2020 winners

There has never been a more important time to celebrate the hard work, skill and dedication of lawyers in England and Wales, to champion the rule of law and to defend the fundamental right to justice for all. Congratulations to all the firms, teams and individuals who have won an award.

13 October

This award recognises that business environments and client expectations constantly evolve, and firms are finding new and innovative ways to secure new business and deliver legal services.

Winner

DAC Beachcroft
DAC Beachcroft

DAC Beachcroft impressed the judges by using their experience in the market to develop inventive digital tools, providing a valuable breach management solution advisory service.

Highly commended
Winslows Tax Law

Winslows Tax Law were highly commended for their innovative approach and solutions-led advice provided to clients around tax planning. The detailed level of content, training and virtual support brought a refreshing change.

Lovetts Solicitors

Lovetts Solicitors’ bespoke dept recovery system has been instrumental in providing services during COVID-19. The firm has been able to maintain client service levels throughout the pandemic, garnering some excellence client feedback.

This award celebrates commitment and service excellence in client care.

Winner

JD Spicer Zeb Solicitors
JD Spicer Zeb

JD Spicer Zeb demonstrated a clear commitment to client service through their work with vulnerable and diverse individuals in what can be severely traumatic circumstances.

Highly commended
CFG Law

CFG Law won this award last year and have continued to serve vulnerable and seriously injured clients. The judges were particularly impressed with their innovative partnership with the Spinal Injuries Association.

Bolt Burdon

Bolt Burdon were highly commended for their work to promote a ‘people-oriented’ practice and for striving for excellence with the embodiment of their ‘Client Commandments’.

This category celebrates the innovative marriage of technology and law in the provision of services for clients.

Winner

DAC Beachcroft
DAC Beachcroft

DAC Beachcroft stood out for their use of automation to simplify the process and improve the consistency of motor accident insurance outcomes.

Highly commended
Poole Alcock LLP

Poole Alcock LLP have transformed their practice through their use of technology for client-facing tasks. Their involvement of both lawyers and IT experts in the product design process is also notable.

Societe Generale

The judges considered the Societe Generale’s legal department as a great example of a legal team using well-thought-through technological solutions, resulting in more efficient business outcomes.

This award recognises those solicitors who are leading the way in finding innovative means to communicate with clients, staff and stakeholders.

Winner

Rayden Solicitors
Rayden Solicitors

Rayden Solicitors stood out for their consistent use of a creative idea, which the judges felt showed a fun side to the firm and the law.

Highly commended
Slater and Gordon Lawyers

The judges felt that Slater and Gordon Lawyers showed true commitment to investment in the use of data to inform their marketing and communications work.

Paris Smith LLP

Paris Smith LLP impressed with their website analytics and the agility displayed in delivering their marketing campaigns.

Wilson Browne Solicitors

The judges particularly enjoyed the strong visuals of Wilson Browne Solicitors’ marketing campaigns.

This award showcases firms and teams who have shown how their learning and development practices have enhanced their business, either through improved service or increased efficiency.

Winner

King & Spalding
King & Spalding International LLP

King & Spalding International LLP impressed the judges with their approach to learning and development throughout the COVID-19 lockdown, where they launched a bespoke virtual training programme for their employees.

Highly commended
Thrings LLP

The judges were impressed by Thrings LLP’s robust learning and development programme, which creates a clear and supported career progression pathway for their employees.

Dentons LLP

Dentons LLP were highly commended for their research and evidence-based approach to learning and development, transforming the way in which they lead and engage their diverse and multigenerational workforce.

This award showcases the successful and innovative examples of best practice in the promotion of diversity, inclusion and social mobility, which is so important, now more than ever.

Winner

Clifford Chance
Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance showed a fantastic commitment to embedding diversity and inclusion into their firm’s culture and impressed the judges by launching several data driven initiatives in this area.

Highly commended
The Black Solicitors Network

The Black Solicitors Network were highly commended for their outstanding work in raising awareness, influencing the legal sector and demonstrating effective action for early engagement with future solicitors.

Travers Smith

The judges felt that Travers Smith’s work on its BAME Allyship booklet was a refreshing approach to diversity and inclusion.

This award recognises female solicitors who have achieved significant results, either in business or for the benefit of society. She will have opened doors historically closed to women, inspiring other female solicitors to pursue a career in law.

Winner

Vivienne Artz
Vivienne Artz, Refinitiv

Vivienne Artz is recognised for her tireless effort in supporting equality, diversity and inclusion, and for continuously pushing for change within her industry.

Highly commended
Helen Lamprell OBE, Vodafone UK

Helen Lamprell OBE is highly commended for using her role as Vodafone UK’s general counsel and external affairs director to drive positive change, both within the business and in society more widely.

Entries to this category have been selected by the senior editorial team of the Law Society Gazette.

Winner

Polly Sweeney
Polly Sweeney of Rook Irwin Sweeney

Polly Sweeney’s recent high-profile campaigning role in litigation to maintain the educational rights of children with special educational needs impressed the judges.

Highly commended
Charles Brasted of Hogan Lovells

The judges would like to recognise Charles Brasted for his exceptional work in a leading role on Hogan Lovells’ Brexit taskforce, where he worked to a high standard not just for his clients, but also in his public-facing work.

This award is given in recognition of the unprecedented work being undertaken by members and the profession during the coronavirus pandemic.

Winner

Elizabeth Rimmer
Elizabeth Rimmer, LawCare

She has been forward thinking throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and ensured that LawCare was able to provide adequate resources to members of the profession during these unprecedented times. LawCare looked at issues ranging from loneliness to caring responsibilities and made its resources free for all members.

14 October

This award celebrates excellence and outstanding achievement in access to justice. Access to justice is a fundamental right, and legal aid performs a crucial role in providing fair and equal access to those most at risk of being excluded from our legal system. We celebrate the teams and firms who go above and beyond to combat this issue.

Winner

Child Poverty Action Group
Child Poverty Action Group

Child Poverty Action Group impressed the judges with their outstanding work providing support through training and their free publications to frontline workers tackling child poverty in the UK, and in taking legal action to challenge unjust decisions.

Highly commended
Rights of Women

Rights of Women is highly commended for the launch of its service offering advice to victims of sexual harassment at work. The service helps those who cannot afford lawyers to raise grievances with employers and to bring tribunal claims.

Turpin & Miller LLP

Turpin & Miller LLP were highly commended for their work in facilitating a partnership between two academic institutions at Oxford University and a nearby prison to provide a fortnightly legal advice clinic for foreign nationals facing deportation.

Whether the pro bono work is for clients, the local community or a non-profit organisation, this award showcases examples of innovation and best practice in providing pro bono legal work.

Winner

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer impressed the judges by showing how partnering with NFPs can be effective in understanding the needs of those seeking access to justice.

Highly commended
Brick Court Chambers and Arnold & Porter

The judges felt this was a great example of how the charity Pro Bono Connect can match barristers and solicitors together in a case, demonstrating how members across the profession are willing to donate their time to help those who cannot afford legal advice or representation.

This award celebrates excellence and outstanding achievement in human rights. We celebrate solicitors whose sheer determination and dedication has made an exceptional contribution to the promotion, protection and advancement of human rights.

Winner

Matthew Evans
Matthew Evans, The AIRE Centre

Matthew Evans has helped reshape the law in a broad range of important fields to deliver impact for hundreds of thousands of people.

Highly commended
Milla Walker, Luqmani Thompson & Partners

Milla Walker shows tremendous dedication whilst working on the frontline of a cutting-edge area of law with unique challenges. The judges were particularly impressed with how Milla uses the law to deliver outstanding results in complex cases.

Ahmed Hassan Aydeed, Duncan Lewis Solicitors
Ahmed Hassan Aydeed delivers an impressive range of high-quality work in complex areas of law and has been responsible for a series of cases that have brought about significant change.

This award celebrates the successes of large firms over the last year, whether from stand-out events or overall performance. These firms have demonstrated excellence through business improvement, staff engagement and development, and client service.

Winner

Duncan Lewis Solicitors
Duncan Lewis Solicitors

Duncan Lewis Solicitors impressed the judges with their ability to make a significant difference to their clients, and to the profession as a whole, working tirelessly.

Highly commended
Dentons

Dentons stood out for their investment in technology, which the judges saw as a reflection of their ability to look to the future when considering how the firm can support their clients.

Paul Hastings
Paul Hastings’ approach to lateral hires has set them apart when it comes to their ambition and what they’re seeking to do for their clients. Their approach in areas such as innovation and diversity and inclusion are what stood out to the judges.

This award recognises law firms which have demonstrated an innovative approach to the delivery of legal services in today’s international marketplace.

Winner

LCN Legal
LCN Legal

Through the production of their guides on transfer pricing compliance, LCN Legal has focused on a clear market and strategy in an international area.

Highly commended
Zaiwalla & Co

Zaiwalla & Co were highly commended for taking cases that raise interesting international legal questions. They remind us that the ability to challenge the status quo is an important part of the English and Welsh legal system.

This award acknowledges the outstanding achievements from an in-house team, recognising those who applied their skills to the benefit of both the legal function and the overall organisation.

Winner

Cornerstone
Cornerstone

Cornerstone has been a key player in launching several new projects improving mobile connectivity in the UK and facilitating the faster rollout of telecom infrastructure services.

Highly commended
The Zoological Society of London

The in-house team at the Zoological Society of London are highly commended for the incredible support they’ve given to their colleagues, particularly over the last couple of years.

Air Charter Service
The legal team at Air Charter Service has gone above and beyond to support critical transactions affecting human lives in a disaster area.

This award celebrates excellence and outstanding achievement by an individual solicitor working in an in-house role.

Winner

Vodafone
Wayne Spillett, Vodafone Group

Wayne Spillett has been instrumental in transforming multiple parts of the business he works for and has had a clear impact from both an operations and partner perspective.

Highly commended
Jelena Madir, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

The judges noted Jelena Madir’s ability to excel in a senior leadership role during a time when her institution is effecting major change on the international stage is extremely impressive.

This award celebrates those who have demonstrated an exceptional standard of work as well as great dedication in their role as a junior lawyer. This year’s award will be in memory of Aya Hachem.

Winner

Sengova Kailondo
Sengova Kailondo, Hogan Lovells

Sengova Kailondo impressed the judges with brilliant high-level work as well as dedication to diversity and inclusion. He is an active member of several D&I initiatives, using his time to support and mentor others.

Highly commended
Callum Scott, Nottingham Law School Legal Advice Centre

The judges were extremely impressed by his outstanding dedication to diversity and inclusion, and his significant and positive societal impact whilst working to a high standard.

Richard Burnham, Lee & Thompson LLP
Whilst a trainee, Richard Burnham developed a strong interest in ethics in the legal profession, leading him to co-author a book on ethics for solicitors, which has been published by the SRA.

This award is given in recognition of the unprecedented work being undertaken by members and the profession during the coronavirus pandemic.

Winner

Jelena Madir
Jelena Madir, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

She excelled in a senior leadership role at an institution which has played a key role in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and launched a number of innovative products for the financing of the COVID-19 vaccine.

15 October

With regulatory, legislative and financial management challenges, this award celebrates passionate and pioneering sole practitioners who stay on top of the ever-changing industry.

Winner

Tom Bohils
Tom Bohills, Chronos Law

Tom Bohills impressed the judges with his innovative approach and passion for the law, and highlighted his work to provide pro bono assistance alongside supporting local community groups.

Highly commended
Kem Masinbo-Amobi, KMA Solicitors

Kem Masinbo-Amobi is an accomplished solicitor who has shown creative approaches to running a successful business with an exceptional level of client care.

Arun Chauhan, Tenet Compliance & Litigation
Arun Chauhan has built a hugely successful business with strong client satisfaction and an impressive firm profile, alongside various community projects and pro bono work.

This award celebrates individuals who have introduced innovative change management initiatives which have produced significant performance improvements.

Winner

Steve Bradley
Steve Bradley, Greenhalgh Kerr

Steve Bradley successfully integrated law tech into business operations and implemented a wellbeing programme, which aided in business continuity throughout the COVID-19 lockdown and was highly praised by the judges.

Highly commended
Arun Birla, Paul Hastings

Arun Birla impressed with his significant contribution to the promotion of equality and diversity in the firm and within the profession more widely. Particularly notable is his strong business acumen and impactful leadership.

This award celebrates the successes of small firms over the last year, whether from stand-out events or overall performance. These firms have demonstrated excellence through business improvement, staff engagement and development, and client service.

Winner

Emmersons Solicitors
Emmersons Solicitors

Emmersons Solicitors impressed the judges with their commitment to public service through extensive work as LGBTQ campaigners and career mentors to young people.

Highly commended
McClure Solicitors

McClure Solicitors is a firm whose innovative free will scheme is at the centre of its operations. They continually challenge the status quo with their unique business model, which creates value for their clients and charitable causes.

Mooneerams
The judges were especially impressed with Mooneerams’ work to give back to the profession and their local community.

This award focuses on those who excel and set themselves apart in the world of wills, probate and trusts.

Winner

Shoosmiths
Shoosmiths LLP

Shoosmiths LLP has demonstrated a significant contribution to the private client sector. Their online coronavirus hub and virtual mediations conducted throughout lockdown are especially notable.

Highly commended
Barrett and Co Solicitors

Barrett and Co Solicitors are highly commended for their support to their local community, clearly demonstrated by the intitiative to do weekly shops for vulnerable clients during the COVID-19 lockdown and their low fixed-fee advice offer.

Simpson Solicitors

Simpson Solicitors showed great commitment to customer service, particularly during the pandemic. Their decision to create a free wills service for NHS staff is especially commendable.

Harrison Clark Rickerbys

The judges were impressed by the firm’s Welsh language service, their wills at work initiative and their service to provide wills for Welsh air ambulance staff.

This award recognises an outstanding contribution made by a solicitor in private practice, someone who has gone that extra mile.

Winner

Chloe Jay
Chloe Jay, Shentons Solicitors & Mediators

Chloe Jay has glowing testimonials from her clients confirming that she is held in incredibly high esteem. The judges note that her social impact is “truly inspiring” – from speaking to students about legal careers to campaigning for legal funding, she is an exceptional example of a criminal defence solicitor who is dedicated to her work.

Highly commended
Des Collins, Collins Solicitors

Des Collins is highly commended for his work leading a team working on behalf of over 1,400 clients to secure a public inquiry into what may be one of the worst treatment scandals in NHS history.

Christopher Linton, Wollens

Christopher Linton is highly commended for the active role he plays in his community and his key part in work on behalf of several health charities.

This award celebrates the successes of medium firms over the last year, whether from stand-out events or overall performance. These firms have demonstrated excellence through business improvement, staff engagement and development, and client service.

Winner

Collins Solicitors
Collins Solicitors

Collins Solicitors is a firm who have made a significant impact through their work on the Blood Inquiry, which the judges felt made them the most deserving winner.

Highly commended
Hall Brown Family Law

Hall Brown Family Law has shown a serious commitment to the wellbeing of their staff, most clearly demonstrated by their extremely low turnover.

This special award recognises a solicitor who has made an effective contribution towards the work of the profession and/or the Law Society.

Winner

Naomi Angell
Naomi Angell, Osbornes Law

Naomi Angell has had an incredibly successful and influential career spanning almost 50 years. Throughout her career, she has shown true dedication to improving the law as it relates to children and families through extensive policy work, lobbying and numerous pro bono initiatives.

This award is given in recognition of the unprecedented work being undertaken by members and the profession during the coronavirus pandemic.

Winner

UK Collaborative Plan for Pro Bono
UK Collaborative Plan for Pro Bono

The UK Collaborative Plan for Pro Bono is made up of 60+ law firms who, building on their expertise of previous crises and the importance of working together, shared information and reduced demands on those at the forefront of the pandemic legal need. Firms in the plan also supported and boosted the not-for-profit and legal aid sector's messaging throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.