Pinsent Masons, Bird & Bird, Network Rail and Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP) were among the major winners at the 2019 Legal Business Awards in front of more than 1,000 guests last night (28 March).
Hosted by comedian, writer and actress Meera Syal, the evening saw Pinsent Masons crowned Law Firm of the Year for a second time, with judges impressed by the firm’s performance in areas such as client satisfaction, CSR and innovation in addition to financial results.
Meanwhile, alongside BCLP and Heathrow Airport, Pinsents jointly won Energy and Infrastructure Team of the Year as the trio worked together to address the challenge of Heathrow’s proposed expansion. BCLP also picked up another accolade, winning Private Client Team of the Year.
Bird & Bird also won two awards on the night, named TMT Team of the Year in the first award of the evening before being named Legal Technology Team of the Year later on.
Network Rail was the standout in-house performer, a joint winner in the Real Estate Team of the Year category alongside its external advisers Clifford Chance and Eversheds Sutherland for its work on Project Condor, while also being named In-House Team of the Year. Collaboration was evident among a growing number of nominees, with Simmons & Simmons and Travers Smith jointly awarded Commercial Litigation Team of the Year.
Elsewhere, Kirkland & Ellis continues its blistering recent performance, winning the prestigious Private Equity Team of the Year award for a successive year, as well as being Highly Commended in the Law Firm of the Year category. It was a strong year again for US firms in London, with Davis Polk & Wardwell winning Finance Team of the Year, Skadden, Arps, Slate Meagher & Flom securing Competition Team of the Year, King & Spalding International Arbitration Team of the Year and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher named Corporate Team of the Year.
Individuals recognised on the night included Richard Miskella of Lewis Silkin, who won the Lawyer of the Year award for his work on #MeToo-related investigations for The Old Vic and subsequent pro bono work in this area. Nick Thomas of Kennedys was named our Management Partner of the Year for his long and successful run as senior partner, while Frances Coats of The Ardonagh Group was named Rising Star In-House Counsel of the Year.
The debut Chambers of the Year award went to 3 Verulam Buildings, after reversing its fortunes to produce a robust performance in recent years.
Thanks go to our external judging panel of prominent general counsel who selected the winners: Nigel Paterson, GC and company secretary, Dixons Carphone; Anna Cosgrave, head of legal, Graze; Ruwan De Soyza, GC, Worldpay; Rushad Abadan, GC, Standard Life Aberdeen; Charlotte Heiss, group chief legal officer and company secretary, RSA; Neil Murrin, GC and director – regulatory affairs, Trainline; Richard Price, GC and company secretary, Anglo-American; Angus McBride, GC, News UK; Geoffrey Timms, GC and company secretary, Legal & General; Kirsty Cooper, GC and company secretary, Aviva; Dan Guildford, GC, The Financial Times; Nayeem Syed, assistant GC, Refinitiv; Liz Tanner, director of legal services, SSE; Elisabeth Messud, group legal director, Kingfisher; Joanne Jolly, GC and company secretary – Insurance and Wealth, Lloyds Banking Group; and Jeremy Barton, GC, KPMG UK.
Our May edition will include a full report of the night. For more details on the winners and the awards in general click, here.
Legal Business Awards 2019 – The Winners
Bird & Bird – TMT Team of the Year
Davis Polk & Wardwell – Finance Team of the Year
King & Spalding – International Arbitration Team of the Year
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer – Restructuring Team of the Year
Skadden, Arps, Slate Meagher & Flom – Competition Team of the Year
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner/Heathrow Airport/Pinsent Masons – Energy and Infrastructure Team of the Year
Simmons & Simmons/Travers Smith – Commercial Litigation Team of the Year
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner – Private Client Team of the Year
Hebert Smith Freehills – Insurance Team of the Year
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher – Corporate Team of the Year
Kirkland & Ellis – Private Equity Team of the Year
Clifford Chance/Eversheds Sutherland/Network Rail – Real Estate Team of the Year
Northridge Law – Boutique Law Firm of the Year
Richard Miskella – Lawyer of the Year
Hogan Lovells – CSR Programme of the Year
A&L Goodbody – International Firm of the Year
Frances Coats, The Ardonagh Group – Rising Star In-House Counsel of the Year
Network Rail – In-House Team of the Year
Nick Thomas – Management Partner of the Year
White & Case – US Law Firm of the Year
Lucy Vernall, Funding Circle – GC of the Year
3 Verulam Buildings – Chambers of the Year
Bird & Bird – Technology Team of the Year
Ogier – Regional/Offshore Firm of the Year