BBC News

Cardiff solicitor wins Law Society junior lawyer award

image captionLisa Morgan said the award recognised the work of her department

A Cardiff solicitor has been named the Law Society's junior lawyer of the year after helping to reclaim £10m in wrongly paid care home fees.

Lisa Morgan, originally from Newtown, Powys, was selected from a shortlist of lawyers from Wales and England.

She is a senior associate at law firm Hugh James, and heads a 21-strong team representing 2,000 clients.

She said: "I'm thrilled. The award is in recognition for the work the department does."

Ms Morgan, 32, joined 600 leading lawyers and their guests at the Law Society's black tie dinner and presentation ceremony at Old Billingsgate in London.

She was presented with her award by the society's president Linda Lee, who said she was "extremely impressed" by the high standard of entries.

Vulnerable people

Ms Morgan said: "It's a great honour. But it is not just for the work I do, but for the department."

She said in the last three years law firm Hugh James had helped reclaim £10m in wrongly paid care home fees.

Ms Morgan said she represented vulnerable people who had been wrongly assessed or not assessed at all before entering care homes.

Those who qualified for free care had then paid for care out of their own pockets, she explained.

Ms Morgan said it was costing an elderly person about £600 a week to stay in a home, and many of those who were wrongly paying for care had been forced to sell their homes to pay the bill.

Law Society judges commended her for encouraging others to get involved in this field of law, using her legal skills to provide assistance and training to others, and for the large amount of pro bono work and mentoring.

Ms Lee said: "Winning an award is more than recognition from their professional colleagues, it is also a symbol of quality for members of the public."