fbpx

Oliver Conway shortlisted for Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year 2021

6th July 2021 By Arman Khosravi

We are delighted to announce that Oliver Conway has been shortlisted for a Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year award 2021 in the Family category. Oliver is a trainee solicitor at Oliver Fisher Solicitors and will qualify in August 2021.

Oliver is ideologically committed to legal aid work and is deeply concerned about access to justice. He is passionate about the children’s work and intends to specialise in this area when he qualifies. His innate empathy and compassion make him effective in representing clients who have learning difficulties, emotional and psychological difficulties, mental health disorders and physical disabilities.

Clients have expressed their enormous gratitude for Oliver’s representation at a stage when they are upset, distressed and often in a state of shock and not able to advocate for themselves. He has worked closely on a number of cases with clients requiring intermediaries due to their needs. He has worked with clients from myriad communities and often with those for whom English is not their first language requiring interpreters.

One of Oliver’s most notable cases has spanned three years, with a client from the Traveller community whose children were both removed at birth. Oliver was a paralegal when he first met with the client in hospital following the birth and removal of her first child. He fought valiantly for the client to have a voice within the first set of proceedings and implored professionals involved to do better at trying to understand the client and the wider Traveller community.

Oliver often travels to client’s homes, hospitals, prisons, and secure facilities so that the client can put a face to a name and tell their stories to someone directly. This approach is often shied away from and sometimes not even covered by legal aid. One client in particular was held in isolation in a secure facility due to their behaviour, however, was able to sit directly with Oliver and provide their instructions whenever he visited without the need for security. The client now sees their children on a regular basis, which would not have been thinkable at the outset of proceedings.

Oliver is always mindful of the emotional and psychological impact of proceedings on clients and their families. He will in some cases help clients to come to terms with difficult choices and help them to focus on what is realistically achievable while maintaining their dignity and self-respect. Oliver will tirelessly advocate for and secure support and access to therapeutic services for his clients. Clients have remarked that Oliver gave them faith that there is a life after proceedings.

Oliver is a confident advocate and is already representing clients at hearing in the family court. Clients say this provides them with much needed continuity and someone who knows their case and they trust. It also avoids them having to repeat very personal and often distressing events.

A loud voice for neurodiversity in the law, Oliver has dyspraxia and yet has excellent drafting skills for statements, position statements and orders. Oliver is very popular with clients who rely on his kind and compassionate but straight-talking no-nonsense approach. Many clients remain in contact long after proceedings are concluded and one local client comes into the office several times a year with treats she has cooked for him, often as an opportunity to talk and to be supported by Oliver.

Speaking about his nomination, Oliver says “I’m honoured to be recognised for the Legal Aid equivalent of the Oscars! I must say a huge thank you to all the clients and colleagues who nominated me, and my firm Oliver Fisher Solicitors for giving me a chance to undertake so much complex, interesting and often pro bono family work. Very few firms would give staff so much opportunity to go the extra mile for clients. Society needs legal aid lawyers now more than ever.”

We at Oliver Fisher Solicitors are delighted that Oliver has received this nomination. Other finalists in the Family category include solicitors who have committed their working lives to supporting legally aided clients in family matters, and it is a privilege to have one of our trainees among their number.

Winners will be announced at a streamed event starting at 6pm this evening. To register for the event, click here.

Latest News

Award That Requires Borrowing Made Into Court Order

17th May, 2024 By

Disagreements between separating couples all too often result in litigation that substantially reduces the assets available to them, as was illustrated by a case that recently reached the High Court. At issue was whether awards made by arbitrators in financial remedy proceedings can be made into court orders even if that would require one of the parties to borrow money. The couple had previously had a relationship lasting a few years before resuming their relationship in 2015. They had two children before separating again in 2019. Following their separation, the...

Inheritance Disputes – Costs Risks Can Be Reduced

15th May, 2024 By

Arguments about what someone promised before their death can lead to significant legal costs. However, if faced with a claim against the estate, there may be steps the beneficiaries or executors can take to reduce the risks, as a recent High Court case illustrated. A man had left a farmhouse and agricultural land in Cornwall to his wife, with whom he had also jointly owned a neighbouring area of land. After his death, one of the couple's daughters and her husband claimed that he had told them he wanted them...

Share Rounding Error Does Not Prevent CGT Relief

13th May, 2024 By

There are often very specific rules that must be complied with in order to claim tax reliefs, but if a small mistake arises, the courts may be able to provide assistance. In a recent case, the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) found that an investor was entitled to Entrepreneurs' Relief on the disposal of his shares in a company, despite owning one share fewer than he needed to qualify for it. The investor had agreed to purchase 5 per cent of the shares in the company for £500,000. He wished to own...

Wife Entitled to Maintenance Until Sale of Family Home

10th May, 2024 By

When divorcing couples disagree on how assets should be divided, the courts will seek to arrive at a fair outcome for both parties. In deciding how the proceeds of sale of a former couple's home should be apportioned, the Family Court agreed with the wife that she should receive maintenance payments until the sale took place. The couple had married in 2006. Following a brief separation, they had reconciled for two years before finally separating in 2022. The husband and wife both contended that they should be entitled to about...