A NORTH-EAST solicitor who has dedicated herself to helping vulnerable people has been honoured in the Northern Law Awards.
Melanie Morley, who works for BHP Law, in Darlington, was named Rising Star of the Year in recognition of her rapid progression after qualifying as a solicitor.
She said: “I’m thrilled to bits, I never expected to win in a million years, but I feel quite humbled to have won this, because it’s bigger than me. It represents BHP Law, and all the hard work our whole team puts in, and it represents the passion we share for this area of law and for helping people.
“I actually got into law really late, so to win this so early on feels amazing.”
Melanie completed her law degree in 2013, and qualified as a solicitor in 2019. Now just three years later, she has been named a partner in BHP Law.
Her role as a Court of Protection Solicitor means she spends her days protecting vulnerable people, helping to give them a voice, and ensuring their welfare is looked after – particularly for people who lack capacity to make decisions for themselves.
“You’re really part social worker, and part lawyer,” Melanie says.
“It’s a very emotionally demanding job on long hours, but I love it. I get to meet the most amazing people, and I never know if I’m going to speaking – sometimes through sign language – or dancing to ABBA with them!”
It was a particularly exciting night for the BHP Law, which also saw solicitor-advocate Oluwapelumi Amanda Adeola nominated in the Partner of the Year category, and both its Court of Protection and Wills, Trusts and Probate teams nominated for Team of the Year.
When not advocating for vulnerable people as a solicitor, Melanie is serving her first year as a ward councilor for Foggy Furze, in Hartlepool, is a visiting lecturer at Teesside University, a mum-of-four, and this year welcomed her first grandchild.
The award was presented by Rachel Hardwick, from the Tiny Lives Trust, a charity which supports premature and sick newborn babies and their families. Melanie added: “My twin girls were born 11 weeks premature, so accepting the award from Rachel really made for an even more emotional night.”