Royal recognition

Birthday surprise: solicitors honoured by the Queen

The chief executive of Action for Victims of Medical Accidents (AVMA) and the former head of legal at BT led the list of solicitors recognised in the Queen's birthday honours list last weekend.Arnold Simanowitz, who was awarded an OBE, said: 'It is wonderful to be recognised by the government for improving the situation for victims of medical accidents, especially since improving the situation has cost them a lot of money.' Former head of legal at BT, Jonathan Rickford, said he was 'absolutely delighted' at receiving a CBE for his work as project director of the company law review.

Solicitor Roland Phillips, head of the litigation division at the Treasury Solicitors Department, was also appointed CBE.Kingsley Hyland, special casework lawyer at the Crown Prosecution Service, was awarded an OBE for his work since the service's inception in 1986.

He said: 'I am chuffed to bits and speechless.'Tony Widdrington, senior counsel at the National Assembly for Wales, also received an OBE.

He said the award was a 'reflection on all of us involved in the intense activity of getting the assembly up and running'.There were MBEs for Loretta Jennings, chief legal assistant at the Corporation of London, for her work as honourary legal adviser to the Association of London Government, and Bristol sole practitioner Peter Browne for services to those with legal disputes.

Mr Browne runs a 'law shop' which provides free facilities to people who want to handle their own cases without a solicitor, and ten minutes of legal advice for 10.

Andrew Towler