The finalists in this year’s Birmingham Law Society Legal Awards have been announced.

FBC Manby Bowdler LLP, Gateley LLP, Higgs & Sons Solicitors, Irwin Mitchell LLP, Mills & Reeve LLP and SGH Martineau LLP have been drawn together in the Law Firm of the Year (16 partners or more) category, with DBS Law Limited, Keoghs, Quality Solicitors Talbots, Sydney Mitchell LLP and Wallace Robinson & Morgan short-listed for the Law Firm of the Year (5 to 15 partners) award.

In the Law Firm of the Year (up to four partners) category there are debut entries for Bailey Wright & Co, Christine Lee & Co (Solicitors) Limited, and Pearson Rowe. Sarah Dwight Solicitors and TRP Solicitors Ltd make up the short list.

In a slight change to the Legal Awards, a new category has been added for Paralegal of the Year. The finalists include Sam Harris from Weightmans LLP, Joshua Hartle from SGH Martineau LLP, Tobias Oliver Haynes from Regulatory Legal Solicitors, Rose Klemperer from Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP, and Michael Nutman from Shoosmiths LLP.

In total there are 11 categories, including Assistant/Associate Solicitor of the Year, Barrister of the Year, Chartered Legal Executive of the Year, International Lawyer of the Year, Partner of the Year, Trainee Solicitor of the Year, and Corporate Social Responsibility/Pro Bon Lawyer of the Year. A special Lifetime Achievement Award will also be presented on the night.

Last year’s recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award was Peter Wiseman.

The winners will be decided by an independent judging panel, chaired by Chris Loughran, Midlands practice senior partner at Deloitte.

Martin Allsopp, president of Birmingham Law Society, said: “The Legal Awards is Birmingham Law Society’s flagship event and it is great to see that it continues to be well supported, both in terms of the number of entries we receive and the number of guests on the night.

“It is also good to see that as well as some of the more regular entrants to the awards we are getting entries from new firms and individuals. We have also introduced a new category this year, Paralegal of the Year, to recognise the sterling work paralegals do and the valuable contribution they make.

“All in all it is shaping up to be a fantastic evening of celebration.”

The Birmingham Law Society Legal Awards are being held on Thursday 20th March 2014 at the ICC, Birmingham.

The Awards are sponsored by The University of Law, PHS Data Solutions, University of Wolverhampton, Severn Trent Searches, Giles Insurance Brokers, Birmingham Airport, Turkish Airlines, No5 Chambers, Key Forensic Services Ltd, Chiltern Railways, Landmark Information Group, St Philip’s Chambers, Rathbones, Wesleyan for Lawyers and Yorkshire Bank.

For a full list of this year’s finalists go to