Solicitors celebrate as Govt sweeps away Bar monopoly

More than 1000 lawyers attending the 1998 The Lawyer/Hifal awards saw the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine of Lairg win the Personality of the Year award and Olswang scoop the Law Firm of the Year award.

As he accepted his award at the gala dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel last Thursday, hosted by Jonathan Dimbleby, Lord Irvine thanked the media for raising his profile. He joked he was particularly grateful for the votes of lawyers called “Pugin”, “Wolsey” and “Wallpaper”.

Other winners were Linklaters (The Innovation Award), ICI (In-house Legal Team of the Year), and The Chambers of James Hunt QC (Chambers of the Year).

Commenting on Lord Irvine's award, The Lawyer's editor Mary Heaney said: “Lord Irvine has certainly provided the legal profession with plenty of food for thought in his relatively short reign at the top. Our poll reveals that he is a man people either love or hate but is certainly noticed by all.”

The awards raised £26,000 for the NSPCC Justice for Children campaign aimed at uncovering organised child abuse.

see Awards supplement.