How long have you worked in Edwards & Co?
I joined the firm in 1987 as a paralegal, did my apprenticeship here and qualified as a solicitor in 1990. I became a partner in 1995 and took over as senior partner in 2005.

Do you specialise in any particular area?
For over 20 years I mainly did personal injury litigation, Judicial Reviews and professional conduct cases for bodies such as the Nursing Midwifery Council and the NI Social Care Council. I also represented large numbers of clients in several public Inquiries. After running Northern Ireland’s longest running civil case (102 Court days) , a group action for 5000 police officers suffering from PTSD, I decided to take a break from litigation and trained as a mediator. I’ve now developed a specialist mediation service called the better way . I continue to advise and represent clients in areas of litigation and public law, as well as managing the firm and its strategic growth and development.

What do you like about what you do?
The best part of being a lawyer (and a mediator) is being able to help clients find solutions for difficult and sometimes distressing problems and having the opportunity to represent people who may not be able to represent themselves. I am passionate about mediation because I believe it helps people to resolve disputes in a way that is constructive and highly effective.

What’s the best case you’ve ever worked on?
In 2001 I acted for the family of Jonathan Simms, a talented 17 year old footballer who developed vCJD. I worked with a team of doctors and lawyers who fought for Jonathan’s right to receive revolutionary medical treatment. Jonny tragically died in 2011 - 10 years after doctors predicted he would die without the treatment. Sometimes the law can be frustrating because it appears to create more hurdles than it breaks down, but this case showed the law at its best – finding a way to make a difference to someone’s life.

What Dorcas’s clients say about her:
“Dorcas is very thorough and really good at thinking on her feet."
"She's got a very engaging personality and remains pleasant and good humoured even when she is under pressure."

 Dorcas is recognised as ‘a leader in their field’ in Public and Administrative Law and is ranked as a practitioner in mediation and Professional Discipline (UK wide) in Chambers 2016
She is also the only mediator in NI to be ranked in Chambers:

‘Belfast-based Dorcas Crawford is an "energetic" and "confident" mediator, who is singled out for being "very meticulous in how she approaches cases”. ‘