Leicestershire Lawyer Named Best in the Country

Local solicitor Helen Johnson has beaten stiff competition from around the country to be named Solicitor Advocate Of The Year in the Law Society Excellence Awards for England and Wales. 

A criminal lawyer and Managing Partner at Emery Johnson Astills, Helen heads a team of legal specialists advising clients who find themselves being investigated or prosecuted for all manner of motoring, criminal or regulatory matters.

In their decision, Law Society judges cited Helen’s sound judgment in her work representing clients at jury trials, as well as her breadth of experience and commitment to nurturing the next generation of solicitor advocates in their decision. 

The national Excellence Awards celebrate the achievements the country’s most outstanding legal practitioners in their field and Helen’s award joins a growing collection of accolades for her contribution to Leicestershire’s legal and business communities. 

A previous winner of the Leicestershire Law Society Solicitor of the Year, Helen was also a finalist in the Leicester Mercury Business Executive of the Year and received an “Inspirational Woman” award from Leicestershire Asian Business Association. 

Helen is a regular of these pages where she shares news of her professional and charitable activity. A prominent voice against the proposed changes to the legal aid system, she is committed to preserving equal access to high quality legal advice and representation for everyone in society. 

Her increasingly high profile advocacy attracts national press coverage and includes the case of a 17 year old with Asperger’s Syndrome charged with offences of terrorism. Two juries refused to convict him of the terrorism charges which were eventually dropped. 

Helen has contributed to measures now in place which help the courts deal with vulnerable people and has spoken at events in London on this subject. 

On top of her busy caseload, Helen is a trustee of Warning Zone, a charity which seeks to prevent criminal and anti-social behaviour in children through education, offering a safe place to explore risk. 

She is also founder and organiser of the annual Leicestershire School Courts Competition which gives young people aged 13-16 the opportunity to experience first hand all aspects of the criminal justice system. 

When she founded Emery Johnson Solicitors, with Lesley Emery, Helen aimed to offer friendlier, more down to earth support than traditional law firms and the pair quickly garnered a reputation for successful outcomes for clients. 

Today, the firm continues to provide an approachable attitude, which is now being adopted by many other firms, in contrast to the “stuffy” law firms of the past and Helen, a former President of the Leicestershire Law Society, is the doyenne of Leicestershire’s legal community. 

On the ethical foundations of her original partnership, acquisitions and mergers have seen Helen and her like-minded team build successful private family, property, wills and probate departments and Emery Johnson Astills has offices in Leicester, Loughborough and Coalville.