CMS, Anderson Strathern take home top prizes at Law Awards

ANDERSON Strathern was last night unveiled as the Scottish Independent Law Firm of the year at The Herald’s Law Awards of Scotland.

The firm, which was also victorious in the Employment Team of the Year category, took home the gong after impressing the judges not just with its attention to financial management but with its commitment to staff wellbeing too.

CMS was named the winner of the Law Firm of the Year category.

Law Society president John Mulholland, who served on the judging panel, noted the valuable contribution the firms are making to the Scottish legal profession.

“Once again the Herald Law Awards of Scotland gave us a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the important and significant contributions being made by our members to Scottish communities,” he said.


In the individual categories, Mike Dailly of Govan Law Centre was named Solicitor of the Year and Aidan O’Neill QC of Ampersand Advocates was crowned Silk of the Year for the third year running.

Balfour & Manson chairman Elaine Motion, meanwhile, took home the outstanding contribution award in recognition of her longstanding commitment to bringing strategic litigation cases, most recently acting alongside Mr O’Neill on all four Brexit-related cases that have been heard in the Scottish courts. Her firm was also recognised in the Litigation Team of the Year category.

McKinstry Practice Management managing director Graeme McKinstry, who presented the outstanding contribution award, said: “McKinstry Practice Management is again delighted to be associated with the Law Awards of Scotland and in particular sponsoring the Outstanding Contribution Award, which is an accolade recognising the special and lasting contribution which this year’s winner has made in shaping and developing Scots law.”

Similarly, the Judges’ Award recognised the contribution made by Glasgow Social Justice Lawyers – a collective made up of Latta & Co, JustRight Scotland, Govan Law Centre, Legal Services Agency and Shelter Scottish Housing Law Service – who combined their expertise to ensure 150 asylum seekers would not be evicted from their Glasgow homes while a court case against service provider Serco was live.

Elsewhere, the Innovation Award, was won by Shepherd and Wedderburn with Neilsons Solicitors and Estate Agents receiving a commendation.

Brian Welsh, chief executive of sponsor Insight Legal, noted that the event had been “a celebration of the innovative and forward-thinking professionals who make vast contributions within the legal sector.”

Ronnie Murison, director of sheriff officer services at Stirling Park, added that the event “allowed Scotland’s legal profession to recognise and reward the high achievers in their particular field”.

Shortlist and winners

Junior Solicitor of the Year

Fraz Ahmed – Jones Whyte – Commendation

Emma Boffey – CMS – Winner

Leigh Herd – Shepherd and Wedderburn

Jamie Meechan – MacRoberts LLP

Shawn Wood – Watermans Legal

Private Client Team of the Year

Blackadders LLP

Burness Paull


Gillespie Macandrew – Winner

Debt Recovery Team of the Year – Sponsored by Stirling Park

Ascent Legal Scotland

Gilson Gray

Shoosmiths – Winner

Real Estate Team of the Year

Blackadders LLP


Harper Macleod – Winner


Litigation Team of the Year – Sponsored by Stirling Park

Balfour+Manson – Winner

Clyde & Co (Scotland) LLP

Dallas McMillan Solicitors

Drummond Miller LLP

Halliday Campbell

High Street Firm of the Year

Latta & Co Solicitors – Winner

Neilsons Solicitors and Estate Agents

McClure Solicitors

Watermans Legal

In-House Team of the Year

Aberdeen City Council

Virgin Money UK PLC – Winner

Glasgow City Council – Legal and Administrative Services (Licensing)

Employment Team of the Year

Anderson Strathern – Winner

Blackadders LLP

Transactions Team of the Year



MacDonald Henderson Solicitors

Shepherd and Wedderburn – Winner

CSR Award

Innes & Mackay – Commendation

Irwin Mitchell Scotland

RBS Legal Edinburgh – Winner

Pro-Bono Award – Sponsored by Law Society of Scotland

Clan Childlaw – Winner


Scottish Child Law Centre

University of Edinburgh Free Legal Advice Centre

University of Strathclyde Law Clinic

Innovation Award – Sponsored by Law Society of Scotland

Blackadders Employment Lawyer in Your Pocket


Neilsons Solicitors and Estate Agents – Commendation

Shepherd and Wedderburn – Winner

Advocate of the Year

Wendy L. Hay – Optimum Advocates – Winner

David Welsh – Axiom Advocates

Solicitor of the Year

Mike Dailly – Govan Law Centre – Winner

Darren Deery – Drummond Miller LLP

Alexander Lamley – MBM Commercial

Lisa Law – Innes & Mackay

Iain Smith – Keegan Smith – Commendation

Manager of the Year

Mike Dailly – Govan Law Centre

Martin Darroch – Harper Macleod

Amanda Jones – Dentons – Winner

Scott Whyte – Watermans Legal

Silk of the Year

Roddy Dunlop QC – Axiom Advocates

Maria Maguire QC – Ampersand Advocates

Aidan O’Neill QC – Ampersand Advocates – Winner

John Scott QC

Andrew Smith QC – Compass Chambers

Law Firm of the Year – sponsored by Insight Legal

CMS – Winner

Irwin Mitchell Scotland



Spanish + Scottish Law Practice

Law Firm of the Year – Scottish Independents

Anderson Strathern – Winner

Harper Macleod

MacRoberts LLP

Judges Award

Glasgow Social Justice Lawyers

Outstanding Contribution Award – Sponsored by McKinstry Practice Management

Elaine Motion – Balfour+Manson