Hot 100 2015: record number of in-housers among this year’s stand-out lawyers

A record 45 in-house counsel and 50 women feature in The Lawyer’s Hot 100 2015, which is unveiled today after months of research.

The group of senior in-house counsel – the most to have ever been included in the annual list of 100 lawyers who stand out for their work – includes lawyers who have led the flotations of their companies, others who have dealt with regulatory investigations, and some leading true innovation in their sector.

Pets at Home general counsel Louise Stonier, who is also profiled in this week’s in-house interview,’s head of corporate Frankie Williams and head of legal Louise Fishwick have all seen their companies successfully through IPOs last year.

Buckinghamshire County Council legal head Anne Davies (8 August 2014) and Harrow Borough Council’s director of legal and governance Hugh Peart (13 August 2014) were behind their councils’ successful applications for the first ABS licences granted to public sector bodies last year.

The Hot 100 also includes individuals who have stood out for their management skills. Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co’s chief executive David Fennell makes the list after leading legacy Wragges & Co through its merger with legacy Lawrence Graham (17 February 2014), while Tollers’ Duncan Nicholson is named for turning the firm’s debt position around (11 April 2014).

While a number of senior corporate and finance partners are named in the Hot 100 this year for work on multi-billion pound international deals, the list features lawyers who have been working hard to make significant changes for individuals.

Withy King associate Rebecca Stevens, who last year spent 100 hours working pro bono for a client in a custody case who did not qualify for legal aid, sits alongside Slater & Gordon’s head of personal injury Liz Dux who is acting for hundreds of victims of sexual abuse.

At the bar, Blackstone Chambers’ public law star Dinah Rose QC appears after a year which was busy even by her standards, with a range of cases on key issues including the cuts to legal aid and the security services’ use of legally-privileged information all featuring.

The final list, published every year, follows months of research by The Lawyer’s editorial team into candidates’ client work and contribution to their firms, companies and the profession.

For the full list of this year’s Hot 100, click here.