Hogan Lovells’ Sengova Kailondo scoops junior solicitor of the year gong in memory of Aya Hachem
A University of Salford law student who was killed in a tragic drive-by shooting has been honoured at an annual legal awards ceremony.
Aya Hachem, 19, was just meters from her home in Blackburn, Lancashire, when she was reportedly shot dead from a car window in May this year. Hachem had just passed her second year law exams and harboured ambitions to become a solicitor. Police said she was not the intended target of the attack.
The Law Society of England and Wales has now honoured Hachem’s passing by issuing one of their awards in her name.
The move was led by Sahar Farooqi, a barrister and former head of DWF Advocacy, who had launched an online petition calling on The Law Society to add Hachem’s name, posthumously, to the roll of solicitors. ‘Put Aya on the Roll’ received thousands of reactions at the time.
Upon reaching out to the governing bodies, The Law Society and the Solicitors Regulation Authority, we were told that “the roll of solicitors is a professional register and admission is governed by the Solicitors Act 1974 — [it] does not allow for honorary additions”.
Farooqi said: “Sadly, to add Aya posthumously to the roll would have required legislative change.”
“Nonetheless, The Law Society, and in particular, outgoing president, Simon Davis, worked with me to create a simple but meaningful tribute to honour Aya. Her family will also be welcomed at the Society when possible to receive a framed letter commemorating Aya’s life and legal ambitions.”
Last week, Sengova Kailondo was named The Law Society’s junior solicitor of the year, an award issued in memory of Hachem. Kailondo fled war-torn Sierra Leone to start a new life in London 17 years ago. The now Hogan Lovells associate impressed the judges with his commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Eight people have now been charged with the murder of Hachem and the attempted murder of their intended target. They are due to stand trial next year.
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