2nd place: Vanni Treves, Macfarlanes 3rd place: John Young, Lovells Shortlisted: Andrew Harrison, Wragge & Co; Jacky Kelly, Weil Gotshal & Manges; Charles Wood, Denton Wilde Sapte The winner of the Partner of the Year Award, sponsored by Hughes-Castell, goes to Clifford Chance London managing partner Peter Charlton. Despite being rebuffed for the second time for the top job at Clifford Chance (he lost out to deputy European managing partner Peter Cornell this year), Charlton nevertheless deserves recognition for his achievements in 2000. Indeed, he influenced the City market more than any other partner last year, mainly through two major initiatives. The first was the move to Canary Wharf, which he pushed through despite initial internal opposition. The second was the first magic circle associate salary hikes, which gave Clifford Chance a head start in the war for talent. Yet despite his management workload, Charlton did not stop fee-earning. He led Canary Wharf's billion-pound initial public offering (IPO), Matalan's £250m share placing and the £271m Tetley-Tata Tea deal last year. His no-nonsense approach has won him respect not only within his own firm, but right across the City. In second place is Vanni Treves, partner at Macfarlanes and a man with a thirst for tough jobs. He was thrust into the spotlight this year when he took over the chairmanship of the beleaguered Equitable Life. And it is not the first external role Treves has taken on: he has been chairman of Channel 4 since 1998 and became chairman of the London Business School in the same year. But the Equitable Life post will be much more bruising; it will require all Treves' famed diplomatic skills. And it is no sinecure; if the results are not what Equitable Life is hoping for, then Treves has insisted on a one-day notice period without compensation in the contract. If Treves does find a way round the problem, then the entire City will be grateful. The Equitable Life case has also spotlighted another achiever - John Young, corporate partner at Lovells, who is placed third in this year's category. His quiet authority and unparalleled knowledge of the insurance industry has made him one of the most sought-after lawyers in the City.