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Dorset Legal Awards winners announced!

Last updated on April 14th, 2020

Sofie Scott and Robert Rutherford at the Dorset Legal Awards

The winners of the first ever Dorset Legal Awards were announced during an exclusive black-tie awards ceremony at the Bournemouth International Centre on Friday 23rd February. The much-anticipated event brought together some of the top law professionals and firms to recognise the achievements of the legal sector in the region.

Law firm Ellis Jones was one of the biggest winners of the evening, successfully receiving the awards for Law Firm of the Year (with 10+ partners), Lawyer of the Year – awarded to Senior Associate Paul Kanolik – and the Lifetime Achievement award – presented to Managing Partner, Nigel Smith. Meanwhile, Laceys successfully won Company Commercial Team of the Year, Property Team of the Year and Sam Freeman received Partner of the Year. Other winners included Blanchards Bailey winning Dispute Resolution Team of the Year as well as Private Client Team of the Year and Emma Tullis at Mustoe Shorter Solicitors & Advocates netting the Rising Star award.

The Dorset Legal Awards 2018

Robert Rutherford, CEO of QuoStar and Sofie Scott, Managing Director at ASH Elite, hosted the evening where guests were treated to a three-course meal while the awards were announced. A live band ended the night while the contestants danced the night away. As an extra bonus, each winner also received a bottle of Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur courtesy of Conker Spirit.

The finalists were judged by an independent panel of notable legal and business professionals including John Knowles, former Chairman of DEK; John Ainsworth, retired District Judge; barrister Elizabeth McGrath QC and Darren Slade, Business and Technology Editor of the Bournemouth Daily Echo.

The event supporters included Conker Spirit, the Bournemouth Daily Echo and South Coast Events.

The winners of the Dorset Legal Awards revealed

QuoStar’s CEO, Robert Rutherford, comments:

“The first ever Dorset Legal Awards has been a hotly anticipated event with law firms from around the region vying for a chance to win. This has been a fantastic opportunity to showcase the amazing work that these individuals and firms have done. It’s an understatement to say that the final decisions were not easy to make! For those who have won, we wish them a huge congratulations for their stellar work in this sector. For those who were less successful, there is always next year!”

ASH Elite’s Managing Director, Sofie Scott, comments:

“We are incredibly proud of being able to work with and showcase such fantastic legal talent we have here in Dorset. From 216 original entries, 14 winners have now been crowned and we are already looking forward to seeing what next year’s awards will bring! Huge congratulations to all finalists, winners and everyone who got a special commendation on the night. You are all the reason why we love doing what we do!  I would also like to extend a special thank you to all of our category sponsors; Charles Stanley, Iceberg and Saffery Champness. Without your support, the awards would not be possible!”

The winners of the 2018 Dorset Legal Awards

  • Company Commercial Team of the Year – Laceys
  • Contribution to the Community – Kitson & Trotman
  • Dispute Resolution Team of the Year – Blanchards Bailey
  • Engagement with Education – Coles Miller
  • Family Team of the Year – Williams Thompson
  • Law Firm of the Year (up to 10 Partners) – Farnfields
  • Law Firm of the Year (10+ Partners) – Ellis Jones
  • Lawyer of the Year – Paul Kanolik, Ellis Jones
  • Lifetime Achievement – Nigel Smith, Ellis Jones
  • Partner of the Year – Sam Freeman, Laceys
  • Personal Injury/Clinical Negligence Team of the Year – Dutton Gregory
  • Private Client Team of the Year – Blanchards Bailey
  • Property Team of the Year – Laceys
  • Rising Star of the Year – Emma Tullis, Mustoe Shorter Solicitors & Advocates

Special Commendations

  • Company Commercial Team of the Year – Blanchards Bailey
  • Family Team of the Year – Farnfields
  • Partner of the Year – Nicola Lowe, Harold G Walker
  • Law Firm of the Year (up to 10 Partners) – Woodstock Property Law

Photograph credit: Zelda de Hollander, Studio Shotz

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