Members of the legal profession came together in Glasgow to recognise outstanding achievements in their sector.
Almost 300 guests were in the audience to hear the winners announced for The Herald Law Awards of Scotland 2023 on Thursday night.
Among those receiving accolades was David Welsh of Axiom Advocates who was declared Rising Star at the Scottish Bar and Moir & Sweeney Litigation, which was named Criminal Law Firm of the Year.
In his opening remarks, Colin Anderson, director and company secretary at LEAD Scotland and chair of the judging panel, praised the standard of this year’s entries and said: “The Herald Law Awards of Scotland are always a highlight in the Scottish legal calendar.
“They are where we recognise the collective effort of the Scottish legal profession in fostering a legal landscape that empowers individuals, protects rights and ensures that justice is accessible for all.”
Other winners included Peter Nicholson, editor, The Journal, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award, and Francis McMenamin KC, who won the Chairman’s Award.
Susan Murray, Law Society of Scotland vice-president, said: “The annual Herald Law Awards provide an important opportunity to demonstrate a cross-section of the excellent work embodied within our sector and this year’s event was a wonderfully fitting celebration of some of the exceptional people working in the Scottish legal profession.
“Seeing Peter Nicholson’s outstanding contribution as editor of the Journal recognised was a highlight of the evening and it was an honour to be present as he collected his Lifetime Achievement Award, while it was a privilege for me to announce the Solicitor of the Year Award to Andy Sirel.”
The Law Society of Scotland also sponsored the Innovation Award, which was won by Alegrant.
At the end of the evening, Ronnie Murison, director of Sheriff Officer Services at Stirling Park, which provides sheriff officer services to the legal profession across Scotland said: “The event was fantastic and many congratulations to all the finalists and well-deserved winners of their respective categories being recognised for their achievements in 2023.”
Stirling Park was sponsor of both the Litigation Team of the Year Award, which was won by Allan McDougall Solicitors, and Debt Recovery Team of the Year, which was won by Gilson Gray.
The categories of Corporate Team of the Year, won by MBM Commercial, and Law Firm of the Year – Scottish Independents, which went to Thompsons Solicitors, were both sponsored by IDEX Consulting. Meena Bahanda, IDEX head of legal recruitment for Scotland, said: “This year’s event was a tremendous celebration and it is fantastic to see how the legal profession continues to go from strength to strength.
“It is lovely to see not only experienced professionals being recognised, but up and coming talent also being awarded for their dedication and passion for their work.”
The Outstanding Contribution Award, sponsored by Thomson Reuters, was won by Trevor Ormiston of Ormiston’s Legal Health Practice.
Lorna Galvin, Regional Manager for Scotland, Thomson Reuters, said: “The evening was a resounding success, and we are delighted to be involved with this prestigious event. The evening was a grand celebration of Scotland’s legal excellence, bringing together the best and brightest in the industry.
“Legal professionals from across the country gathered to recognise and applaud outstanding achievements.
“Thomson Reuters’ sponsorship was driven by a deep commitment to promoting excellence and innovation within the legal field.
“We believe in acknowledging the remarkable contributions of legal professionals who tirelessly work to shape the industry’s future and the Outstanding Contribution Award, presented by Thomson Reuters, was a highlight of the evening, honouring those who have left an indelible mark on the legal profession.”
Other winners on the night were: MacPhee & Partners, High Street Firm of the Year; Macnabs, Family and Child Law Team of the Year; Sharon Connolly, Macnabs, Paralegal of the Year; Allan McDougall Solicitors, Corporate Social Responsibility; University of Strathclyde Law Clinic, Pro-Bono Award; and Dallas McMillan, Employment and Pensions Team of the Year.
The Herald Law Awards of Scotland 2023
High Street Firm of the Year
- MacPhee & Partners – Winner
Criminal Law Firm of the Year
- Moir and Sweeney Litigation – Winner
Family and Child Law Team of the Year
- Macnabs – Winner
- Family Law Matters Scotland LLP – Highly Commended
Up and Coming Award
- Ruairidh Morrison, MBM Commercial – Winner
Paralegal of the Year
- Sharon Connolly, Macnabs – Winner
Rising Star at the Scottish Bar
- David Welsh, Axiom Advocates – Winner
Solicitor of the Year – sponsored by Law Society of Scotland
- Andy Sirel, JustRight Scotland – Winner
Litigation Team of the Year – sponsored by Stirling Park
- Allan McDougall Solicitors – Winner
Deby Recovery Team of the Year – sponsored by Stirling Park
- Gilson Gray – Winner
Innovation Award – Law Society of Scotland
- Alegrant – Winner
Corporate Team of the Year – sponsored by IDEX Consulting
- MBM Commercial – Winner
Corporate Social Responsibility
- Allan McDougall Solicitors – Winner
- Ledingham Chalmers Solicitors – Highly Commended
- University of Strathclyde Law Clinic – Winner
- Berlow Rahman Hassan Limited Solicitors and Notaries – Highly Commended
Employment and Pensions Team of the Year
- Dallas McMillan – Winner
Law Firm of the Year – Scottish Independents – sponsored by IDEX Consulting
- Thompsons Solicitors – Winner
Outstanding Contribution Award – sponsored by Thomson Reuters
- Trevor Ormiston – Winner
Lifetime Achievement Award
- Peter Nicholson – Winner
- Frances McMenamin KC – Winner