ENTRIES have been flooding in for this year’s Herald Law Awards for Scotland and they include impressive outlines of achievements and innovative working practices. But judging has yet to take place and so there is still time for solicitors, legal practices and others working in the legal profession to submit their entries before the closing date of Wednesday, 21 September.

It is a chance for Scotland’s leading lawyers, silks, firms both large and small, and legal teams within all sectors of business and industry to be recognised amongst their peers as the most outstanding in the country.

This year each entry will be scrutinised by a distinguished panel of judges that includes advocate Usman Tariq; Murray Etherington, President, Law Society Scotland and Frances McMenamin QC. Between them, these and their judging colleagues will cast a forensic eye over the tiniest details, scrutinising applications thoroughly before deciding on who will take this year’s awards. And they will also decide amongst themselves who should receive this year’s Outstanding Contribution Award for having made a unique impact on the profession over the last 12 months.

The Herald Law Awards of Scotland were launched in 2004 and have now been  highlighting exceptional individuals and organisations and promoting an innovative approach to delivering professional services for almost 20 years.

The last few years have seen upheaval in how the law has been practised – with professionals working from home and juries taking their seats in cinemas and not courtrooms – and so the judges are expecting to find evidence of innovation and continued high standards in the face of rapid change.

This year there are 20 categories, each focusing on a key component of Scotland’s legal framework, including Criminal Law Firm of the Year, In-House Team of the Year and Manager of the Year and there is encouragement from this year’s sponsors for anyone thinking of entering, to make sure that they submit their on-line application before the deadline.

Meena Bahanda, Head of Legal – Scotland, Idex Consulting, sponsors of both Law Firm of the Year and Law Firm of the Year –Scottish Independents, said: “Idex Consulting is delighted to continue to support the celebration of the excellent work in the Scottish Legal Sector. We were bowled over by the enthusiasm shown by last year’s entrants and we are excited to see what this year will bring. There is still time to enter these awards and we encourage everyone to participate.”

There is support too from Ronnie Murison, Director of Sheriff Officer Services at Stirling Park LLP, Messengers-at-Arms and Sheriff Officers. He said: “We are delighted to continue our partnership with the Law Awards, supporting both the Debt Recovery Firm of the Year and Litigation Firm of the Year categories. These categories are directly associated with the work of sheriff officers and we are keen to give recognition to the outstanding firms in this field.  We encourage candidates to nominate their firms for evaluation by the Judges.”

Other sponsors this year include The Law Society of Scotland who are backing the Innovation Award, a category that will recognise fresh working practices, new business streams or the impact of technology on how legal services are delivered.

The winners in all categories will be announced at a glittering awards ceremony on Friday, 11 November. It will be a chance for the cream of Scotland’s legal profession to socialise and network, while celebrating the achievements of the best in their field.

l More information about how to enter is available by visiting https://newsquest scotland events.com/events/lawawards/