Local lawyer shortlisted for national award
A dedicated solicitor who works in Mid Devon District Council’s small legal team has been shortlisted for the Legal Professional of the Year Award, run by Lawyers in Local Government (LLG).
The award recognises outstanding achievement by a local authority legal professional and is organised by the LLG, the national body representing, promoting and supporting the local government legal sector.
Maria de Leiburne joined the council in 2016 on a temporary basis as Interim Monitoring Officer, but it was not long before she impressed with her skills and attitude. She is now the Legal Services Team Leader.
Maria undertakes a variety of work including prosecutions, governance, employment law, planning issues and injunctions. It is this varied skillset, combined with her partnership working with the Police and other bodies involved in community safety, which led to Maria being nominated for the award.
Maria has gained an outstanding reputation in the Devon Community Safety Partnership and has become the go-to contact for the local police team. Her work the Police and the Youth Offending Team back in April 2017 ensured she obtained the first civil injunction in Devon using the new powers available, and several further injunctions have been secured since.
As well as a Law degree and subsequent Legal Practice Course from the University of Central Lancashire, Maria has an MA in Criminology and more recently completed the Diploma in Local Government Law and Practice from The Law Society.
Head of Legal (Monitoring Officer) at MDDC, Kathryn Tebbey, said:
“Maria has all the qualities needed to make an excellent local authority solicitor – she is politically astute and commercially minded, with an unflappable outward demeanour. Maria has an enhanced ability to work with fellow officers, members and third parties to get the job done, all the while with a manner which is approachable and supportive yet firm. She is a trusted advisor, a great support to the team and I am delighted that she has been shortlisted for this award.”
The winners of each category will be announced at a ceremony in Birmingham on 2 April 2020.