Annaliese Fiehn writes about the Law Society's Excellence Awards and explains the nomination process.
This year we celebrate 10 years of recognising the very best work in the legal profession.
The Excellence Awards are designed to showcase exceptional individuals, teams and firms who are making a difference in their respective fields. With categories continually being updated and added - this year's newest addition is Excellence In-house - the awards are constantly evolving to reflect the changing needs of the membership, and work undertaken by those practising across the UK and abroad.
Over the past decade, award winners have incorporated a wide range of disciplines and include sole practitioners, legal aid firms, in-house lawyers, international firms, human rights advocates, high street practices, charities and City firms. The Law Society Gazette recently highlighted the past winners.
Why hold the awards?
The Law Society wants to recognise the brightest and best in the legal profession - by rewarding exceptional work every year, we hope to inspire others to achieve more for their clients and themselves, as well as to showcase innovative developments in the field. The awards are a celebration of professionalism, commitment and the fantastic results that firms and individuals deliver for their clients. Recognising and applauding those who excel forms part of our work to represent, promote and support solicitors.
This year, firm and team awards cover the following categories: Business Development, Client Service, Diversity and Inclusion, In-house, International legal Services, Learning and Development, Marketing and Communications, Private Client Practice, Pro Bono, and Technology.
Individual awards include: Gazette Legal Personality of the Year, Human Rights Lawyer of the Year, Junior Lawyer of the Year, Solicitor of the Year (Advocacy, In-house and Private Practice) and the prestigious Woman Lawyer of the Year.
Anyone can nominate a solicitor who has inspired them, whether they are colleagues, collaborators, friends or someone whose work they greatly admire. For more information on nominations, full details are available on the website.
The online nomination process is straightforward, allowing you to start a nomination and then save it to submit at a later date. To help explain the process there are detailed guidance notes (PDF) available, providing information on categories and the entry requirements.
There is no fee to enter the awards and you can nominate as many people or firms as you think warrant an award. Firms and teams don't need to be solicitors as the Law Society is committed to recognising excellence across all disciplines of the profession. However, most individual categories require nominees to be practising and on the Roll of solicitors for England and Wales.
The deadline for entries is Friday 27 May so if you would like to nominate someone for this year's awards it's not long until submissions close. Entries are marked by specialist judges and the shortlist will be announced in August.
The tenth anniversary awards ceremony takes place at the Hilton Park Lane in London, on Thursday 20 October, where the winners will be revealed. This year's keynote speaker is the eminent civil liberties campaigner Shami Chakrabarti CBE, chancellor of the University of Essex and former director of Liberty, and Mishal Husain will host the evening.
Last year's Excellence Awards were a huge success and given the added anniversary celebrations we're sure this year's will be even bigger.
Deadline for entries Friday 27 May
Judging takes place early July
Shortlist announced early August
Awards ceremony Thursday 20 October
Find out more about the awards
Follow the action on Twitter with #lawsocawards