The best performing individuals, teams and firms in the Scottish legal profession were revealed at the national awards celebration for Scottish law held in Glasgow last night.
Over 300 guests celebrated at the 18th annual Scottish Legal Awards as the popular event resumed its live dinner and, for the first-time, broadcast live to viewers who were also watching from home.
The ultimate award of the night, Firm of the Year was presented to Jones Whyte, the Glasgow city law firm which has experienced rapid growth building a team of 175 lawyers delivering a broad range of services. The judging panel praised the firm’s strategic plan, continued success, and impressive results.
They were joined in celebration by Livingstone Brown who collected two awards including Managing Partner of the Year presented to Stuart Munro for his work implementing a technological response to the pandemic, high profile case wins while also delivering continued improvement for the firm. The firm also collected the award for Criminal Defence Team of the Year.
The Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by The Times was presented to Lorna Jack, Chief Executive of the Law Society of Scotland. Ms Jack has been largely credited for transforming the Society including improvements in transparency, governance, outreach to members and stakeholders, while also implementing a range of business efficiencies.
Accepting the award, Lorna Jack commented.
“We have much to be proud of in Scotland’s solicitor profession and it has been a great privilege to lead the talented, dedicated team at the Law Society, along with our many volunteer committee members who do extraordinary work in addition to their day jobs.
“So much of what has been accomplished is the result of the hard work and enthusiasm of everyone involved in the Society’s work in creating a modern, outward-looking organisation that supports our members in their work, raises standards across the profession, and puts the public interest at the heart of everything we do with no complacency.
“I would not have been able to achieve so much without the good advice and support of colleagues and friends in the legal community and am both delighted and deeply humbled to have been chosen by the Scottish Legal Awards judges this year.”
The Scottish Legal Awards is the national celebration for achievements in Scottish law and the legal industry. Now entering its 19th year, the programme is regarded as a much trusted and independent platform to recognise and reward achievements.
The judging panel of 11 senior figures from the law met last month to review more than 60 entries from 43 organisations across Scotland.
Chair of the judging panel, Shonaig Macpherson, commented.
“This year’s Scottish Legal Awards has been a reassuring reminder that the Scottish legal system is truly world class. In a year in which the pandemic threatened not just our way of working, but also the integrity of the justice system, our award winners have shown us the way through some dark days. We have seen creativity, innovation, inspiration, and a commitment to care about the wellbeing of staff, colleagues, and clients. Congratulations to all our finalists and winners this year and I hope they can enjoy the celebrations.”
17 awards were presented on the night to individuals and teams. The highly regarded Lawyer of the Year Award was presented to Naomi Pryde of DWF, a commercial litigation lawyer who has considerable time promoting diversity and inclusion in the law.
The in-house legal team awards were presented jointly to SSE plc (commercial sector) and The Scottish Parliament (public sector). The in-house lawyer of the year was awarded to Laura Edison of Skyrora, the Edinburgh-based space company.
Celebrating 20 years of service, the Property Standardisation Group were presented with an Outstanding Achievement Award for its work to create over 95 documents for all lawyers to use during property transactions.
A full list of winners can be found here.
The awards continue to raise funds for two nominated charities; LawScot Foundation, which supports students in pursuing a career in law and It’s Good 2 Give, which supports young cancer patients and their families in Scotland. Over £3,000 has been raised this year.
The 2021 Winners
Firm of the Year
Lifetime Achievement Award sponsored by The Times
Lorna Jack, Chief Executive, Law Society of Scotland
Managing Partner of the Year sponsored by Scott + Co
Stuart Munro, Livingstone Brown
Outstanding Achievement Award
The Property Standardisation Group
Business Resilience Award
Highly Commended: Neilson’s
Winner: Road Traffic Accident Law Scotland
Lawyer of the Year
WINNER: Naomi Pryde, DWF
Barbara Jamieson, Jamieson Law
Donna Reynolds, Blackadders Solicitors
Stuart Munro, Livingstone Brown
Caroline Loudon, TLT
Tracey Ginn, MBM Commercial
In-House Lawyer of the Year sponsored by Wolffe
WINNER: Laura Edison, Skyrora
Stephen Swan, Edinburgh Airport
Susie Lind, EDF
Rising Star of the Year sponsored by Scottish Building Society
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Matthew McGovern, McGovern Reid Court Lawyers
WINNER: Billie Smith, MacPhee and Partners
Rebecca Cox, MacRoberts
John Dargie, Blackadders Solicitors
Litigation Team of the Year
WINNER: Digby Brown
Allan McDougall Solicitors
Clyde and Co
Real Estate Team of the Year
WINNER: Anderson Strathern
HIGHLY COMMENDED: TLT
Residential Property Team of the Year sponsored by Millar & Bryce
WINNER: Neilsons Solicitors and Estate Agents
In-House Legal Team of the Year
WINNER (PUBLIC SECTOR): The Scottish Parliament
WINNER (COMMERCIAL SECTOR) SSE Plc
Aberdeen City Council
The City of Edinburgh Council
The Scottish Parliament
Criminal Defence Firm of the Year
WINNER: Livingstone Brown
Moir and Sweeney Litigation
McGovern Reid Court Lawyers
Support Team of the Year
WINNER: Hey Legal
Moore Legal Technology
Scottish Social Services Council
Excellence in Client Care
Allan McDougall Solicitors
Blackadders LLP Solicitors
Neilsons Solicitors and Estate Agents
Spanish and Scottish Law Practice
Community Contribution Award sponsored by Frasia Wright Associates
WINNER: Mediation Clinic at University of Strathclyde
Shepherd and Wedderburn
Legal Technology Award
WINNER: Registers of Scotland
The 2021 Judging Panel
· Shonaig Macpherson CBE, Chair of the Judging Panel
· Greig Cameron., Business Editor, The Times
· Dr Sarah Hendry, Senior Lecturer Head of Dundee Law School
· Janet Hood, Owner, Janet Hood Training and Consulting Limited
· David Lee, Director, David Lee Media & Events Ltd
· Christine McLintock , Past President 2016-2017, The Law Society of Scotland
· Graeme McWilliams, Convenor, In House Lawyers Committee
· Paul Mosson, Executive Director of Member Services and Engagement, The Law Society of Scotland
· Philip Rodney, Founder of Rimalower Consulting
· Frasia Wright, Managing Director, Frasia Wright Associates