Cherie Booth QC takes top honour in front of 600 at Lawyer/Hifal awards

More than 600 lawyers toasted the winners of the third annual Lawyer/Hifal awards at London's Park Lane Hilton on Friday night.

The sell-out event, which saw Cherie Booth QC scoop the prestigious Legal Personality of the Year award, attracted the great, the good and the glamourous of the legal world.

A 52-member panel made up of several legal luminaries, including Legal Aid Board chairman Sir Tim Chessells, Law Society president Tony Girling and Goldman Sachs International chairman Peter Sutherland, helped to judge the 23 winning candidates.

Birmingham firm Wragge & Co won the overall Law Firm of the Year award, which was presented by Hifal's Brian Abram, specialist healthcare firm Capsticks was acknowledged as Medium-sized Firm of the Year, and niche intellectual property firm Willoughby & Partners was named Small Firm of the Year.

Kent firm Marsons won the Law Firm Management award, while City firm Allen & Overy scored a double when partner David Mackie became Partner of the Year and its 'University of Finance' training project secured the Best Use of Training award.

BT's legal department was awarded In-house Legal Team of the Year, for a workload which included the telecoms giant's merger with MCI.

London Borough of Camden's Housing Team picked up the Client Care Award and Best Pro Bono Activity went to City firm Herbert Smith for a broad array of projects.

Barristers' Chambers of the Year was won by 11 Stone Buildings – judges were impressed by its client-friendly approach.

Mary Heaney, editor of The Lawyer, said she was delighted that the awards were such a phenomenal success.

“Lawyers undergo much negative publicity, often undeservedly so. These awards are an opportunity to redress the balance,” she said.