Chancery Lane names its ‘brightest stars’

Solicitors and firms from across the ‘world’s most respected legal system’ have won through to the final stages of the Law Society Excellence Awards 2014.

Individual solicitors are competing in categories that include the Gazette Legal Personality of the Year, junior lawyer of the year and solicitor advocate of the year. Finalists in the firms’ category range from City firms to in-house teams to small local practices, with awards for excellence in pro bono, client service, environmental responsibility, practice management and other areas.

Congratulating the finalists, Law Society president Andrew Caplen said: ‘Despite tough economic times and challenging legislative changes, our profession is continuously innovating and succeeding. We are in possession of the world’s most respected legal system, which is only possible – and maintained – because of the intellect, skill and integrity of our members.’

For a full list of all nominees see here.

The 10-strong shortlist for the Gazette Legal Personality of the Year comprises:

1. Cordella Bart-Stewart, fee-paid immigration judge, Black Solicitors Network and sole principal of Stewart & Co.
2. David Bott, senior partner of Cheshire firm Bott & Co.
3. Nicholas Crichton CBE, judge, Family Drug and Alcohol Court.
4. Laura Devine, principal of London and New York immigration firm Laura Devine.
5. Elisabeth Jones, chief legal adviser to the Welsh Assembly.
6. Dean Parnell, dispute resolution partner at Birmingham firm Sydney Mitchell.
7. James Pirrie, director, London firm Family Law in Partnership.
8. James Thornton, founding chief executive of environmental law campaigners ClientEarth.
9. Penelope Warne, senior partner, CMS Cameron McKenna.
10. Fiona Woolf CBE, Lord Mayor of London.

BBC news presenter Mishal Husain will host the Law Society Excellence Awards ceremony on 9 October at the Park Plaza Hotel, Westminster Bridge, London.