The legal team at Loughborough University and the Department of Health and Social Care Legal Advisors in the Government Legal Department were both highly commended in the In-house Team of the Year category in the Law Society Awards 2021.
The citation for the university read: “The judges were impressed with how this small team managed to build efficiencies into the way they worked with the wider university.
“Their innovative solutions such as the self-service portal, online assessment centre and insourcing of property work showed the great impact of their work.”
The citation for the DSHC Legal Advisors said: “The judges felt that this legal team have been at the heart of everything over the last 18 months, demonstrating their impressive impact.
“The work of this team has significantly impacted the national fight against COVID.”
It added: “Their forward-thinking and legally robust and innovative advice has contributed to the protection of the population, earning them a glowing testament from Chris Whitty.
“Their highly commendable work includes drafting legislation, coordinating advice on social distancing, vaccinations, face coverings, and so much more.”
Two council legal teams – Leeds City Council and South Lakeland District Council – and NWSSP [NHS Wales Shared Service Partnership] had also made the shortlist for the category, which was won by the team at the Working Families charity.
In the Solicitor of the Year – In-House David Burbridge of University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust was highly commended.
His citation said: “The judges were impressed by the breadth of David’s work during the pandemic, including advising on emergency legislation, legal ethics, commissioning the Nightingale hospital and the vaccine programme, all in an unprecedented and highly pressured environment.
“In addition, the judges would like to commend David for his training as a psychological first aider to support colleagues.”
Rita Bange, Principal Property & Regeneration Solicitor at Tower Hamlets Council and LLG’s National Lead for Housing & Regen, and Jackie Gray of NHS Digital were among those shortlisted in the category, which was won by Marios Kontos of Rainbow Migration.