The Royal British Legion Solicitors Group (TRBLSG), chaired by Hilary Meredith, CEO at Hilary Meredith Solicitors Ltd, has won the Legal Services Team of the Year accolade at the Claims Innovation Awards 2016.
The Royal British Legion Solicitors Group (TRBLSG) was established in 1989 by a group of likeminded solicitors from law firms the breadth of the country, some ex-military but all with the same passion; to represent the Armed Forces and their families by providing the best legal advice and also to assist injured service personnel regain their quality of life post-injury.
Founder members were Hilary Meredith, Paul Harrington, Andy McDonald MP and Mark Fielding, while the group has grown over the years to include Geraldine McCool, David Poole, David Robinson, Clare Stevens, Dorcas Crawford, Simon Harrington and Jenny Holt.
Although from competing law firms the group shares information, and meets regularly to discuss tactical issue and trends. The group also provides extensive training (Pro Bono) to the Royal British Legion staff and DMCR Headley Court (recently on Court of Protection matters).
Commenting on the award win, TRBLSG Chair Hilary Meredith said:
“We are thrilled to win this award.
“Military law has become significantly more complex over the years, making the role of TRBLSG more important than ever before.”
TRBLSG has untaken Pro Bono work amounting to hundreds of thousands of pounds for injured military service personnel and their families over the years, covering incidents from Northern Ireland to Bosnia, Gulf War 1, Iraq and Afghanistan and also accidents on manoeuvres from jungle training in Belize to South China, Hong Kong, Kenya, Cyprus, Germany and Canada.
Over the last 12 months, TRBLSG has provided Pro bono support and representation to the families at a number of Inquests, including Brecon Beacons, which led to the Parliamentary Enquiry Beyond Endurance. The inquest found that Lance Corporal Edward Maher, Lance Corporal Craig Roberts and Corporal James Dunsby died as a result of negligence on a 16-mile march on an exceedingly hot day in 2013.
Giving evidence to the parliamentary Inquiry, TRBLSG Chair Hilary Meredith said the deaths amounted to “criminal recklessness” on the part of the MOD. She told MPs that “a lack of accountability by the Ministry of Defence for accidents had resulted in a blasé culture”.
Agreeing with Hilary’s evidence, the Committee recommended that the Ministry of Defence should be subject to corporate manslaughter charges and lose its crown immunity when there is a blatant disregard for life.
The Claims Innovation Awards, held at the Midland Hotel in Manchester, celebrate how firms, teams and individuals from across the legal services, claims management and associated industries’ landscape constantly find new ways of raising standards, growing business and improving access to justice.