Excellence Awards judges

  • Click below to find out more about the experts who will be judging the Excellence Awards 2019.

    Team awards

    Individual awards

    Excellence in Access to Justice

    Lucy Scott-Moncrieff, Founder and Managing Director, Scott Moncrieff

    Lucy Scott-Moncrieff

    Lucy Scott-Moncrieff has been a solicitor for over 40 years, specialising in mental health and human rights law.


    Lucy also sits as a Mental Health Tribunal judge and in the Court of Protection, and is the Commissioner for Standards for the House of Lords.

    Lucy is a former president of the Law Society, and a trustee of the Howard League for Penal Reform. She is actively involved in supporting access to justice through her work with the International Bar Association and through the charity she has set up, The Jeanie Project.

    Carol Storer OBE, Interim Director, Legal Aid Group

    Carol Storer

    Carol Storer OBE is the interim director of the Legal Aid Group. Full biography available soon


    Biography available soon

    Excellence in Business Development

    Isabel Parker, Joint Chief Legal Innovation Officer, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

    Isabel Parker

    Isabel has had a rich and varied career - she trained as a finance lawyer with Freshfields, then moved out of practice to lead the team designing and setting up their Legal Services Centre.


    She moved into her innovation role in 2015 and has recently also assumed leadership of the firm’s knowledge function.

    Nick West, Chief Strategy Officer and Director of MDR LAB, Mishcon de Reya LLP

    Nick West

    Nick began his career as a competition lawyer at Linklaters and then as a strategy consultant at McKinsey & Co.


    He currently holds the position of Mishcon de Reya’s chief strategy officer and is the director of MDR LAB, a programme for tech start-ups in the legal space.

    He is one of the foremost experts in legal tech and the application of AI to the legal market, having spent the majority of his career working at the forefront of innovation in the legal industry.

    Formerly managing director of Axiom in the UK and director of LexisNexis's UK legal business, Nick's expertise lies in the field of technology, knowledge and new business models in the legal sector.

    Nick is a visiting professor at the University of Law, where he lectures on law, business and technology and is an advisor to BPP Law School on legal tech innovation.

    Excellence in Client Service

    Wanda Goldwag, Chair of the Office of Legal Complaints, Legal Ombudsman

    Wanda Goldwag

    Wanda was announced as the chair of the Office of Legal Complaints on the board of the Legal Ombudsman in March 2017.


    Prior to this, she had a 25-year career in marketing. Her last corporate role was as managing director of British Airways-owned AIR MILES.

    Wanda was a civil service commissioner between 2011 and 2016. In 2016, she was appointed as a lay member of the Queen’s Counsel Selection Panel. She is also a non-executive director of the Royal Free Foundation Trust.

    Wanda was recently appointed as the new chair of the Financial Services Consumer Panel and interim chair at the Leasehold Advisory Service.

    Marlene Winfield OBE, Board Member, Legal Services Consumer Panel

    Marlene Winfield

    Marlene has spent her career giving a voice to users of public services. She is a member of the Legal Services Consumer Panel and the Governance Board of the London-wide end-of-life care programme, Coordinate My Care.


    Marlene is vice chair of the Thalidomide Trust and a non-executive director of the Professional Record Standards Body for Health and Social Care. Previously, she was director for Patients and Public in the Department of Health Informatics Directorate, and policy director at the National Consumer Council. She has been a member of the Civil Justice Council, the British and Irish Ombudsman Association Executive, and the National Information Governance Board.

    For 15 years she ran a support group that helped thousands of British women obtain compensation for injuries from the faulty Dalkon Shield contraceptive device. In 2000, she was made an OBE for services to civil justice reform.

    Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion

    Yasmin Sheikh, Founder, Diverse Matters

    Yasmin Sheikh

    Yasmin is a former lawyer and the founder of Diverse Matters, a consultancy in diversity issues specialising in disability issues in the workplace.


    Yasmin helps organisations empower their workforce to be disability confident through her consultancy services, workshops, coaching and disability-focused events. Yasmin also helps organisations become more inclusive, thereby increasing profitability and improving the retention of staff.

    Yasmin is a multi-award-winning international speaker, TEDx speaker, and 2018 winner of the Asian Women of Achievement Awards for her work in tackling preconceptions about disability, LGBT and ethnic minorities. She is also vice chair of Lawyers with Disabilities and a Law Society Council member.

    Yasmin also recently won Changemaker of the Year, awarded by the Professional Speakers' Academy, for her work in changing cultures in organisations.

    Trevor Sterling, Partner, Moore Blatch

    Trevor Sterling

    Trevor is a major trauma partner at Moore Blatch, with over 35 years of practising as a solicitor and partner in large law firms.


    Trevor has been involved in numerous high-profile actions including the recent Croydon tram disaster, Jimmy Savile child abuse cases and the Westminster terrorist attacks.

    Trevor has won several professional awards, including the Law Society’s Rising Star: Advocate in the Face of Adversity Award at the 2008 Ethnic Minorities Conference, following success in a landmark House of Lord’s employer’s liability case, the first of its type since 1957. Recently, he was highly commended at the Law Society’s 2018 Excellence Awards in the Solicitor of the Year category.

    Trevor is chair of the Mary Seacole Trust and is actively involved in media, campaigning and public speaking on issues around equality and social injustice.

    Excellence In-house

    Matthew Gingell, General Counsel, Oxygen House

    Matthew Gingell

    Matthew is Oxygen House Group’s general counsel. He is a well-respected and widely known expert in impact investing and sustainability matters.


    He is passionate about improving the culture and perception of the legal sector to benefit future generations. As well as delivering legal services for this diverse group, Matthew’s team create innovative initiatives to bring the best of the legal profession together to do more for the communities they work and live in.

    Swati Paul, General Counsel, London Luton Airport

    Swati Paul

    Swati Paul is general counsel at London Luton Airport (LLA), where she is also a board member and member of the executive team reporting to the CEO.


    Swati spent the early part of her career working in the City and has also worked in-house for Transport for London and Ofgem.

    She won a Law Society Excellence Award in 2017 (In-house Solicitor of the Year) and is listed in The Lawyer magazine’s ‘Hot 100’ outstanding lawyers of 2019.

    Excellence in International Legal Services

    Ed Crosse, Partner, Simmons & Simmons LLP

    Ed Crosse

    Ed Crosse is a partner at Simmons & Simmons LLP with over 20 years’ experience of handling complex financial and civil fraud related disputes.


    Ed was president of the London Solicitors Litigation Association from 2016 to 2018, which represents the interest of over 2,900 litigation solicitors in London. He is an elected member of the Law Society Council, representing the City of London.

    Ed has played a leading role on significant court reform initiatives, participating as the solicitor representative on judge-led working groups including: the Shorter and Flexible Trials Scheme; the Rolls Building Working Group on the implications of Brexit for UK Civil Justice (2016); and the Rolls Building Disclosure Working Group.

    Ed, together with the Rt. Hon Dame Elizabeth Gloster DBE, the Hon. Mr Justice Knowles CBE, and chief master Matthew Marsh drafted the new rules on disclosure for cases proceeding in the Business and Property Courts in England and Wales.

    Jonathan Wood, Head of International Arbitration, Reynolds Porter Chamberlain LLP

    Jonathan Wood

    Jonathan is head of International Arbitration at RPC and chair of the Board of Trustees, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators


    He is also director of the London Chamber of Arbitration, secretariat to Singapore Commodity Exchange in relation to physical rubber arbitration, and a former chair of IBA's Committee on International Sales.

    With over 40 years' experience, Jonathan handles cross border disputes relating to international trade, cultural property, energy, finance, insurance and reinsurance, commercial fraud and joint ventures.

    Jonathan has been adviser to the British government's Export Credits Guarantee Department for over 25 years. He was formerly a criminal defence lawyer and handled ECHR cases in Strasbourg. He increasingly takes appointments as an arbitrator.

    Excellence in Learning & Development

    Joanne Gubbay, Head of Learning and Development, Slaughter and May

    Joanne Gubbay

    Joanne began her legal career as a commercial litigator before moving into learning and development. She is now head of learning and development at Slaughter and May.


    Joanne is also a qualified coach and an experienced mentor, including for the 30% Club. Her passion is helping young lawyers, particularly women, to develop and flourish in their careers.

    Joanne is a member of the Nominating Council of the Women of the Year Lunch and a trustee of the Women of the Year Foundation.

    Penny Newman, Chief People Officer, Lewis Silkin LLP

    Penny Newman

    Penny joined Lewis Silkin LLP in December 2007. Previously she was head of HR at Davies Arnold Cooper and Farrer & Co.


    Penny originally qualified as a chartered accountant with Deloitte where latterly she worked in the training and development and HR functions. Penny is responsible for the HR, learning and development and trainee functions at Lewis Silkin. She also has responsibility for employee engagement, CSR and sits on the Diversity Board.

    Penny also chairs the Inn Group, a consortium of firms who pool their resources to organise training for lawyers.

    Excellence in Marketing & Communications

    Rachel Brushfield, Founder, Energise - The Talent Liberation Company

    Rachel Brushfield

    Rachel, ‘the talent liberator’, is founder of Energise - The Talent Liberation Company, established in 1997.


    Rachel is the author of the Law Society’s Smarter Legal Marketing: Practical Strategies for Busy Lawyers (2018).

    Following a career heritage in marketing in the food industry and brand strategy and communications for design, innovation and advertising agencies, the legal profession and solicitors has been a specialist focus for nearly two decades.

    Via the sub-brand EnergiseLegal, Rachel helps law firms and solicitors to put the client at the heart of their thinking and create compelling integrated communication, enabling a sustainable competitive advantage, essential with growing competition and more sophisticated clients.

    David Gilroy, BSc, MBA, FCIM, MIOD, MPSA, Managing Director, Conscious Solutions

    David Gilroy

    David is the managing director at Conscious Solutions, the UK’s leading provider of websites and digital marketing to law firms.


    He is one of the company’s founders and has personally worked with over 300 law firms on digital marketing strategies, website design, email marketing, lead conversion, social media, SEO, PPC and CRM.

    He is an engaging and challenging presenter at legal marketing and in-house seminars across the UK and internationally. In 2018, he presented 23 times to 795 people.

    Excellence in Private Client Practice

    Gary Rycroft, Partner, Joseph A Jones & Co Solicitors

    Gary Rycroft

    Gary read law at the University of Manchester and qualified as a solicitor in 1998.


    He is one of three partners at Joseph A Jones & Co Solicitors in Lancaster, a niche practice of six lawyers specialising in private client work (wills, probate, trusts, powers of attorney, elderly clients and property transactions).

    From 2007 to 2017, Gary was a member of the Law Society’s Private Client Section Advisory Committee, serving as chair from 2015 to 2017. He also sat on the Law Society’s Wills and Equity Committee from 2009 to 2017.

    Gary is chair of the Dying Matters Forum (part of Hospice UK) with the remit to promote public awareness of dying, death and bereavement. He is also trustee of The Silver Line, the only free confidential telephone helpline offering information, friendship and advice to older people in the UK, available 24 hours a day.

    Jane Whitfield, Solicitor, Barrett & Co Solicitors

    Jane Whitfield

    Jane qualified as a solicitor in 2000 and has worked since then in private client and charity law work.


    Jane was one of the co-authors of the third edition of Charities as Beneficiaries, published by the Private Client Section and ILM.

    From 2014 to 2017, Jane was chair of the Law Society’s Wills and Equity Committee, having been a member of the committee for the previous nine years.

    Jane is currently vice president of the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Incorporated Law Society, and will be stepping up to the role of president for a two-year term from July 2019.

    Excellence in Pro Bono

    Ruth Daniel, Chief Executive, Access to Justice Foundation

    Ruth Daniel

    Ruth is the chief executive of the Access to Justice Foundation, a grant-making charity which aims to improve access to justice for the most vulnerable in society.


    She works closely with the advice and pro bono sectors to help provide access to legal advice for those who need it but cannot afford it.

    Ruth has a background in law and finance. She began her career at investment bank Goldman Sachs and then qualified as a solicitor, working with private clients at Charles Russell.

    Excellence in Technology & Innovation

    Chris Grant, Director - Head of Relationship Management, Barclays Legal and Head of Legal Innovation at Barclays Eagle Labs (Barclays UK Ventures)

    Chris Grant

    Chris is head of relationship management at Barclays Legal. He has responsibility for Barclay Legal’s external relationships with a primary focus on law firms and active management of the Barclays Legal Panel.


    His team works with external service providers to ensure they are aligned with Barclays Legal’s expectations and deliver a consistent service across all interactions with the bank, particularly from a commercial efficiency perspective.

    In addition, Chris is responsible for the legal innovation within Barclays Eagle Labs and is focused on building out the industry ecosystem from the Lab in Notting Hill Gate. Chris works with law firms, law tech start-ups, Barclays’ own in-house legal function and many other leaders in the industry including government, law companies and alternative service providers, as well as the Law Society.

    Chris first joined Barclays Capital in 2005 from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer to work on the bank’s netting projects. He subsequently moved to working for the legal COO before becoming COO for Barclays Wealth Legal.

    After leaving the bank in 2011, Chris changed industries to work in software development at Towers Watson as global operations manager in their risk and financial services line of business. After a brief stint with global workspace provider Regus, Chris returned to Barclays in 2014.

    Caroline Gould, CEO, Society for Computers and Law

    Caroline Gould

    Caroline is CEO of the Society for Computers and Law (SCL). She read law at the University of the West of England before joining SCL in 1991. She became chief executive in 2013.


    SCL is the leading educational charity for the tech law sector with a mission to inform and educate legal and technology professionals, academics and students and the wider audience of the impact of IT on law and legal practice through the promotion of best practice, thought leadership, and the fostering of a global tech law community. Caroline enjoys the day-to-day challenge of managing SCL and supporting its members.

    Small Law Firm of the Year

    Philip Giles, Partner, Giles Wilson Solicitors

    Philip Giles

    Philip has run his own law firm for the last 20 years in partnership with his sister.


    Philip’s firm is a general practice, with particular focus on private client work. Philip has found that by building a strong local brand and placing great emphasis on client care and community relations, business has thrived.

    As chair of the Small Firms Division at the Law Society, Philip sees many different types of small firm, with innovative lawyers at their heart. Philip is delighted that small firms are being championed by the Law Society by being included as a category at this year’s Excellence Awards.

    Marcus Hayes, Mason Hayes Solicitors

    Marcus Hayes

    Marcus heads up award-winning law firm Mason Hayes.He was shortlisted for the Solicitor of the Year at the 2013 Excellence Awards. In 2015, he was highly commended in the same category.


    Marcus won the A1 National Legal Award for the UK’s best telecoms litigator. He is rated in Chambers as one of the notable practitioners for dispute resolution in the northwest.

    In 2009, he established his own charity, The Mason Hayes Charitable Trust. The Trust has helped to widen access to careers in the law. Its work was shortlisted in the Widening Participation category at The Times 2013 Higher Education Awards.

    Medium Law Firm of the Year

    Rachael Heenan, Senior Partner, Capsticks Solicitors LLP

    Rachael Heenan

    Rachael is senior partner at Capsticks Solicitors LLP, the leading specialists in the healthcare, housing and regulatory sectors.


    As well as leading the firm, she works with clients in the health and social care, regulatory and housing sectors on employment and governance issues as well as wider business strategy and communications.

    Her practice includes handling high-profile executive cases, major national organisational change, GDPR, TUPE, and complex medical issues.

    Kiran Radhakrishnan, Head of the Newcastle Hub, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP

    Kiran Radhakrishnan

    Kiran is head of the Newcastle Hub at Norton Rose Fulbright LLP. He is a corporate lawyer who qualified in 2014.


    Kiran took over management of the Hub when it moved to Newcastle in April 2016 and has overall responsibility for its work and operations. Kiran splits his time between Newcastle and London.

    He was previously an associate in the firm’s London corporate team, with a focus on private equity, mergers and acquisitions and equity capital markets transactions.

    Large Law Firm of the Year

    Virginia Clegg, Senior Partner, DAC Beachcroft

    Virginia Clegg

    Virginia was elected as the first female senior partner of international law firm DAC Beachcroft in 2015.


    During her long career with the firm, she has served as regional senior partner for Leeds and played a vital role in leading national teams for some of DAC Beachcroft’s biggest clients.

    As senior partner, Virginia chairs the firm’s LLP Group Board and is a member of its Audit Committee and Remuneration and Nomination Committee. She recently led the development of the Group’s Purpose, Vision and Cultural Principles, involving over 1,000 colleagues at all levels, as part of a wider review of the whole business. Also, in a drive to modernise the firm, she led a review of the Group’s governance, which resulted in the adoption of a new Members’ Agreement.

    Virginia champions DAC Beachcroft’s diversity and inclusion strategy and leads its ‘responsible business’ work. Under her watch, the firm is delivering on its commitment to remove barriers to progression and become a more diverse and inclusive organisation.

    In 2018, she appointed the firm’s first-ever head of responsible business to drive forward an agenda focused on environmental impact, working with clients in a manner aligned with the firm’s purpose, and acting as responsible citizens within local communities.

    Mary Kaye, Partner, Shakespeare Martineau LLP

    Mary Kaye

    Mary heads the family group at Shakespeare Martineau LLP and is a highly respected family law practitioner who joined the firm as a partner in 2006.


    Mary specialises in all aspects of family law, with particular expertise in international family law. She also specialises in children work and has been a member of The Children Panel for over 15 years.

    She has extensive experience in representing clients in the Family Court and is one of the few family lawyers in Birmingham who almost exclusively undertakes her own advocacy.

    Mary was president of the Law Society from 2012 to 2013. She is currently representative for Birmingham and District for the Law Society and sits on the Council of Birmingham Law Society.

    Human Rights Solicitor of the Year

    Silkie Carlo, Director, Big Brother Watch

    Silkie Carlo

    Silkie Carlo is the director of Big Brother Watch. Before joining Big Brother Watch, she was the senior advocacy officer at Liberty where she led a programme on technology and human rights and launched a legal challenge to the Investigatory Powers Act.


    She previously worked for Edward Snowden’s official defence fund and whistleblowers at risk.

    She is a passionate campaigner for the protection of liberties, particularly in the context of new and emerging technologies. She has worked to uphold rights in the fields of state surveillance, policing technologies, big data, artificial intelligence and free expression online. Silkie is also an information security trainer and organises Cryptoparty London. She is the co-author of Information Security for Journalists.

    Saimo Chahal QC (Hon), Partner, Bindmans LLP

    Saimo Chahal

    Saimo Chahal QC (Hon) is a partner and joint head of public and administrative law at Bindmans LLP. Her practice includes judicial review claims, inquests and inquiries, international cases involving litigation to Supreme Court and ECtHR level.


    Saimo sits as a judge of the Mental Health Tribunal and the Court of Protection. She deals with substantial high-profile cases which have changed law and policy and attracted significant media attention.

    She is a former winner of the Law Society’s Solicitor of the Year Excellence Award, and one of a small number of solicitor QCs. She is a former Public Lawyer of the Year (SAL) and is recognised by Who’s Who for her major contribution to the development of the law of England and Wales.

    Junior Lawyer of the Year

    Amy Clowrey, Chair, Junior Lawyers Division

    Amy Clowrey

    Amy qualified as a solicitor with a high street firm in December 2014. She began her working life as an intern in 2010 and subsequently became a paralegal with the same firm.


    She graduated from the University of Huddersfield in 2012, having completed the integrated LLB Law and Master of Law and Practice course. Amy later completed her master’s, with a thesis entitled ‘The Voice of the Child in Family Proceedings - are we there yet?’

    Amy is chair of the Junior Lawyers Division and a committee member of the Huddersfield Law Society Twinning with Uganda Group. In 2017, she travelled to Uganda to provide training to Ugandan lawyers in conjunction with the Ugandan Law Society.

    Amy has also stood as national representative and vice chair of the Huddersfield and Halifax Junior Lawyers Division and as both the sponsorship officer and the education and charity officer for the Leeds Junior Lawyers Division in recent years.

    Amy now works as a child abuse solicitor for Switalskis Solicitors, representing victims of historical child abuse and exploitation. In 2018, Amy was awarded Rising Star of the Year at the Modern Law Awards.

    Coralie McKeivor, Associate, CMS Cameron Mckenna Nabarro Olswang LLP

    Coralie McKeivor

    Coralie is an associate at CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP in the transactional real estate team.


    Qualifying in 2014, Coralie has experience in a wide range of property work acting for institutional investors and corporate occupiers advising primarily on leasing transactions. She also advises her clients on the acquisition, disposal and financing of real estate assets.

    Coralie is also the current honorary secretary for Bristol Law Society and chair of the Women Lawyers Division in Bristol.

    Coralie was previously a long-standing committee member of the Bristol Junior Lawyers Division, holding a variety of roles between 2011 and 2018.

    Practice Manager of the Year

    Andrew Harris, Partner, Hazlewoods

    Andrew Harris

    Andy is a partner in the legal team at specialist accountancy firm Hazlewoods and has worked very closely with law firms for over 21 years.


    He regularly contributes articles to the legal press, lectures nationally on the SRA Accounts Rules and other compliance issues, and is lead author of the Law Society’s LMS Financial Benchmarking Survey.

    He is also a committee member of the ICAEW’s Solicitors Advisory Group and a former director of the Institute of Legal Finance and Management.

    Ann Harrison, Chair, Stephensons Solicitors LLP

    Ann Harrison

    Ann took a seat on the Board at Stephensons in 2002 and held the role of managing partner until 2008, when she moved to her current role as chair.


    Ann joined Stephensons in 1991, having previously been a sole practitioner and cost draftsperson. She was appointed a partner in 1993.

    Before taking up her position in senior management, Ann's specialism lay in catastrophic injury cases, notably brain injury and spinal injury matters.

    In her current role, Ann has overall responsibility for the 400 lawyers and support staff at Stephensons. During her time on the senior management team, the turnover of the firm has grown from £5m to £20m.

    Sole Practitioner of the Year

    Emma MacPherson, Solicitor, ELM Solicitors

    Emma MacPherson

    Emma set up her practice in 2009 having worked locally in Berkshire and Oxfordshire. She practises exclusively in family law covering all aspects of family and marital breakdown.


    Emma provides a very personal service, dealing with every aspect of the business herself.

    Emma qualified in 2002 having studied law after her three children were born. She attended a part time LLB (Hons) at the University of Westminster for five years before completing her LPC at the Oxford Institute of Legal Practice.

    Emma was previously a committee member of the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Law Society, a former chair of charity MATCH (Mothers Apart from Their Children) and is currently on the Small Firms Committee of the Law Society.

    Glynis Wright, Founder, Glynis Wright & Co

    Glynis Wright

    Glynis is the founder of Glynis Wright & Co. She became a lawyer at the mature age of 42.


    Within five years of qualifying as a solicitor, she set up her own firm specialising in family law. The firm grew rapidly and now employs 18 staff in total. The firm has won multiple legal and business awards and is now a leading provider of family law services in the midlands.

    Glynis Wright & Co were the winners of Law Firm of the Year (Small) at the 2018 Excellence Awards. Glynis is the incoming president of the Leicestershire Law Society for 2019, having served on the Executive Committee of the Law Society for the past four years.

    Solicitor of the Year - In-house

    David Gossen, Assistant General Counsel, Head of Legal for EMEA, PJT Partners

    David Gossen

    David is assistant general counsel and head of legal for EMEA at PJT Partners.


    PJT Partners is a boutique advisory firm specialising in mergers and acquisitions, financial restructurings, capital markets advisory, funds advisory and activist investor defence/shareholder engagement.

    Prior to joining PJT Partners, David was senior counsel supporting the corporate finance division at Deutsche Bank. Before joining Deutsche Bank, he was an associate at White & Case.

    David is currently a member of the Law Society’s In-house Division Committee. He is also a governor and chair of the Finance, HR and Premises Committee of The Hyde, an OFSTED-Outstanding school in a disadvantaged neighbourhood of London.

    Bhavisha Mistry, General Counsel, Mawdsleys

    Bhavisha Mistry

    Bhavisha is general counsel for pharmaceutical company Mawdsleys, and vice chair of the Law Society’s In-house Division Committee.


    After some time in private practice, Bhavisha started her first in-house role as general counsel and company secretary for fashion brand Missguided.

    She uses her experience from this and her present roles to support and inspire the in-house community, through informal meet-ups and seminars organised by the Law Society’s In-house Division.

    Bhavisha regularly writes articles, including a piece in The Times last year on the fundamentals of being an in-house lawyer. Her passion is promoting soft skills which she believes are vital to all in-house roles.

    Solicitor of the Year - Private Practice

    Nick Lee, President, Bristol Law Society

    Nick Lee

    Nick began his legal career in 2001. He initially worked in-house from 2001, working his way up to becoming a fixed share partner for a Top 100 law firm.


    In 2011, Nick created Paragon Costs Solutions which now has offices in London and Bristol. Clients have included many Top 100 law firms, local authorities, insurers and international banks.

    Nick joined Bristol Law Society as a council member in 2013. He was subsequently elected treasurer in 2015 and went on to become president in November 2018.

    Nick is a frequent speaker and writer on legal costs and is a member of Lexis PSL’s Dispute Resolution Expert Panel.

    Penny Scott, Partner, Cartridges Law

    Penny Scott

    Penny is a partner at Cartridges Law in Exeter. The firm has legal aid contracts in family and housing and its commercial work focuses on small and medium local businesses.


    Cartridges Law has made a strong commitment to its next generation of lawyers, increasing the number of training contracts it offers and via apprenticeships.

    Penny has been a member of the Law Society's Children Panel for about 20 years, specialising in the representation of all parties in public law proceedings. She is also chair of the Law Society’s Family Law Committee.

    Woman Solicitor of the Year

    Joy Douglas, Director and Principal, Hillary Cooper Law

    Joy Douglas

    Joy is a solicitor advocate with over 18 years’ experience in providing expert legal counsel in both private practice and the public sector.


    She is a highly experienced and accredited ADR specialist, and has litigated in various high-profile real estate cases.

    In 2015, her entrepreneurial flair led her to set up a boutique law firm, Hillary Cooper Law Ltd, and she has since developed a following of professional and high net worth clients in all areas of property and real estate. Outside of work, Joy’s core passions lie in mentoring young aspiring lawyers and championing diversity issues.

    Janet Legrand QC (Hon), Global Co-Chair, DLA Piper

    Janet Legrand

    Janet Legrand is the former senior partner and global co-chair of DLA Piper.


    She served on her firm's partnership board for 20 years while maintaining a substantial legal practice representing governments in international disputes.

    In 2018, she was appointed Queen's Counsel Honoris Causa. She was also awarded Woman Lawyer of the Year at the Excellence Awards and was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the City of London Law Society at the British Legal Awards.

    Sue Millar, Partner, Stephenson Harwood

    Sue Millar

    Sue is an experienced and well-respected litigator whose expertise in commercial and banking litigation is recognised by Chambers UK.


    She co-heads Stephenson Harwood’s ‘technically strong’ finance litigation team.

    Sue is a finance litigation specialist. She focuses on investment banking disputes, involving highly complex products and structures. Her expertise extends to commercial and private banking and trade finance disputes. Clients value her responsiveness and her commitment to finding solutions to complex problems.

    She is also recognised for her expertise in commercial dispute resolution where her pragmatic approach wins praise. Clients describe her as ‘knowing the best deal and how to achieve it’. She advises a diverse range of clients including insurance brokers, asset managers, corporate and pension trustees and insolvency professionals.

    Office holders

    Christina Blacklaws, President, the Law Society

    Christina Blacklaws

    Judge: Woman Solicitor of the Year

    Christina is an award-winning (for innovation and diversity and inclusion) published author, speaker and lecturer and frequent media commentator.


    Christina studied jurisprudence at Oxford and qualified as a solicitor in 1991. She has developed and managed law firms including a virtual law firm and setting up the first ABS with the Co-op. More recently, she was director of innovation at a top 100 firm.

    She holds a range of public appointments including member of the Family Justice Council, trustee of LawWorks, member of the Judicial Diversity Forum and chair of the government’s Lawtech Delivery Panel.

    Christina is the president of the Law Society of England and Wales and performs a range of ambassadorial and representative functions both domestically and internationally. She is passionate about diversity and inclusion, technology and access to justice and uses every opportunity to advocate and progress positive change in these areas. On access to justice, Christina leads on a number of high-profile campaigns to protect and empower some of the most vulnerable in our society.

    On innovation and the future of legal services, Christina chairs the Law Society’s Legal Technology Policy Commission and has also been asked by the government to chair their Lawtech Delivery Panel. She is heavily involved in the technological issues relating to supra-national legislative and regulatory frameworks as well as the need to demystify lawtech and empower all lawyers to embrace relevant technology. Christina leads on the Law Society’s relationship with Barclays to develop lawtech incubators.

    On diversity and inclusion, Christina has developed and leads on a programme focussed on women in leadership in law. The project has already produced the largest ever global survey on the issue and a toolkit to support the 100 roundtables which are taking place to over summer 2018. A global academic literature review and men’s roundtable in Autumn 2018 will follow and the work will culminate in an international symposium in June 2019. Christina represents the Women Lawyer’s Division and is an active committee member. She also sits on the Thomson Reuters Women in Law Advisory Board and on the advisory boards for women in law (Legal Week) and for LawSmart (a social mobility collective).

    Simon Davis, Vice President, the Law Society and Partner, Clifford Chance

    Simon Davis

    Judge: Junior Lawyer of the Year, Practice Manager of the Year and Solicitor of the Year - In-house

    Simon Davis is a senior litigator at the London office of Clifford Chance after qualifying in 1984.


    He joined the firm in 1982 and made partner in 1994. He was the firm’s recruitment partner between 1995 and 2000, and spent a year as president of the London Solicitors’ Litigation Association.

    He won the 2017 presidential election and will be the first magic circle solicitor to take office since John Wotton, a consultant at Allen & Overy, who served in 2011/12.

    David Greene, Deputy Vice President, the Law Society, and Partner, Edwin Coe

    David Green

    Judge: Human Rights Solicitor of the Year, Solicitor of the Year - Private Practice and Sole Practitioner of the Year

    David qualified in 1980, becoming a partner at Edwin Coe in 1984. He became senior partner of the firm in 2011.


    David is a litigator. He is a claimants’ practitioner and has specialised in group claims of all natures for over 25 years in the UK and the USA. Although in that context David undertakes some personal injury work, his main focus is on commercial claims including competition claims and claims on behalf of shareholders. He is head of both the Litigation and Dispute Resolution Group and the Group Action Litigation department.

    David is deputy vice president of the Law Society. He is chair of the Policy and Regulatory Affairs Committee and the International Committee.

    David is well known for his work on Brexit - he acted for one of the two claimants in the Article 50 litigation, and also chairs the Law Society Task Force on Brexit. As such he has written and lectured in the UK and Europe on the issues that arise in relation to Brexit and civil justice. He has also provided evidence to the Commons and Lords on those issues.

    David has been a member of the Civil Procedure Rules Committee and the Civil Justice Council.

    He has authored and contributed to various books on civil justice and is consultant editor of the New Law Journal.