“Humbled and proud” Hilary Meredith collects Royal British Legion Centenary Award

Hilary Meredith, founder and chair of Hilary Meredith Solicitors, has been honoured with a Membership Centenary Award by The Royal British Legion.
The Royal British Legion’s Centenary Awards recognise members who have made an “outstanding contribution in their Legion work”.
Hilary’s entire career, spanning three decades, has been devoted to serving members of the Legion and their families – wherever they are in the world.
Hilary is Chair of the Royal British Legion Solicitors Group, a group she helped to establish in 1989 after being approached by the Legion’s Pensions Group to set up a free legal service for beneficiaries.
The Royal British Legion Solicitors Group provides members of the Legion with access to legal advice and representation from a group of like-minded military solicitors.
Under Hilary’s guidance, The Royal British Legion Solicitors Group has grown to represent over 4000 beneficiaries in war zones around the world.
“I am very humbled and incredibly proud to collect this Centenary Award,” said Hilary.
“The Royal British Legion has been at the heart of a national network that supports our Armed Forces community since 1921.
“It is a privilege to support serving and ex-serving personnel and their families.”
Added Hilary:
“I could not have done this without the support and understanding of my long-standing PA of thirty years, Helen Denny plus the incredible members of the Royal British Legion Solicitors Group, who work collaboratively to assist injured service personnel regain their quality-of-life post injury, providing them with a pathway back to civilian life.”
Hilary was instrumental in recognising that Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) Awards could wipe out means tested benefits and negotiated with HMRC to allow awards to be placed into a disabled trust to secure current and future MTB.
Her work on behalf of members of the Legion falsely accused of war crimes has ensured they can live their lives free from the repeated investigation and malicious prosecution. It has also led to the government presenting ground-breaking legislation to protect military personnel and veterans from false accusations.
Hilary’s work has also been hugely effective in securing greater safety measures for members of the armed forces during training exercises. Examples include the death of three soldiers during a ‘friendly fire’ incident in Afghanistan which resulted in changes to the army’s coordinates system to avoid similar tragedies; and the Check Point Blue 25 inquest, held to investigate the deaths of five soldiers murdered by the Afghan police forces they had been training. Many inquests, such as Brecon Beacons, have resulted in coroners making recommendations for systemic changes.
Hilary’s service to members of the Legion goes far beyond legal advice. She provides free training twice a year to the pensions team and is also a prolific fundraiser as a member of the Poppy Ball Committee.
In another recent example, during the first Covid-19 lockdown, members of the Legion faced financial hardship after the MoD stopped payments from Veterans UK. Hilary lobbied the Government in the national press (writing for The Times newspaper) and helped to reverse the decision after discussions with Veterans Minister, Johnny Mercer.
Hilary also supports the Legion’s members through her role as Visiting Professor of Law and Veterans’ Affairs at the University of Chester, where she supports the outputs of the Westminster Centre and Research and Innovation in Veterans’ Wellbeing.