A lawyer who represented ‘Crossbow Cannibal’ Stephen Griffiths during his police interviews has been honoured by the Law Society for his work as a solicitor in Bradford.
Saf Salam, who works for Bradford law firm Lumb and Macgill, has been named Solicitor Advocate of the Year for the Yorkshire and Humber region.
The award earned Mr Salam, who only qualified as a solicitor six months ago, the Richard Cawthron Prize, at a ceremony attended by the Recorder of Bradford, Judge Roger Thomas QC, and guest speaker Christine Hamilton.
The annual prize is given to young lawyers who have shown exceptional promise.
Mr Salam, who lives in Bradford, joined Lumb and Macgill as an office junior after leaving school at 16. He progressed through the ranks to become an accredited representative, representing clients at police station interviews, before qualifying as a solicitor last October. He has represented clients at more than 15,000 police interviews – including serial killer Griffiths.
Mr Salam said: “He was already a client of the firm and when he was arrested he requested me personally to be present. It was an interesting experience. It is daunting to be involved in a case like that. You must never lose sight of the fact that lives have been lost, but you have to act with integrity in the best interests of your client.”
Mr Salam said it was humbling to be nominated for the award by other lawyers in the city and “mindblowing” when it was announced he had won.
“I was shocked,” he said. “It was just such a privilege. The award takes great account of your skills as an advocate. I love the English language, and advocacy allows you to use it.”
Mr Salam admitted he had lofty ambitions. “I will not stop until I am a judge, I have always wanted to do that,” he said.
Bradford Law Society president Jim Staton said: “Saf was nominated with a glowing recommendation.
“He is a true standard bearer for the profession and a great talent for the future.”