Leslie Thomas is Legal Aid Barrister of the Year 2012
Alumnus, Leslie Thomas (Law, 1987) received the award of Legal Aid Barrister of the Year 2012 at the LALY (Legal Advice Lawyer of the Year) awards ceremony on Tuesday 12 June. Louise Christian, of Christian Khan who have a reputation for representing some of the most disadvantaged people in society, commented "Leslie has done more for the families of those who die in custody or at the hands of the police than any other single lawyer. This is extremely difficult and not well funded work which requires extraordinary dedication and persistence and Leslie has all these things as well as enormous empathy with clients."
When asked about his work and what this award meant to him, Leslie said: "When I learnt I had won the LALY award for Legal Aid Barrister of the Year I was shocked because the work I do representing those who had died in the hands of state agencies for a long time has been an unrecognised area of work.
This award means so much to me for it is a tribute to the families and clients I represent. It is their dignity and courage that drives and motivates me to fight their corner. It is their bravery in the face of great adversity (it is not an easy task to take on for example the police to find out how someone died in police custody).
All of this makes me realise that it is possible to use the law to achieve great things. I would also like to thank Kingston University again for providing me with the essential building blocks which propelled me upwards in my career, namely a good and solid legal education, and for teaching me that good critical legal thinking was always a must. Finally, all of this would be meaningless without my family and loved ones".
In the Winter 2011 issue of the KINGSTON magazine, Leslie talked about his legal practice and his involvement as co-executive producer of the iconic film, We need to talk about Kevin starring Tilda Swinton. Read more about this barrister who was 'Made in Kingston'.