Ciara Bartlam wins Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year award 2022

13 July 2022

Ciara Bartlam LALY award

Ciara Bartlam has won the Legal Aid Newcomer award at this year’s Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year (LALY) ceremony.

Ciara, a member of our inquests and inquiries team, was presented with the award at the Legal Aid Practitioners Group (LAPG) event in London last night.

Ciara said: ‘Last night was so special and it was such a treat to see so many people in person for the first time since Covid. Being surprised by my client and then being with her on stage was just such a delight. Like so many legal aid lawyers, I’m just really lucky to work with such brilliant people.’

As part of her nomination for the award, Ciara received lengthy written endorsements for her work, approach, and manner, from colleagues at several organisations including:

  • Young Legal Aid Lawyers (YLAL)
  • Greater Manchester Law Centre
  • Irwin Mitchell
  • Ison Harrison
  • Migrants Organise
  • the Museum of Homelessness
  • Broudie Jackson Canter.

There were also testimonies from her clients and fellow members here at Garden Court North Chambers. Quotes from her nomination can be seen at the bottom of this article.

Ciara specialises in representing bereaved families whose loved ones have died in the community. Her expertise in housing, mental health and social care law gives her a unique edge in complex inquests arising from deaths in the community, particularly those who have died in supported accommodation settings.

Ciara has particular experience working with young people and on inquests related to the deaths of young people to whom the state has owed social care responsibilities. Ciara stands out as an advocate because of her personable and kind manner, attention to detail and fearless representation on behalf of families.

Among other voluntary roles, Ciara is a Young Legal Aid Lawyers committee member and a trustee of the Greater Manchester Law Centre.

‘Ciara is collaborative, committed and compassionate. She has an excellent mind and a commitment to using it for the most impactful purposes possible.’


‘As a family we felt Ciara whilst always maintaining professional standards fully embraced N’s life, he wasn’t just a deceased client, he was a son, brother, parent, friend and she represented him to the best of her ability and got as near to the truth and circumstances of his unfortunate death as we could’ve hoped for at the beginning of our journey.’


‘Ciara is enthusiastic, deeply committed to legal aid work and a joy to work with.’


‘Ms Bartlam, from the outset was amazing. Our first initial Teams call I felt like she knew the case inside out which instilled me with great confidence. My worries were all cast aside by her calm and empathic nature. This and the knowledge of the case in such a sort time was nothing short of a miracle. I was truly thankful she was available to represent me and also said yes to taking the case.’

Ciara is committed to her clients, extremely thorough and detailed with her work and one of the few barristers we do not need to repeatedly chase for advice or submissions. She is a pleasure to work with, nothing is ever too much for Ciara, she is always there to answer any questions.’


‘She is generous with her time and is clearly dedicated to putting the voice of bereaved families at the centre of the inquest process.’

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