For a full list of this year’s winners go to birminghamlawsociety.co.uk/2015-winners
Eversheds has been named the best large law firm in the West Midlands at the Birmingham Law Society Legal Awards.
The Colmore Row firm was crowned Law Firm of the Year (16 partners or more) at the annual event at the International Convention Centre, beating off competition from Cartwright King Solicitors, Mills & Reeve, SGH Martineau, Shoosmiths and Weightmans.
In the past 12 months, Eversheds has advised on a number of high profile projects in the Birmingham and the wider region, including HS2, Paradise Circus, Grand Central, and the sale of the NEC Group.
The judges said Eversheds has “set a very high bar for both itself and its competitors, with an unrivalled client and case portfolio”.
In the other two Law Firm of the Year categories, Sydney Mitchell Solicitors won the award for five to 15 partners for the third year running, while Averta Employment Lawyers won sole practitioner to four partners.
In the individual categories, awards were given to Katie Willems of Higgs & Sons Solicitors (Trainee Solicitor of the Year), Mark Hands of Irwin Mitchell (Assistant/Associate Solicitor of the Year), Natalie Moustache, Anthony Collins Solicitors (Paralegal of the Year), Alison Hancock, SGH Martineau (Chartered Legal Executive of the Year), Tariq Sadiq, St Philips Chambers (Barrister of the Year), Michael Stephens, Kings Chambers (International Lawyer of the Year), Derek Adamson, DWF (Partner of the Year), and Ian Henery, Ian Henery Solicitors Ltd (Corporate Social Responsibility/Pro bono Lawyers of the Year).
A special Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Bernard Shepherd in recognition of his contribution to the legal profession during his 44-year career.
Bernard was admitted as a solicitor in 1971 and after a spell with with Lovsey Baughn and Hayward he teamed up with Stephen Gateley, running an office in Great Barr. Two years later the firm Gateley Wareing was formed after a merger.
In 1983, Bernard set up his own practice in Great Barr before returning to Gateley Wareing in 2007. He later moved to Blakemores in 2011 and now works as a consultant for CBTC Solicitors in West Bromwich.
Bernard is a past president of Birmingham Law Society and is the current president of the West Midlands Association of Law Societies.
Eileen Schofield, president of Birmingham Law Society, said: “All of the winners, and indeed the finalists, represent the very best that Birmingham and the West Midlands’ legal sector has to offer, from trainees just starting their professional careers to experienced practitioners.
“As a sector, we should be immensely proud of both the talent we have and the quality of legal services that continue to be provided by the region’s firms and individuals.
“This year’s winners are a credit to themselves, their firms, the profession and the region.”
Now in its 14th year, more than 500 people attended the Legal Awards ceremony at the ICC.
The evening was hosted by Joshua Rozenberg, legal commentator and presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Law in Action programme, with England rugby legend Brian Moore as the guest speaker.
The Legal Awards are sponsored by alldayPA Legal, Arthur J Gallagher (patron sponsor), Birmingham Airport, Birmingham City University, Chiltern Railways, Hettle Andrews, Landmark Information Group, No5 Chambers, Rathbones, Severn Trent Searches, St Philips Chambers, Turkish Airlines, the University of Law, University of Wolverhampton and Wesleyan.