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Jordan Publishing is delighted to announce that Kate Purkiss, of Coram Chambers, has been selected as the Family Law Awards 2012 Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year.
Kate will collect her award at the Family Law Awards ceremony on Wednesday 10 October 2012 at the London Hilton hotel on Park Lane, Mayfair. The ceremony will be hosted by last year's winner of the Outstanding Achievement award, District Judge Nicholas Crichton.
To highlight the importance of pro bono work, especially at a time when legal aid funding is being cut, Jordan Publishing decided to launch a new award for family pro bono lawyers and invited the trustees of the National Pro Bono Centre to judge it. The Family Law Awards 2012 are proud to be supporting the National Pro Bono Centre and will also be facilitating donations from attendees at the ceremony.
Kate practises from Coram Chambers in London and advises and represents Local Authorities, Guardians and Respondent parents at all levels in complex child care cases concerning serious non accidental injury and death; sexual abuse; mental ill health; chronic neglect; emotional abuse; and learning disability.
This year she has represented Chana Al-Alas, in the case of LB of Islington v Al Alas and Wray  EWHC 865 (Fam) led by Jo Delahunty QC, and the Local Authority in Re J (A Child: Disclosure)  EWCA Civ 1204 led by Roger McCarthy QC.
The case was widely reported in the media and concerned a 17-month-old child in the care of the local authority since birth because her parents had been charged with the murder of her older sibling. The couple were acquitted of murder and the sibling's injuries were later found to have been caused by rickets. The child was ordered to be returned to the parents.
Mrs Justice Theis in her judgment said: "All counsel played an important part in undertaking this work. I would like to record the courts gratitude; in particular, to Ms Sambrooks- Wright and Ms Purkiss for the tireless way they undertook this difficult task". Lyndsey Sambrooks-Wright, a barrister at 2 Dr Johnston Building, is shortlisted for the Family Law Young Barrister of the Year award.
Jordan Publishing would like to congratulate Kate and thank everyone who nominated her. If you wish to attend the awards ceremony, bookings can be made through our website.
Join the conversation about the awards on Twitter by using the hashtag: #familylawawards.