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Parrott & Coales woman scoops top honour at national awards

December 10, 2014 Charities,Solicitors

Celebrations have been high at law firm Parrott & Coales after family solicitor Lorna Barry, 29, was crowned joint winner of the Young Lawyer of the Year award at the national 2014 LawNet awards.

Innovation was the name of the game at this year’s LawNet awards, which is an organisation that has been supporting independent law firms for 25 years. Outstanding individuals were recognised for their commitment and excellence, and law firms were awarded for their successful growth strategies.

For the first time in the award’s history, there were joint winners in the Young Solicitor of the Year category as the judges could not separate two of the nominees. Lawnet, a collaborative network of 65 independent law firms, recognised Lorna for her unrivalled commitment to building business and her ability to capitalise on new opportunities. Judges highlighted how Lorna has developed impressive connections with key organisations in the local community such as Thame Citizen Advice Bureau and Buckinghamshire Women’s Aid, and how she has used these to support her clients and used them to create new business opportunities for the firm.

Her leading role in the building and execution of the firm’s social media and PR strategy was recognised and her  keen commercial awareness, which is evident through sales and marketing initiatives that she has introduced to the firm. For example, to help her clients and the law firm overcome the challenge of cuts to legal aid, Lorna initiated a  ‘Fixed Fee Interview’ scheme for family cases.

On a personal level, judges described Lorna as a passionate, confident and caring individual who works to promote her clients’ interests, which is recognised by the exceptional client feedback she receives from the wide range of complex cases on which she works.

Lorna said: “Receiving this award is a real honour. It’s satisfying to know that my work is helping to make a difference to the business as well as to the people that need legal advice and support on often difficult and challenging family issues.”

Earlier this year, Lorna and Maryann Dimmer, paralegal at Parrott & Coales, were also finalists in the National Family Law Awards, which recognises the important work of family lawyers and their outstanding achievements. Richard Sauvain, partner and head of the Family Team, said: ” It has been an excellent year for the family department and I am very proud that Lorna has won this award. It’s testament to her hard work and determination something both her clients and the firm value a lot.”

When announcing the award, Chris Marston, chief executive of LawNet, said: “The awards are a great opportunity to recognise the contribution our members are making to the standing of the LawNet network, as well as recognising the staff behind these outstanding outcomes.

“We set high quality and management standards for members, and that helps to maintain the parity between our firms, which in turn leads to a co-operative powerhouse effect, where everyone benefits from collaboration and networking – and that’s evident in this year’s award winners.”

The LawNet award ceremony took place last month.