Taylor Wessing and White & Case crowned firms of the year at The Lawyer Awards

Taylor Wessing was crowned Law Firm of the Year at The Lawyer Awards last night in a glittering and packed event at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel.

The firm was recognised not just for its top tier legal advice but also for its innovation in delivering legal services, an approach it has honed while maintaining relationships with clients ranging from the smallest start-up to the largest multinational. The firm’s track record in recent years has seen it establish itself firmly as one of the leading mid-market players with a global revenue of £228m, more than double than at the time of its UK-German merger in 2002.

“They have a relentless expansion agenda and their achievement of opening nine new offices in the last year is particularly impressive never mind the economic context,” commented one of the members of The Lawyer Awards judging panel. ”Statistics of a 31 per cent increase in PEP in 2012 and a 71 per cent pitch hit rate are staggering. 2012 was a truly outstanding year for the firm.”

White & Case picked up the International Firm of the Year award thanks to a similarly impressive performance recently and in particular a standout year in 2012. 

Last year saw White & Case’s capital markets, M&A and disputes groups in particular all perform well, with the litigation and arbitration groups kept busy with mandates in relation to Libor and advising Turkish conglomerate Çukurova on its disputed stake with Russia’s Alfa Group in Turkey’s largest mobile phone operator Turkcell.

The firm also snared a key role on the restructuring of Eur206bn of Greek debt as well as the restructuring of Kazakhstan’s BTA Bank.

“The restructuring of Greek sovereign debt was a truly amazing mandate, highly pressured and had far reaching consequences for the global economy,” said one of the judges. “White & Case have global scale and, it would appear, true global profile.”

Other notable winners included Tim Ward QC of Monckton Chambers, who was awarded Barrister of the Year for acting for the Icelandic Government during the Icesave case, while Client Partner of the Year Jane Mutimear at Bird & Bird was recognised for her outstanding commitment to her client.

The In-house Lawyer of the Year prize was awarded to Richard Vary at Nokia, Chambers of the Year was awarded to 3 Verulam Buildings and Offshore Firm of the Year went to Maples and Calder.

Last night’s awards, hosted by Sandi Toksvig, were attended by more than 1,400 lawyers.

For the Book of the Night, including an image gallery, click here.

The full list of winners and runners-up is below:

Finance Team of the Year

Winner: Slaughter and May

Runner-up: Freshfields

Third: Norton Rose Fulbright

TMT Team of the Year

Winner: Hebert Smith Freehills

Runner-up: Bird & Bird

Third: Olswang

Restructuring Team of the Year

Winner: Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Runner-up: Allen & Overy

Third: Nabarro

Real Estate Team of the Year

Winner: Ashurst/Eversheds for their joint work on The Shard

Runner-up: Davitt Jones Bould

Third: Mayer Brown

Private Wealth Team of the Year

Winner: Farrer & Co

Runner-up: Pinsent Masons

Third: Baker & McKenzie

Competition Team of the Year

Winner: SJ Berwin

Runner-up: Burges Salmon

Third: Herbert Smith Freehills

Infrastructure Projects Team of the Year

Winner: DLA Piper

Runner-up: Sullivan & Cromwell

Third: Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Litigation Team of the Year

Winner: Hogan Lovells

Runner-up: Eversheds

Third: Pinsent Masons

Employment Team of the Year

Winner: Leigh Day/ Outer Temple for their joint work

Runner-up: Eversheds

Third: Fox Williams

M&A Team of the Year

Winner: Linklaters

Runner-up: Norton Rose Fulbright

Third: Lawrence Graham

Regulatory Team of the Year

Winner: Herbert Smith Freehills

Runner-up: DWF

Third: Lawrence Graham

Corporate Finance Team of the Year

Winner: Clifford Chance

Runner-up: Sullivan & Cromwell

Third: Chadbourne & Parke

Funds Team of the Year

Winner: Macfarlanes

Runner-up: Wragge & Co

Third: Osborne Clarke

Ethical Initiative of the Year

Winner: Refugee Action

Runner-up: Coventry Law Centre

Third: White & Case

In-house Banking & Financial Services Team of the Year

Winner: Virgin Money

Runner-up: WorldPay

Third: Canada Life

Offshore Firm of the Year

Winner: Maples and Calder

Runner-up: Carey Olsen

Third: Walkers

Client Partner of the Year

Winner: Jane Mutimear, Bird & Bird

Runner-up: Philip Smith, Tuckers Solicitors

Third: Alex Latner, Berwin Leighton Paisner

In-house Commerce and Industry Team of the Year

Winner: Spire Heathcare

Runner-up: National Car Parks

Third: Premier Foods

Boutique Firm of the Year – City

Winner: Cooke, Young & Keidan

Runner-up: Maurice Turnor Gardner

Third: Corker Binning

In-house Public Sector Team of the Year

Winner: HM Revenue & Customs Solicitor’s Office

Runner-up: Transport for London

Third: Essex Legal Services – Essex County Council

Boutique Firm of the Year – National

Winner: Davitt Jones Bould

Runner-up: Jordans Solicitors

Third: Zyda Law

In-house TMT Team of the Year

Winner: Channel 4 Television Corporation

Runner-up: ITV

Third: GlaxoSmithKline

Barrister of the Year:

Winner: Tim Ward QC, Monckton Chambers

Runner-up: Lord Peter Goldsmith QC, Debevoise & Plimpton

Third: Melanie Hall QC, Monckton Chambers

International Firm of the Year

Winner: White & Case

Runner-up: Dechert

Third: King & Spalding

In-house Lawyer of the Year

Winner: Richard Vary, Nokia

Runner-up: Geoff Wild, Kent County Council

Third: David Haigh, GFH Capital and Leeds FC

Chambers of the Year

Winner: 3 Verulam Buildings

Runner-up: Essex Court Chambers

Third: Monckton Chambers

Law Firm of the Year:

Winner: Taylor Wessing

Runner-up: RPC

Third: Shakespeares