This category acknowledges truly exceptional individual contributions to the profession during 2016. Submissions are welcomed from private practitioners, in-house counsel and barristers. Judges will be looking for evidence of exceptional performance in any area that makes the chosen lawyer stand out from their peers.
2016 WINNER: Chris Saul, Slaughter and May
After eight years at the helm, Saul will retire from Slaughters once his term as senior partner comes to an end on 30 April. He will step down after nearly four decades at the firm, having joined as an articled clerk in 1977, and three decades as a partner. Making his name as a heavyweight corporate partner, Saul took on a five-year term as senior partner in 2008 and was handed a three-year extension in 2013. Consistently referred to as a class act by clients, peers and staff, he has made the running of a City blueblood seem effortless.
Since joining the bank in January 2014, Crichton has overseen a series of high-profile projects that many general counsel wouldn’t have delivered in an entire career, including separating the bank from Lloyds then taking it through an IPO. To make this all the more remarkable, it has been achieved against the backdrop of building a legal function from near scratch, including a company secretariat, and increasing the team from ten to 28 lawyers.
IAN FORRESTER QC
White & Case
Having (literally) written the book on EU and competition law and been one of the elder statesmen of antitrust practitioners for many years, Forrester QC was appointed as the UK’s judge at the General Court of European Union, succeeding judge Nicholas Forwood QC in October. One of 28 judges, he has a distinguished career in competition law, trade law, customs, internal market rules, intellectual property and constitutional human rights.
Allen & Overy
Stepping down in 2016 after a 36-year career with Allen & Overy, Morley has been widely credited with shaping a firm that has become the most progressive member of the Magic Circle in recent years. A loyal servant to the firm and before management one of the firm’s most distinguished finance partners, Morley’s passionate commitment to wider initiatives, such as the PRIME diversity scheme, underpin his contribution to the profession generally.
As senior partner, Warne is credited with being a highly visible public face for the firm as well as maintaining her reputation for being a first-rate energy lawyer and contributing to the wider profession as a vocal advocate of diversity, charity and social mobility. Just days after taking the management role, she was thrown into seeing through the Dundas & Wilson takeover and has been instrumental in making the integration of that union a success in 2015.