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John Vander Luit

Editor, Solicitors Journal

The Solicitors Journal Awards 2017 winners revealed

The Solicitors Journal Awards 2017 winners revealed


The cream of the crop honoured at SJ's second annual awards evening

The Solicitors Journal Awards 2017 saw more than 460 of the legal profession elite come together to showcase and celebrate their achievements over the last year.

Taking place at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London, the Awards were hosted by Brian Moore, former England rugby player and City litigation partner, who entertained the crowd with tales of his antics on and off the field and then presented the awards to the deserving winners.

Sponsored by Gowling WLG and InfoTrack, the Awards 2017 saw winners in 19 categories covering all aspects of legal practice which were judged by an influential and respected judging panel.

This year's award for Lifetime Achievement for services to the legal profession was presented to Patrick Allen after 40 years of practice. Patrick was the lawyer who managed the Gulf War illness claims for UK veterans, the New Cross fire inquest, and played a lead role in the King's Cross fire and Marchioness litigations.

Reflecting on his award, Patrick said: 'I can't tell you how much it means to me to have recognition for my lifetime's work from the Solicitors Journal Awards which reach out to every corner of the legal profession.'

This year the Awards supported the Billable Hour Appeal 2017 in aid of Save the Children. Guests were given the opportunity to pledge a sum equivalent to what they would charge for one billable hour of work, raising close to £4,670 for the charity's lifesaving work with refugees.

The Billable Hour campaign founder, Sean Jones QC, said: 'When I look at the response from the profession and the way its generosity has saved the lives of children in desperate conditions, I could not be prouder of my colleagues or more apologetic that I failed to foresee how magnificent their efforts would be.

'To have Solicitors Journal choose to support Billable Hour was an honour. The awards encapsulate what is best about solicitors as professionals. Their support for the appeal encapsulates what is best about them as people.'

The winners were:

Chambers of the Year

Serjeants' Inn

Commercial Property Team of the Year

Thomson Snell & Passmore

Commercial Team of the Year

Browne Jacobson

Conveyancing Team of the Year


Diversity Scheme of the Year

Legal Social Mobility Partnership

Employment Team of the Year

A City Law Firm Limited

Family Team of the Year

Wollen Michelmore

Law Firm of the Year


Legal Aid Team of the Year

South West London Law Centres

Hodge Jones & Allen (Highly Commended)

Legal Education Provider of the Year

The Helena Kennedy Centre, Sheffield Hallam University

Lancashire Law School, University of Central Lancashire (Highly Commended)

Litigation Team of the Year

Stevens & Bolton

Personal Injury Team of the Year


Private Client Team of the Year

Bircham Dyson Bell

Pro Bono Team of the Year

Legacare UK

Debevoise & Plimpton (Highly Commended)

Rising Star

Laura Scaife, Datultacy

Jonathan Hodge, Giles Wilson (Highly Commended)

Working in Partnership

Thomson Reuters Foundation

Legal Personality of the Year

Marcia Willis Stewart, Birnberg Peirce

Rule of Law Award

Mishcon de Reya

Edwin Coe

Lifetime Achievement

Patrick Allen, Hodge Jones & Allen