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Frank Maguire receives his Solicitor of the Year Award from Moira McFadyen of category sponsors Central Law Training Scotland’s best-known campaigning lawyer, Frank Maguire of Thompsons Solicitors won the prestigious Solicitor of the Year category at The Firm’s Scottish Law Awards in Glasgow, on Thursday, September 16.

The award signals a rare double success – Mr Maguire led Thompsons to the Law Firm of the Year title at last year’s ceremony.

Mr Maguire is a tireless campaigner on behalf of asbestos victims and NHS patients who contracted Hepatitis C and HIV from infected NHS blood transfusions and products.

The judges at last night’s glittering ceremony also recognised his professional skills in establishing Thompsons as the leading personal injury specialist firm in Scotland and praised his political convictions and his impact in changing the law.

Mr Maguire said: “This is a tremendous honour which reflects the professionalism of my colleagues whose support has made it possible.

“The Law is currently going through a period of change and uncertainty, which means we have to be more vigilant than ever that our rights are not eroded.

“I am working with the STUC on their Access to Justice campaign against rising court costs which threaten to price the man in the street out of our courts.

“I am also supporting MSP Bill Butler in his efforts to get the Scottish Parliament to pass the Wrongful Deaths bill which would eliminate the need for details of victims lives to be the subject of courtroom wrangling and give them a legal right to fair and just compensation.”

Mr Maguire’s joint senior partner Syd Smith said: “This award is richly deserved.

“Frank has dedicated his life to fighting for the underdog and seeking justice for the victims of accident, injury disease and industrial wrongs.

“But perhaps his outstanding quality is his refusal to accept injustice…and if the law can’t help his clients, his willingness to fight to change the law.

“He can take real credit for the fact that asbestos victims in Scotland are significantly better off than their counterparts in England thanks to his success in persuading the Scottish Parliament to act on their behalf.”

Richard Baker, Labour’s Spokesperson on Justice said: “Frank’s instincts are always to strive to protect the vulnerable, and he has a huge personal commitment to ensuring that our courts and the justice they deliver are available to all, regardless of their ability to pay.”

Grahame Smith General Secretary of the STUC said: “Frank Maguire is a loyal supporter of the Trade Union movement and a valuable ally in upholding and extending our members’ rights and campaigning for their interests when they conflict with those of big business, the insurance industry and even the criminal justice system”.

Phyllis Craig, Senior Welfare Rights Officer at Clydeside Action on Asbestos extended her congratulations to Mr Frank Maguire for winning the prestigious title of Solicitor of the Year . The Scottish Law Awards were held in Glasgow on 16 September 2010, and recognise outstanding achievements and contributions in the legal profession.  Phyllis stated ‘We are delighted that Franks’ dedication and achievements have been recognised in this way.  Frank has shown a steadfast commitment to promoting the rights of people who have an asbestos related disease for many years, and has campaigned rigorously to promote and protect the rights of people who have suffered an illness or injury through no fault of their own. He has been instrumental in improving the legal rights of families whose lives have been devastated by a diagnosis of the terminal illness Mesothelioma, and those who have been diagnosed with pleural plaque in Scotland.  He is a most dedicated and determined individual whose insight and compassion richly deserves to recognised.’

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