Camden-based lawyer, Naomi Angell, credited with helping to shape the laws relating to children and families, has been awarded the Law Society President’s Lifetime Achievement Award 2020.
Naomi, works as a family lawyer at London law firm Osbornes Law, which has offices in both Camden and Hampstead. She heads up the firm’s adoption, surrogacy and fertility law team and has a career spanning almost 50 years. In that time, she has represented hundreds of children, birth parents and extended family members as well as intended parents in surrogacy cases, adopters and foster parents.
Alongside her case work, she has dedicated herself to improving the law relating to children and families, through policy, lobbying and pro bono initiatives.
She sits on The Law Society’s Children’s Law sub-committee, on a working group aiming to establish a dedicated court for migrant and trafficked children and another concerned with children in care being placed abroad for adoption.
In 1981 Naomi set up the Children’s Legal Centre, a charity dedicated to children and young people’s legal rights. In 2013, she was invited to take up the position of patron at the centre. She has been a member of a number of influential committees including chairing both the Family Law Committee and the Faster Family Justice Committee of the Law Society.
In her acceptance speech, part of a virtual ceremony held for the Law Society Excellence Awards 2020, Naomi said, “Over the many years I have worked as a family lawyer I have seen dramatic changes in the concept of family. In the seventies I had cases where women separating from their husbands and coming out as gay would lose their children in custody disputes, regardless of what was best for the welfare of the children.
“Much has changed. Now heterosexual two-parent families bringing up birth children exist alongside many other types of family. In any school class there could be children living in co-habiting gay or straight families, with step or half brothers and sisters, children adopted, fostered or born by surrogacy as well as those born by assisted reproduction.
“As both science and our society advances, the law trails behind. Throughout my career it has been hugely important to me to reflect what I am seeing in my case work with my involvement in family law policy, to ensure that changes are made that accommodate the needs of modern families, with the welfare of children paramount.”
Stuart Kightley, managing partner of Osbornes Law says, “Congratulations go to Naomi for this amazing achievement. She is one of the country’s leading authorities on international adoption and one of the few lawyers able not only to give their clients the best possible representation but also to shape and improve the law for the benefit of all. We are proud to have her as part of our family team.”
If you have an adoption, surrogacy or, another family matter that you would like to discuss with Naomi, or another member of the family law team call 0207 485 8811 or complete an online enquiry form.