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City students win top honours at The Times Law Awards 2013

Graduate Diploma in Law students sweep the board at prestigious essay competition
by Sophie C

Two students taking the Graduate Diploma in Law at City University London have been awarded the top prizes at The Times Law Awards 2013. Andrew Lomas and Lara Hassell were awarded 1st and 2nd place respectively. They beat hundreds of other entrants, from leading law schools across the country, who submitted essays on the topic of 'Privacy and Regulation of the Press'.

Andrew LomasThe presentation was made by the Lord Chancellor, Chris Grayling, who described it as an "exclusive accolade". The gala dinner at Lincoln's Inn was attended by more than 250 judges and lawyers, including the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge.

Andrew Lomas was awarded first place along with a prize of £3,500. He pursued a career as an academic scientist before deciding to undertake the Graduate Diploma in Law at City. Andrew says he hopes to practise at the Bar and is looking at a mix of commercial and intellectual property law:

"It was a privilege just being invited to the prize dinner: I was sat with some of the most senior judges in the country and got the chance to hear their perspective on the future of the law. To hear my name read out as the winner at the end of it all was absolutely fantastic and crowned a brilliant evening".

Lara-HassellFellow GDL student, Lara Hassell, was awarded second place and received a prize of £2,500.  She studied History at Girton College, University of Cambridge before joining The City Law School:

"It was such a surprise to reach the final in the first place, and to get second prize was an unexpected bonus. The awards dinner was a fantastic occasion - I sat next to a senior judge and opposite the editor of the Sunday Times, and had some really interesting conversations. I'd really encourage people to enter: I didn't expect to win anything, but you definitely won't unless you give it a go".

During his speech, the Lord Chancellor praised London as a world leader in legal services, contributing £20 billion to the UK economy and unrivalled in terms of size, quality, experience, flexibility and value for money. He added that handing out this prestigious award was timely:

"Just last week I was at Allen & Overy, launching the Government's renewed Action Plan for Growth, making the case for London as a global capital for legal services. Next week I will be hosting the annual silk ceremony in Westminster Hall, when I will present letters patent to a new cadre of Queen's Counsel. But in between celebrating the success of established lawyers, tonight we can dedicate ourselves to the next generation of great British legal minds."

The annual student essay awards are held in collaboration with One Essex Court, the chambers of Lord Grabiner QC. The winning essay will be published in The Times Law pages and the second and third placed entries will appear online.

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