Articles From the Team
What I didn’t Expect to Learn as a Judge at the Solicitors Journal Awards 2017
Last month I was one of the judges for the second annual Solicitors Journal Awards ceremony on 17 May where almost 500 legal professionals celebrated their success and achievements over the last year at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London. Amongst some seriously elite names from the legal profession, including retired judge Sir Henry Brooke, Sean Jones QC, Sir Geoffrey Nice QC and last year’s winner of the Legal Personality of the Year award, the fabulous Felicity Gerry QC, was me…
As independent voters, we were asked to vote within our category as well as for the mighty Personality of the Year Award. The Commercial Team of the Year award was handed to Browne Jacobson, Family Team of the Year went to Wollen Michemore, Fieldfisher took the award for Personal Injury Team of the Year and the Rule of Law Award went to Mischon de Reya and Edwin Coe. Legal Personality of 2017 was Marcia Willis Stewart at Birnberg Peirce and the Lifetime Achievement Award was received by Patrick Allen of Hodge Jones & Allen.
Along with the lovely Viv Williams, Legal Services Director at SIFA, I was asked to judge the nominations for the Working in Partnership Award. We were hugely impressed by the hard work and innovation of all the businesses that were shortlisted: Ensors Chartered Accountants, First4Lawyers, Reflect Digital and Stanton Allen. However the generosity and time invested by all the pro bono lawyers to the Thomson Reuters Foundation stole the show for us. The Foundation connects NGOs and social enterprises in over 177 countries with the best law firms in the world willing to provide free legal assistance. Since 2010 they have generated the equivalent of over $70 million in pro bono support. It means that these organisations can focus on their mission to change and improve lives all over the world while the legal work is taken care of. Reading what they do was truly inspirational and humbling. It proves, in today’s climate with the changes we are currently seeing, we are safer working together and sharing whatever spare time and resource we have to make the world a better place.