A law firm has achieved double success after one of the most challenging periods in its 70 year-history.
Like most organisations, Edward Hughes Solicitors – based in Rhyl and Colwyn Bay – was forced to close its offices to the public in the Spring when the global Covid-19 pandemic took hold in the UK.
Both practices reopened in July with strict safety and social distancing measures in place, and as court hearings and police stations slowly begin processing cases in person, they have returned to some semblance of normality.
In past weeks, the firm received more welcome news, having again secured the Lexcel Accreditation for Excellence in Legal Practice Management and Client Care.
Meanwhile, solicitor Ben Jones has passed the rigorous Court Duty Solicitor qualification and Criminal Litigation Accreditation.
That will allow Ben – who qualified as a solicitor 12 months ago – to represent defendants at magistrates’ court who have been charged with an offence and do not have or have not contacted their own solicitor.
He is the fourth member of the team to achieve the Law Society standard, which also includes Police Station Accreditation.
“I managed to submit all of the cases and finish the exams successfully, which was a relief as I had to do it online due to Coronavirus restrictions,” he said.
“Going before an examiner sitting as a Judge via a laptop at home was a strange feeling and certainly an experience I won’t forget, but it went well given all of the hard work I had put in and as a company we have been operating virtually for much of the year, so we I was well prepared.
“I now look forward to representing Edward Hughes Solicitors at the police station and magistrates’ court as a duty solicitor; it gives us more of a presence and resources on the ground when called upon.”
A former pupil at Ysgol Glan Clwyd in St Asaph, Ben added: “This first year as a qualified solicitor during a pandemic has been a real challenge but as a team we have got through it together, and I would like to thank everyone who helped me achieve what I have in past months.”
Reflecting on the Lexcel accreditation and strides made by the company in its seventh decade, senior partner and Civil Litigation Solicitor David Jones praised staff at both coastal offices for their dedication and support.
“Throughout the year we have risen to the challenges brought on by this crisis and managed to set new standards,” he said.
“This year the inspection took place in a different form – again with online reviews and virtually rather than in person – so huge thanks to our team for setting yet another benchmark, particularly Jane Watson, our Practice Manager.
“Realistically the changes made this year and impact of Coronavirus will be felt for a long time, and the legal profession will never be the same again.
“Like most industries we will adapt and aim to come back stronger; we are certainly in a position to do so and have had the opportunity to reflect on how we can do better – as a result we will be even more efficient going forward.”