The Lawyer Awards

Since its establishment seven years ago, The Lawyer Awards has become one of the premier events in the legal calendar, reflecting the trusted and integral role that The Lawyer continues to play within the profession itself.

Once again there are clearly defined categories for each sector of the profession. While maintaining a range of hugely popular categories in major commercial legal disciplines, this year the awards also reflect the growing importance of the in-house sector.

This year will also see the launch of a new award which will reward the truly outstanding individuals within the legal profession. The Lawyer‘s Lifetime Achievement is not about billing or profits, but is to reward those who set a shining example to the rest of the profession.`The winners will be announced at a high-profile award ceremony on 26 June 2001 in the prestigious Great Room at Grosvenor House in central London.

The Lawyer is also using this opportunity to support two charities, the Unicef Growing Up Alone campaign of which The Lawyer is a founding corporate partner, and Barnardo’s Giving Children Back Their Future campaign.`As always, we would like to thank all our award sponsors, and in particular welcome the continued support of our co-sponsor, Bank of Ireland.

New award In-house Banking and Finance Team of the Year

This year’s shortlist:
Barclays Capital
Capital One
Crédit Agricole Indosuez
Dresdner Kleinwort Benson
Halifax
Standard Chartered

New award In-house Commerce & Industry Team of the Year

This year’s shortlist:
Canary Wharf
JD Wetherspoon
Lattice
Skandia
Virgin

New award In-house Media & Communications Team of the Year

This year’s shortlist:
MTV
News International
Northern & Shell
Penguin
Primus
Vodafone

In-house Lawyer of the Year

Last year’s winner: Denise Jagger, Asda
As well as the high-profile, high-speed takeover of her company by Wal-Mart, Denise Jagger led her legal team at Asda through other complex cases. She is unorthodox, passionate about Asda and an enthusiastic leader of her team which, although only numbering four lawyers, handles about half of the company’s legal work.

This year’s shortlist:
Harry Baines, Halifax
Christopher Digby-Bell, Palmer Capital Partners
Mark Kingston, Tishman Speyer Properties
Tim Regan, Regus
Stephen Scott, Vodafone
Andrew Vellani, Scottish & Newcastle

AWARDS – SUMMARY

Barrister of the Year

Last year’s winner: Dan Brennan QC, 39 Essex Street (now at Matrix Chambers)
Brennan, in his year as Bar Council chairman, won this award as recognition of the rigorous programme of modernisation he instilled in what continues to be an incredibly diverse profession. Brennan was also instrumental in fighting the bar’s corner in the long-running debate over the Access to Justice Act.

This year’s shortlist:
Geraldine Andrews QC, Essex Court Chambers
Richard Drabble QC, 4 Breams Buildings
Laurence Rabinowitz, One Essex Court
Philip Sales, 11 King’s Bench Walk
Rabinder Singh, Matrix Chambers
Patrick Walker, Hammond Suddards Edge

Public Sector Team of the Year

Last year’s winner: London Borough of Camden
The team won the award for its enterprising double-pronged approach to efficiency by reducing cost and consulting clients on how to improve its service. Through a reorganisation of the department into two teams, commercial and community, it saved the borough more than £150,000 in 1999 alone.

This year’s shortlist:
Field Fisher Waterhouse
Kent County Council
Lewisham Borough Council
North Yorkshire Legal Services
Trowers & Hamlins

Chambers of the Year

Last year’s winner: Blackstone Chambers
The set won the award for its outstanding progress and development in commercial and public law and is one of the most cohesive chambers at the bar. Cases ranged from Pinochet and the BSE inquiry to appearing on both sides of the action brought by the State of Brunei against HRH Prince Jefri Bolkiah in respect of the alleged misappropriation of $15bn (£10.7bn).

This year’s shortlist:
7 Bedford Row
Blackstone Chambers
Brick Court Chambers
42 Castle Street
Matrix Chambers
3/4 South Square

Corporate Team of the Year

Last year’s winner: Weil Gotshal & Manges (corporate finance)
Weil Gotshal had been thought of as a finance-based operation but in 1999-2000 was involved in a string of high-profile corporate deals. Most significant of all was Weil Gotshal’s role advising US private equity house Hicks Muse Tate & Furst on the contested bid for Hillsdown Holdings – a public-to-private deal of huge complexity.

This year’s shortlist:
Clifford Chance
Latham & Watkins
Linklaters & Alliance
Norton Rose
Rowe & Maw
Wragge & Co

M&A Team of the Year

Last year’s winner: Linklaters & Alliance
Few could doubt the eminence of a firm which pulled off a string of M&A deals in 1999-2000. However, Linklaters & Alliance’s role as counsel on Vodafone’s purchase of Airtouch and the ground-breaking hostile bid for Mannesmann underlined the firm’s exceptionally strong position in complex cross-border mergers and acquisitions.

This year’s shortlist:
Allens Arthur Robinson
Burges Salmon
Eversheds, Manchester
Herbert Smith
Lovells
Slaughter and May

Projects/PFI team of the Year

Last year’s winner: Allen & Overy
Allen & Overy won this award for its ground-breaking work on one of the most complex finance deals within the power sector. A&O utilised a team of 18 lawyers across a range of areas to put together a £1.3bn secured senior debt facility to back the acquisition of the Drax power station by AES, leading to one of the largest ever debt facilities to be syndicated in the UK market.

This year’s shortlist:
Allen & Overy
Baker & McKenzie
Clifford Chance
Norton Rose
Trowers & Hamlins
White & Case

Real Estate Team of the Year

Last year’s winner: SJ Berwin & Co
SJ Berwin won this award last year for its role on British Land’s acquisition of Meadowhall Shopping Centre. While the size of the purchase stood out in itself – at £1.176bn it was the UK’s largest single property purchase – it was the handling of the deal that was particularly impressive.

This year’s shortlist:
Allen & Overy
Eversheds, Birmingham
Herbert Smith
Linklaters & Alliance
Lovells
Nabarro Nathanson

Assistant Solicitor of the Year

Last year’s winner: Olivia McKendrick, Linklaters & Alliance
Initiative, drive and a passion for law is what makes any good lawyer stand out and Olivia McKendrick displayed all three in an outstanding performance in 1999. McKendrick excelled herself by acting on two major related deals in the relevant period, both for NatWest: on its proposed merger with Legal & General and in defending the bank from the hostile attentions of the Bank of Scotland and eventual victor the Royal Bank of Scotland.

This year’s shortlist:
Tom Cassels, Baker & McKenzie
Mark Cranwell, Coudert Brothers
Lucy McCullagh, White & Case
Rosali Pretorius, Denton Wilde Sapte
Alethea Siow, Dechert
Michael Young, Richards Butler

New award Management Team of the Year

This year’s shortlist:
Allen & Overy
Bird & Bird
DLA
Osborne Clarke
Pannones
Reed Smith Warner Cranston

Law Firm of the Year

Last year’s winner: SJ Berwin & Co
This award recognised SJ Berwin’s innovation and growth in 1999. The firm was the first to increase its salaries for assistant solicitors and also implemented a flexible and innovative career advisory service to provide new clients for the future in the shape of those assistants tempted away by the dotcom boom. In terms of continental expansion, SJ Berwin was one of the best placed firms outside the UK top 10, notably in Germany and Spain.

This year’s shortlist:
Brobeck Hale and Dorr
Denton Wilde Sapte
Herbert Smith
Lovells
Macfarlanes
Shadbolt & Co

New award Client Care Programme of the Year

This year’s shortlist:
Addleshaw Booth & Co
CMS Cameron McKenna
DLA
Fosters
Herbert Smith
Russell Jones & Walker

Finance Team of the Year

Last year’s winner: Clifford Chance (banking & capital markets)
The small number of finance firms had outstanding years in 1999-2000, advising on ever more complex deals. However, it was the Olivetti financing in 1999 that stirred the market and set a new benchmark. Clifford Chance advised a syndicate led by Chase Manhattan (now JP Morgan Chase & Co) on the financing of what was then the largest ever hostile takeover bid; the package was worth €60.4bn (£37bn at today’s prices), and included the largest bond issue in corporate history.

This year’s shortlist:
Allen & Overy
Berwin Leighton Paisner
Clifford Chance
Linklaters & Alliance
Norton Rose
White & Case

Employment Team of the Year

Last year’s winner: Russell Jones & Walker
Russell Jones & Walker had an impressive year, covering a wide range of important cases. But the outstanding case it handled was Turner v Grovit, which will have a major effect on all individuals required to work abroad by their employers.

This year’s shortlist:
Allen & Overy
Charles Russell
Irwin Mitchell
Mace & Jones
Norton Rose
Reynolds Porter Chamberlain

Media/IP & IT Team of the Year

Last year’s winner: Bristows
In Sony Computer Entertainment v Tesco Stores Bristows showed its strengths to the full in this grey market case in 1999. Believed to have been the first recent success for a brand owner against Tesco, which had positioned itself as “the consumer’s champion”, the case involved the import into the UK of Sony Playstations from other European Union countries.

This year’s shortlist:
Baker & McKenzie
Bristows
Olswang
Rowe & Maw
Theodore Goddard
White & Case

Litigation Team of the Year

Last year’s winner: Herbert Smith
Herbert Smith won this award for its part in the Vodafone takeover of Mannesmann. Its role was less high profile than that of the corporate lawyers who put the transaction together, but its high-speed defence of an injunction brought against its client Goldman Sachs was a key element of the deal.

This year’s shortlist:
Clifford Chance
Freeth Cartwright
Ince & Co
Lovells
Richards Butler
Watson Farley & Williams

Partner of the Year

Last year’s winner: David Cheyne, Linklaters & Alliance
David Cheyne is not your average corporate lawyer. With a list of clients to die for, Cheyne had enjoyed one of his best years to date for his involvement in some of the most ground-breaking deals in 1999-2000. The award also recognised his remarkable commitment to clients and the skill he displayed when ensuring that long-time client BP was successful in its billion-pound takeover of Atlantic Richfield. Cheyne also acted for Vodafone in its takeover of both Airtouch and Mannesmann.

This year’s shortlist:
Peter Charlton, Clifford Chance
Andrew Harrison, Wragge & Co
Jacky Kelly, Weil Gotshal & Manges
Vanni Treves, Macfarlanes
Charles Wood, Denton Wilde Sapte
John Young, Lovells

Global Law Firm of the Year

Last year’s winner: Clifford Chance
Few with any knowledge of the international legal market could argue with the choice of Clifford Chance as winner of this category last year, having accomplished an astonishing coup with its tripartite merger with New York firm Rogers & Wells and German based Pünder Volhard Weber & Axster. Both the mergers went ahead with minimal fall-out and provided Clifford Chance with the market’s first truly global network, plus arguably the best-known legal brand outside the profession.

This year’s shortlist:
Baker & McKenzie
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Latham & Watkins
Linklaters & Alliance
Sullivan & Cromwell
White & Case

New award Niche Firm of the Year

This year’s shortlist:
Alexander Harris
Capsticks
Kemp & Co
Memery Crystal
Shaw Pittman
Stewarts

Pro Bono Activity of the Year

Last year’s winner: Lovells
For the second year running this award went to Lovells, which has led the way for other law firms in this area, being, for example, the first major City law firm to employ a full-time pro bono officer. It also appointed a pro bono partner in Germany to chair a committee to develop the area across Europe. In that financial year the firm recorded 7,250 hours of pro bono work with a value of £1.2m and 62 per cent of the firm’s London lawyers took part in one of the 71 projects that the firm undertook.

This year’s shortlist:
Allen & Overy
Clifford Chance
Doughty Street Chambers
Fosters
Herbert Smith
Oury Clark

New award Lifetime Achievement Award

This is a new award introduced not to recognise billing or profits but to reward those who set a shining example to the rest of the profession.