RPC took home the top prize at last night’s 20th anniversary edition of The Lawyer Awards, securing Law Firm of the Year for its “trailblazing” success.
Law Firm of the Year, sponsored by the event’s headline sponsor Travelers, is the top award of the night. The firm was recognised for its financial and strategic achievements over the past two years, with investment in talking to clients, nurturing talent and innovating in pricing and service all paying off.
Meanwhile Jones Day was named International Firm of the Year at the ceremony at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel, attended by over 1,400 lawyers and hosted by ‘national treasure’ Joanna Lumley.
Judges thought the US firm’s strategy in becoming a truly global outfit had really paid off – particularly in London, now its largest office outside the US. The firm was also recognised for its successful defence for client Texas Keystone in its $1.6bn (£952m) dispute over petroleum fields in Iraqi Kurdistan with Excalibur Ventures, winning Litigation Team of the Year jointly with Memery Crystal for the work.
The inaugural ABS of the Year award went to Schillings, which has reinvented itself since gaining an ABS licence.
Thrings partner John Davies was the second-ever winner of Client Partner of the Year. Davies has handled the relationship with fuel distributor Watson Petroleum for 13 years, seeing his client through a US acquisition by World Fuel Services earlier this year.
Davies and his firm have now been retained by the global company, with Watson Petroleum managing director Tony Watson praising the partner’s insider knowledge of the business and his ability to bring a considered and independent approach to the company’s decision-making.
Watson said: “He’s viewed as our in-house lawyer and he’s acted as an independent sounding board for my business on a variety of corporate, commercial and, importantly, cultural issues over the past 14 years.”
Other notable award-winners last night included No 5 Chambers, named Chambers of the Year for continuing to lead and innovate despite external commercial pressures. The set has managed to diversify its client base as well as continuing to lead on cases of national importance.
Rising star Anneliese Day QC of 4 New Square is this year’s Barrister of the Year after winning 10 cases in a row. Judges also commended Day’s commitment to increasing diversity at the bar and championing the cause of senior female lawyers.
Meanwhile Yum! Brands’ director of legal Sarah Nelson-Smith took home the In-house Lawyer of the Year award for an outstanding 12 months which saw her commitment to the business, which runs the KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell chains, pay off with substantial effiency savings.
The awards were held in association with Travelers.
The full list of winners and runners-up:
Finance Team of the Year
Restructuring Team of the Year
Competition Team of the Year
Regulatory Team of the Year
Corporate Team of the Year
Employment Team of the Year
Infrastructure Projects Team of the Year
Litigation Team of the Year
Funds Team of the Year
Real Estate Team of the Year
IP Team of the Year
Private Wealth Team of the Year
In-house Banking & Financial Services Team of the Year
Winner: PayPal UK
Runner-up: Oaktree Capital Management (UK)
In-house Commerce & Industry Team of the Year
Winner: Royal Mail
In-house Lawyer of the Year
Winner: Sarah Nelson Smith, Kentucky Fried Chicken & Pizza Hut UK & Ireland
Runner-up: Thomas Brown, PayPal UK
Third: Nicola Shand, Scotia Gas Networks
In-house Public Sector Team of the Year
Winner: Financial Services Compensation Scheme
Runner-up: Office of Rail Regulation
Third: London borough of Enfield
In-house TMT Team of the Year
Winner: BT (BT Sport)
Runner-up: Telefonica UK
Third: bwin.party digital entertainment
In-house Energy & Infrastructure Team of the Year
Runner-up: Balfour Beatty
Third: Shell Upstream International
Barrister of the Year
Chambers of the year
Boutique Firm of the Year – City
Winner: Edmonds Marshall McMahon
Third: GQ Employment Law
Boutique Firm of the Year – National
Winner: Zyda Law
Runner-up: Backhouse Jones Solicitors
Third: Kempner & Partners
International Firm of the Year
Offshore Firm of the Year
Client Partner of the Year
ABS of the Year
Runner-up: Richmond Chambers
Third: Quindell Court
Ethical Initiative of the Year
Law Firm of the Year