Lawyers celebrate decade of the best
12 October 2010
Yorkshire Evening Post
12 October 2010
YORKSHIRE'S top lawyers were confirmed at the profession's regional awards ceremony at the Queen's Hotel in Leeds.
The Yorkshire Lawyer Awards, hosted by ITV's Gaynor Barnes, were attended by more than 300 from the profession.
Top honours went to Peter Smart of Walker Norris of Leeds who was named Yorkshire lawyer of the year and to mark the event's 10th anniversary Neil McLean of DLA Piper was named Yorkshire lawyer of the decade.
The judges were chaired by Harrowgate lawyer and award president Peter McCormick, co-president Jeremy Shulman of Shulmans Solicitors, Deborah Green of Leeds Legal, John McQuater of Atherton Godfrey solicitors, Elizabeth Simpson of Andrew Jackson and Norman Taylor of Jones Myers.
Supported by the Leeds Law Society the awards also raised money for Yorkshire Cancer Research.
Mr Smart's award was in recognition of nearly 30 years experience in the corporate finance sector and his expertise in project managing larger deals, negotiating key issues and solving major deal-related problems.
Mr McClean, a previous lawyer of the year winner, was named in recognition of a "unique and enduring contribution to the region's legal scene over the past three decades".
Mr McClean said: "Having practised in Yorkshire for my whole professional life, I am honoured to be recognised in this way.
"This region has a truly excellent legal services market that continues to go from strength to strength, despite some turbulent times."
Mr Smart, said: "I believe this award is a reflection of our success in building a unique national and international practice from a single site.
"Most of the credit for that goes to the vision and quality of my colleagues, who have used the space that we give them to generate new skills, new clients and new business streams."
Hammonds LLP of Leeds walked away with a hat-trick of titles, scooping the corporate and commercial award and the corporate recovery awarded while Caroline Castle was named 2010 rising star.
Other awards went to: law firm with one to 10 partners: Best Solicitors (Bradford); law firm with 11-30 partners: Schofield Sweeney (Leeds, Bradford); law firm with more than 31 partners: Walker Morris (Leeds); commercial property: Addleshaw Goddard (Leeds); dispute resolution: Thornton Jones Family Law (Wakefield); private client: Ros Harwood of Dickinson Dees LLP (York); niche firm: Stewarts Law LLP (Leeds); enterprise: Scarborough Borough Council; in-houselawyer: Premier Farnell PLC (Leeds); trainee solicitor: Laura Craig of Irwin Mitchell (Sheffield); legal executive: Jill Eddison of Best Solicitors (Bradford).