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Law Alumnus Nigel Priestley is awarded an MBE

Nigel Priestley, senior partner at Huddersfield law firm Ridley & Hall and one of the UK’s most respected care and adoption specialist solicitors, has been named in the Queen’s New Year 2021 Honours List in which he has been awarded an MBE in recognition of his services to Children and Families.

Nigel is a graduate of University of Warwick. He studied at Warwick Law School from 1970-1973 on our Law LLB course, what he describes as, “a very imaginative course and unique in the way law was taught at the time.”

Nigel, 68, is a leading expert in kinship care, adoption breakdown and care proceedings. A member of the Children’s Panel, he regularly represents children, parents and grandparents in care proceedings. Throughout his long career, he has received many awards including being named National Kinship Care Legal Champion, Yorkshire Lawyer of the Year 2017 and Solicitor of the Year in the Law Society Excellence Awards in 2010. His accolades have culminated in now being made a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE).

Nigel has been involved in landmark decisions as a result of Judicial Reviews he has brought including a case in the Court of Appeal setting out when children living with grandparent carers should be regarded as ‘looked after’ children. A grandfather himself, Nigel works closely with Grandparents Plus and many kinship support groups. He is a former trustee of Family Rights Group (FRG).

As a result of actions in which Nigel and his team have been involved, over £1.5 million has been paid to carers in back paid fostering allowances.

Commenting on the award, Nigel said: “This is a tremendous and unexpected honour which came completely out of the blue. When I graduated from Warwick 47 years ago I never thought that I would have had such a varied and interesting career. It was a place of political ferment when I was there. I learnt the importance of challenging authority and speaking up for those not being listened to.”

Wed 24 Feb 2021, 10:00 | Tags: Award, Alumni