, practice and practical training. Just five prestigious CILEx Awards are awarded each year and these were presented at the CILEx graduation ceremony on Saturday, 1 October at Jury’s Inn, Milton Keynes.
Winners in each category are:
CILEx Graduate of the Year Award 2016 (sponsored by Hoopers International Probate Genealogists): Awarded to Gemma Ashcroft
This award is given to the CILEx graduate who achieved the highest average score, over 82%, in her level 6 subjects.
Gemma, works as a Legal Officer in the Adult Social Care and Education Legal Team at Wigan Council and studied part-time at The Law Academy in Liverpool and has now passed all of the exams to become a fully qualified Chartered Legal Executive Lawyer.
On receiving the award, Gemma said: “I am incredibly honoured to be awarded CILEx Graduate of the Year. I have worked very hard and I feel very privileged and humbled that my efforts have been recognised. I would like to thank my family and friends, my colleagues at Wigan Council and the Law Academy for all their support throughout my studies.”
CILEx Employer of the Year Award 2016 (sponsored by CILEx Law School (CLS)): Awarded to Bond Dickinson
This award recognises an employer who has shown their ongoing support and commitment to legal services apprenticeships.
Bond Dickinson is a national law firm employing over 650 legal professionals across seven sites in the UK. The firm recruited three legal apprentices in 2014, a further three in 2015 plus a Business Administration apprentice and they have also recently enrolled a third cohort of three legal apprentices in their Plymouth office. From day one, legal apprentices, are fully integrated into the firm gaining access to high quality legal work.
The firm was voted the highest rank law firm in the UK’s 100 most popular employers for school leavers surveyed in 2015 and was also accredited with the sixth generation Investors in People Standard, one of the first law firms to be assessed and achieve this standard.
On accepting the award, Mark Norman-Ball, Onshore Deputy Manager at Bond Dickinson said: “We are delighted that our apprenticeship programme has been recognised in this way. Legal Apprenticeships are now playing an important role in our pipeline of future fee earners. To date two of the apprentices from our first cohort have been promoted into paralegal roles during August 2016 ahead of plan.”
CILEx Pro Bono Award 2016 (sponsored by Kings Court Trust): Awarded to Christine Howard
The Pro Bono Award recognises the dedication and commitment of an outstanding individual who, in addition to their daily work, has contributed to the community through giving their time without charge to help others by providing work of a legal nature.
The winner Christine Howard, a Chartered Legal Executive lawyer at Weil, Gotshal & Manges is a passionate believer in access to justice and since 2005 has dedicated over 2,100 hours which is testament to her longstanding dedication to pro bono. This is despite having an incredible busy day job in a Dispute Resolution Practice. Christine has co-ordinated the rota for the Royal Courts of Justice Advice Bureau for 10 years and is also a Trustee of the organisation.
Peter King, Partner and Global Co-Chair of the Weil Pro Bono Committee said: “Christine is a true pro bono star, for the last eleven years she has consistently delivered hundreds of hours of free legal advice to deserving charities and individuals with great vigour and passion. She never stops until she gets the result the client deserves. Christine is also an integral member of our Pro Bono Committee and helps maintain and drive the pro bono culture we have in the office and wider firm.”
Christine’s prize money is being donating to the charity of her choice; RCJ Advice Bureau Limited.
CILEx President’s Award 2016 (sponsored by CILEx): Awarded to M. A. Muid Khan
This award is sponsored by CILEx and recognises an individual who has given outstanding service to CILEx and the legal community and who represents CILEx values and ethos.
Mr Khan; who is a Chartered Legal Executive Lawyer of CILEx and also a Barrister, works as a Senior Appeal Consultant for Lincoln's Chambers Solicitors & MQ Hassan Solicitors.
This years’ winner is a model of excellence, an outstanding CILEx practising individual and leads by example. Muid Khan has a genuine commitment to pro bono work, professionalism, attention to detail and doggedness when he is fighting for a just cause. He gives free legal advice by running popular live legal shows on NTV Europe.
On receiving the award, Muid said: “The award is a great honour, and I really appreciate CILEx’s recognition. Thank you all for your choice and for your trust in me. I will do my best to keep your trust and try to provide the best possible legal service to my community and other communities, to ensure justice for all.”
Mr Khan is donating his prize money to the Princes Charity.
CILEx Apprentice of the Year Award 2016 (sponsored by CILEx Law School (CLS)): Awarded to Jessica Parlour
This award acknowledges and celebrates an apprentice’s outstanding contributions to their workplace and exceptional progress in both their skills development and studies.
This year’s winner is an Apprentice who works in the Solicitor's Office and Legal Services team at HM Revenue and Customs in London.
She is an exceptional ambassador for CILEx and HMRC, who has great ambition, drive and passion for her legal career. She has passed all her CILEx exams first time and to date has achieved two distinctions and a merit.
On receiving the award, Jessica said: “It is a privilege to receive this award from CILEx and CILEx Law School. I am very proud to be a CILEx Legal Apprentice and show that you don't need to go down the traditional route to have a successful career in the legal sector.”