Legal Heroes is run by the Law Society and seeks to recognise the solicitors who have made the biggest difference to the lives of others, their local communities and the world at large over the past two years.

We are proud and delighted to announce that our own hero, Chairman and CEO Professor Andrew McLeod, has made their shortlist of 19 who have all been recognised for making a lasting and tangible impact on society as well as bringing distinction to the profession.

The Law Society offers a brief explanation as to why Andrew has been shortlisted, but it only skims the surface of the amazing work he has achieved through the non-profit he co-founded called Hear Their Cries.

Here Their Cries uses innovative DNA technology to bring reparations to children abandoned by the mostly foreign aid-workers who fathered them through rape or relations with sex workers. To track down the father involves formidable familial DNA data-sleuthing as well as confrontation with the men. Once proven, legal efforts are made to secure the child all rights acquired through the nationality of the father. Such compensation includes acquiring passports, child support and benefits.

Why Andrew was shortlisted – Law Society

Andrew revolutionised efforts to tackle overseas sexual abuse, securing parentage declarations and support orders through a team of pro bono lawyers. His tireless commitment, spanning continents and personal resources, has brought fundamental changes to affected children’s lives and systemic deterrence against future abuses.

Last year, Hear Their Cries created a new precedent for accountability. It was set in a King’s Bench trial out of Edmonton, Canada using new DNA techniques to track fathers and hold them to account. The precedent can be used in all Common Law jurisdictions including the UK, Australia, USA and New Zealand. Using Genetic Genealogy, for the first time ever in any jurisdiction, the court accepted the parentage of a child using a combination of Familial DNA evidence and travel records.

Also in 2023, Hear Their Cries was awarded the Foreign Aid NPO of the Year 2023 – Switzerland Award.

The competition for the Law Society’s Legal Hero is intense. The other nominees may be viewed here. We salute them all.