An honourable new year for A&O

There we all were thinking Wim Dejonghe was Allen & Overy’s most illustrious public figure, but the New Year’s honours list appears to disagree. Its compilers have awarded A&O partner David Wootton with a knighthood for services to legal business, presumably in recognition of his service as the 684th Lord Mayor of London and, earlier, as the capital’s Sheriff, rather than for his decades of fee-earning for the firm’s corporate practice.

Gongs for lawyers are not unheard of – few have been higher profile than Sir Nigel Knowles’ – although a bit of explanation for how Wootton’s and Knowles’ achievements differ from those of other well-known partners or law firm leaders wouldn’t go amiss. (For an analysis of a similar debate, see our dissection of the honorary QC system from early last year.)

Perhaps more understandable are the honours for Olympic and Paralympic legal chief Terry Miller, who receives an OBE, and Treasury Solicitor’s Department deputy director Eleri Wones, who gets a CBE, also for legal services to the London 2012 Games.

With the Olympics and Paralympics gone, it seems lawyers’ best chance for winning a place on future honours lists might be to become Lord Mayor of London. Expect that to come high up on New Year’s resolutions lists this week.


Also on

  • A few things to brighten up the post-Christmas hangover: to start with, Nabarro is moving offices (shifting desks is always fun)…
  • Peter Stringfellow wins his appeal over the status of a stripper at one of his clubs…
  • And in case you enjoy reminiscing about the pre-Christmas suspense now it’s all over, here’s what managing partners wanted for Christmas