The nation’s most prestigious legal event presented one of Scotland’s most accomplished legal figures with a Lifetime Achievement Award last night in celebration of her forty years of legal service championing civil liberties and human rights.
Held in Glasgow in front of a record crowd of 450 lawyers, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC was welcomed home to the city where she was born and accepted the highly regarded award which is presented every year by the Scott + Co Scottish Legal Awards.
She was among 17 winning businesses, teams and individuals in the annual competition which rewards the best of Scottish legal practice across the country. The independent programme which launched 15 years ago is decided by a large expert judging panel, chaired by Shonaig Macpherson.
“It’s been another exciting year showing the great diversity, innovation and skill at work every day in the Scottish legal industry. Alongside my colleagues on the judging panel we have received a large number of detailed entries which have given us great confidence in the sector and in the competition.
“The decisions are never easy but we do spend considerable time debating the merits of every entry in detail prior to making a decision.
“It has been a particular pleasure to see honorary awards in Lifetime Achievement for Baroness Helena Kennedy QC and Malcolm McPherson who collected our Managing Partner of the Year award. Congratulations to all our finalists and winners this year.”
William Cameron, National Enforcement Director, Scott & Co commented:
“As a judge in the competition for the first time this year, I have a huge respect for the panel who dealt with detailed entries in a fair and rigorous manner. It has been very satisfying seeing the range of high quality work going on across the country. The strength of the Scottish Legal Awards is its credibility and integrity as the competition which legal professionals want to win and Scott + Co is very happy to support this important industry.”
Among the major winners of the night were Digby Brown who won the Scottish Legal Awards Firm of the Year after a year in which they reported high growth figures.
The senior leadership award, Managing Partner of the Year, was presented to Malcolm McPherson, Senior Partner of Addleshaw Goddard for his role delivering the full merger of HBJ Gateley into global firm Addleshaw Goddard. The newly combined firm is now ranked 15th in the UK and has over 200 partners and 1100 lawyers. In Scotland, recruitment of legal staff since the merger has increased by 15%.
Many individual awards were handed out including the hotly contended Rising Star of the Year, sponsored by Quiver Management to Ruth McColgan of Stirling Council. The Head of the Employment Team at Blackadders, Simon Allison, collected the popular prize for Lawyer of the Year, sponsored by The Law Society of Scotland.
The Residential Property Team of the Year, sponsored by Property Searches Scotland, was collected by Edinburgh-based Coulters after delivering a year of strong growth in a range of innovative ways.