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The Legal Awards Winners 2012

Friday, 23rd March 2012

After narrowly missing out at last year’s event, Browne Jacobson has been named Law Firm of the Year (16+ partners) at the Birmingham Law Society Legal Awards.

The firm beat off stiff competition from fellow finalists DAC Beachcroft, DLA Piper, Irwin Mitchell Solicitors and SGH Martineau to collect the award.

The win rounds up a successful year for Browne Jacobson. Last year the Birmingham firm posted a record set of financial results with a 22 per cent increase in turnover. It also added a number of new companies to its client roster, including Standard Life and Guoman Thistle Hotels.

There was also recognition for Buller Jeffries, which walked away with the award for Law Firm of the Year (5 to 15 partners). The firm was a finalist in the same category at last year’s event but were pipped by Sydney Mitchell.

Legal aid firm The Community Law Partnership received praise for its cutting edge work in housing law by collecting the award for Law Firm of the Year (sole practitioner to 4 partners).

Other winners on the night included Rankeshwar Batta, of Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP, who won Partner of the Year, and John Randall QC, of St Philips Chambers, who picked up Barrister of the Year. Assistant/Associate of the year went to Polly Sweeney, from Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, and Simon Bond, from Challinors, was awarded Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year.

Paul Chaplin, of Robin Simon LLP, collected the award for Chartered Legal Executive of the year, after his nomination in the same category at last year’s awards.

Solicitors from Wragge & Co LLP celebrated a double triumph, with Richard Goold being named International Lawyer of the Year and Helen Taylor Trainee Solicitor of the Year.

Andrew Lancaster, Birmingham Law Society president, said: “All of this year’s winners have demonstrated outstanding performance over the last 12 months, and I would like to congratulate them on their achievements.

“The high calibre of finalists at this year’s awards has continued to showcase the superb legal talent we have within our region.”

A special Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Roger Coates of Buller Jeffries for the outstanding contribution he has made to the legal profession.

“Roger is thoroughly deserving of this award,” said Andrew Lancaster.

“He continues to practice at the very highest level and has an undisputed reputation in his specialist area of law. He is a true ambassador for the industry and for our region.”

More than 570 people from the region’s legal and business community attended the event at The ICC on March 22nd.

As well as the awards, a raffle prize draw raised money on the night for Acorns Children’s Hospice.

The awards were sponsored by Brown Shipley Private Banking, Chiltern Railways, The College of Law,, Giles Insurance Brokers, Jaguar UK, Landmark Information Group Limited, No5 Chambers, Royal Bank of Scotland, Severn Trent Searches, St Philips Chambers and Wesleyan for Lawyers.

A link to the Legal Awards pictures is below:

Legal Awards Short List 2012

Tuesday, 7th February 2012

Assistant/Associate of the Year

Ligia Bob - Sydney Mitchell

Andrea Lynch - Mills & Reeve LLP

Merran Sewell - Gateley LLP

Polly Sweeney - Irwin Mitchell Solicitors

Christopher Towle - Wragge and Co LLP

Barrister of the Year

Abid Mahmood - No5 Chambers

John Randall QC - St Philips Chambers

Tariq Sadiq - St Philips Chambers

Andrew Smith - St Philips Chambers

Jeremy Weston QC - St Ives Chambers

International Lawyer of the Year

William Barker - SGH Martineau LLP

Keith Dudley - SGH Martineau LLP

Richard Goold - Wragge and Co LLP

Fabienne McAllister - Cobbetts LLP

Parmjit Singh - Eversheds LLP

Law Firm of the Year (16+ partners)

Browne Jacobson LLP

DAC Beachcroft


Irwin Mitchell Solicitors

SGH Martineau LLP

Law Firm of the Year (5-15 partners)

Buller Jeffries

DBS Law Ltd

QualitySolicitors Talbots

Thursfields LLP

Williamson & Soden

Law Firm of the Year (sole practitioner to 4 partners)

Jayne Willetts & Co

Sally Wilcock & Co

Schofield & Associates

The Community Law Partnership

TRP Solicitors

Legal Executive of the Year

Heather Bethell - Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council

Michael Brown - SGH Martineau LLP

Richard Carroll - 3 Spires Solicitors

Paul Chaplin - Robin Simon LLP

Alexandra Loxton - Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP

Partner of the Year

Derek Adamson - Buller Jeffries

Rankeshwar Batta - Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP

Lorraine Carolan - DAC Beachcroft

Richard Hull - Thomas Horton LLP

Paula Nash - Lanyon Bowdler LLP

Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year

Simon Bond - Challinors

Victoria Keers - Wragge and Co LLP

Rebecca Parker - The College of Law

Trainee Solicitor of the Year

Chaitali Desai - Weightmans LLP

Cairo Nickolls - Irwin Mitchell Solicitors

Helen Taylor - Wragge and Co LLP

Christopher Tooze - Williamson & Soden

Alexander Wild - Nicholls & Co

Clare Balding Saddles up for Legal Awards

Monday, 9th January 2012

Sports personality and TV presenter Clare Balding will be in the saddle as the guest speaker at the Birmingham Law Society Legal Awards 2012.
Read more

Up for the Challenge

Friday, 20th January 2012

Birmingham Law Society is mobilising the city’s lawyers to take part in a charity abseil to raise cash for Acorns Children’s Hospice.
Read more

Birmingham Law Society Welcomes Chinese Delegation

Wednesday, 14th December 2011

Birmingham Law Society (BLS) welcomed a delegation of senior directors of legal education from the Chinese Ministry of Justice.

The 25-strong party was keen to learn about the organisation’s qualification and training programs for legal service staff and professionals, its continuing development system, curriculum design and assessment standards for legal qualification courses.

BLS ran series of seminars for the visitors over their two day trip, covering the theoretical as well as practical aspects of legal education. There was also an opportunity to look at business development and agency work opportunities with China, as well as Legal Aid.

The visit was supported by a number of organisations, including Blakemores/Lawyers2You, who hosted the event, as well as Birmingham City Council’s Legal and Democratic department. Interpreters were supplied and sponsored by Perception Solutions.

Other sponsors and speakers included the College of Law in Birmingham, St Philips Chambers, ILEX, BTSS, UKTI and John Randall QC.

Legal Ombudsman Shares Survey Findings

Tuesday, 1st November 2011

Legal ombudsman Adam Sampson was guest speaker at a lunch hosted by Birmingham Law Society. More than 70 lawyers attended the event, held at member firm Pinsent’s city centre office.
Read more

Nominate Now for Legal Awards

Wednesday, 16th November 2011

Firms and individuals from the region’s legal sector are being encouraged to enter next year’s Legal Awards.
Read more

Birmingham Law Society's Annual President's Dinner

Tuesday, 22nd November 2011

Birmingham Law Society held its annual President’s dinner at the Crowne Plaza hotel. President Andrew Lancaster welcomed 200 guests to the event.
Read more

Birmingham Law Society Welcomes Next Generation of Solicitors

Wednesday, 23rd November 2011

More than 100 newly qualified solicitors from around the West Midlands attended a reception held by Birmingham Law Society to mark their entry to the profession. The celebratory cocktail party was held on the top floor of Colmore Plaza, in Birmingham.
Read more

Red Carpet for Celebrity Lawyers

Wednesday, 30th November 2011

More than 70 Birmingham lawyers attended a private screening of “The Whistleblower”.
Read more

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