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EVENTS AND ROUNDTABLES

EVENTS AND ROUNDTABLES > THE LEGAL BUSINESS AWARDS

EVENTS AND ROUNDTABLES

The Legal Business Awards - Standing Tall

The 20th annual Legal Business Awards were presented in front of 900 guests in a gala ceremony on 23 March, hosted by respected newscaster Alastair Stewart.

The event was preceded by a reception to mark the launch of our fifth annual GC Powerlist which, under the unifying title The Clients of Tomorrow, looked at both the outstanding rising star in-house counsel and high-growth companies with the prospects of becoming the global giants of tomorrow. At the gathering, which included key representatives from FTSE 100 companies such as Virgin Atlantic, Telefónica and RSA, Legal Business editor-in-chief Alex Novarese said this year's report was the most challenging yet to research but also probably the most interesting.

'Identifying the outstanding names already at the top of their game is relatively straightforward,' he said, 'but credibly finding the lawyers of the future – that takes some doing.'

Then it was time to move to the Great Room at Grosvenor House for this year's Legal Business Awards. Mishcon de Reya was named Law Firm of the Year for the second time in five years, winning the most coveted award for what has been a startling run over the last decade.

A&O was one of the night's main winners, picking up two awards: Competition Team of the Year and Legal Innovator of the Year, the latter thanks to the successful launch of its MarginMatrix product and collaboration with Deloitte. Meanwhile, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer picked up one of the most sought-after practice awards, Private Equity Team of the Year, for its role advising Advent International on the £1.5bn sale of the Priory Group to Acadia Healthcare.

Our Lawyer of the Year award this year was given to commemorate the work and life of the late Frances Murphy of Slaughter and May, one of the finest City M&A partners of her generation. Meanwhile, Macfarlanes' senior partner Charles Martin was recognised as Management Partner of the Year.

In other key practice categories, Clifford Chance was selected as Corporate Team of the Year for its role advising National Australia Bank on the three-and-a-half-year long demerger and subsequent listing of CYBG; while Ropes & Gray won Finance Team of the Year for advising Virgin Media on two innovative transactions. In one of the most competitive slots, Latham & Watkins was named US Law Firm of the Year.

Other major awards saw Virgin Media's legal team named In-House Team of the Year for its role in the success of two major initiatives for the company in the last year, while Scotland's leading independent, Brodies, picked up National/Regional Firm of the Year after a very strong 2016.

The winners were selected by an external judging panel comprising the following senior general counsel (GCs): Nilema Bhakta-Jones, group legal director of Ascential Group; Claire Chapman, GC and company secretary of Daily Mail and General Trust; Kate Cheetham, GC at Lloyds Banking Group; Kirsty Cooper, group GC and company secretary at Aviva; Claire Debney, director of legal strategy at Shire; Chris Fowler, GC UK commercial for BT; Financial Times GC Dan Guildford; Geoffrey Timms, GC and company secretary at Legal & General Group; Zoopla Property Group GC Ned Staple; Nigel Paterson, GC at Dixons Carphone; Nayeem Syed, assistant GC, financial and risk at Thomson Reuters; and Tony Williams of Jomati Consultants as well as Alex Novarese and Mark McAteer from Legal Business.

We would like to thank our headline sponsors NatWest for the Legal Business Awards and RPC for the GC Powerlist, as well as all our other commercial partners, for ensuring a memorable night for all involved.

TMT TEAM OF THE YEAR

Bristows

Myles Jelf

Successfully advising Samsung in a landmark patent dispute in the Court of Appeal

Sponsored by the International Bar Association


FINANCE TEAM OF THE YEAR

Ropes & Gray

Jane Rogers

Advising Virgin Media on two innovative financings

Sponsored by Intelligent Office UK

 

INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION TEAM OF THE YEAR

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom

Karyl Nairn QC

Securing victory for the government of the Republic of South Sudan in its dispute with Sudapet

Sponsored by V&P Global

 

RESTRUCTURING TEAM OF THE YEAR

Ashurst

Giles Boothman

Advising EnQuest on its financial restructuring

Sponsored by Saunderson House

 

COMPETITION TEAM OF THE YEAR

Allen & Overy

Antonio Bavasso

Advice to VimpelCom on the creation of the WIND/3 Italia joint venture

Sponsored by Deacon Search

 

ENERGY AND INFRASTRUCTURE TEAM OF THE YEAR

CMS Cameron McKenna

Munir Hassan

Landmark work for the Mexican Ministry of Energy on the reform of its electricity industry

Sponsored by SR Search

 

COMMERCIAL LITIGATION TEAM OF THE YEAR

Boies, Schiller & Flexner

Natasha Harrison

Obtaining the first summary judgment in the new Financial List for client Barclays

Sponsored by InfoTrack

 

PRIVATE CLIENT TEAM OF THE YEAR

Irwin Mitchell

Ros Bever

Victory in the Court of Appeal with the headline civil partnership dispute Roocroft v Ball

Sponsored by Coutts

 

INSURANCE TEAM OF THE YEAR

Bond Dickinson

Jonathan Drake

Groundbreaking work for AIG on the design of its Crowdfunding Fidelity insurance policy

Sponsored by Willis Towers Watson

 

CORPORATE TEAM OF THE YEAR

Clifford Chance

David Pudge

Representing National Australia Bank on the three-and-a-half year long demerger and subsequent listing of CYBG

Sponsored by JLT Specialty

 

PRIVATE EQUITY TEAM OF THE YEAR

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Adrian Maguire

Advising Advent International on its £1.5bn sale of the Priory Group to Acadia Healthcare

Sponsored by Hodgart Associates

 

REAL ESTATE TEAM OF THE YEAR

Gowling WLG/Hogan Lovells

Richard Beckingsale; Nicholas Roberts

Advising on the regeneration of Brent Cross Cricklewood – one of the largest mixed-use developments in the UK

Sponsored by Hawksford

 

BOUTIQUE LAW FIRM OF THE YEAR

Three Crowns

Constantine Partasides QC

Challenging the status quo of the international arbitration market

Sponsored by Cogence Search

 

LAWYER OF THE YEAR

Frances Murphy

Slaughter and May

Commemorating the passing of one of the finest M&A lawyers of a generation

Sponsored by Cantab Asset Management

 

CSR PROGRAMME OF THE YEAR

Gowling WLG

Lorna Gavin

Collaborating to create the Suited for Success charity

Sponsored by Fox Rodney Search

 

INTERNATIONAL FIRM OF THE YEAR

Vieira de Almeida

João Vieira de Almeida

Remaining at the top of its game in a tough Portuguese market

Sponsored by SSQ

 

RISING STAR IN-HOUSE COUNSEL OF THE YEAR

Ahsan Gulabkhan

Virgin Atlantic Airways

Consistent work on the airline's largest and most complex matters

Sponsored by Pure Search

 

IN-HOUSE TEAM OF THE YEAR

Virgin Media

Mine Hifzi

Legal team key to the success of two major initiatives for the company in the last year

Sponsored by Conduent

 

MANAGEMENT PARTNER OF THE YEAR

Charles Martin

Macfarlanes

Being central to each impressive turn this City heavyweight has made

Sponsored by Signium International

 

US LAW FIRM OF THE YEAR

Latham & Watkins

Jay Sadanandan

Further establishing itself as a market leader in the world's key financial centres

Sponsored by Edwards Gibson

 

LEGAL INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR

Allen & Overy

David Wakeling

Developing automated product MarginMatrix and collaborating with Deloitte

Sponsored by William Fry

 

LEGAL TECHNOLOGY TEAM OF THE YEAR

Linklaters

Matt Peers

Developing its own bank ringfencing tool, LinkRFI

Sponsored by Mason & Cook

 

NATIONAL/REGIONAL FIRM OF THE YEAR

Brodies

Bill Drummond

Cementing its position as one of the leading Scottish independents

Sponsored by The Law Society of Scotland

 

LAW FIRM OF THE YEAR

Mishcon de Reya

Kevin Gold

Across many financial metrics the law firm to beat for a decade

Sponsored by NatWest