Teams and individuals on tenterhooks to discover who will take the big prizes
LEGAL teams are bracing themselves to discover which of them will be voted best in class at the 12th annual Scottish Legal Awards, sponsored by Scott+Co.
With a record number of firms shortlisted for the 2015 awards, the competition is fierce – especially in the litigation, family law and residential property categories.
The awards programme was founded on the principle of recognising and rewarding the best talent in the Scottish legal profession – both individuals and teams.
The Litigation Team of the year, sponsored this time around by Tilney Bestinvest, has always proved to be a popular category. This year, there are nine finalists on the shortlist after judges found a consistent high standard of entry across all aspects of the sector.
Judges have come up with a varied shortlist, with high street specialists ADLP, together with small firm Allan McDougall featuring along with high-volume competitors such as DAC Beechcroft, Anderson Strathern and Digby Brown. Other firms were recognised by the judges for securing a speciality area; in the case of Thompsons, for example, the entry focused on its work on asbestos-related personal injury cases.
The list of finalists in the litigation category is completed by DLA Piper Scotland, Shoosmiths and Simpson & Marwick.
Christine McLintock, Vice President of the Law Society and a member of the judging panel, commented: “The litigation teams were wide ranging in terms of skill set and scale but it was very satisfying to see firms large and small compete on an equal level. This presented some difficulties for the judges but the decision reached is fair and had the strong support of the judges. Congratulations to all the finalists, they truly deserve positive recognition for recent achievements.”
Residential property was another popular area, with rising confidence displayed by a number of firms reporting an increase in the volume of transactions. The six finalists all showed how they were engaging with clients and many focused on their own unique ways of embracing the market. Again large scale, multi-service firms were compared against specialist competitors. Allan McDougall, Anderson Strathern and Simpson & Marwick were also shortlisted in this category, along with Mackinnons, Maloco & Associates and McEwan Fraser Legal.
The teams practicing in important and often sensitive area of family law also came forward in good numbers and the judges selected four high-performing finalists in Family Law Matters, Morton Fraser MTM Specialist Family Lawyers and, once again, Simpson & Marwick.
The same firm is also shortlisted for Public Sector Team of the Year, alongside Anderson Strathern, DWF and multi-award winners Harper Macleod – who are also shortlisted in the Employer of the Year category, along Digby Brown, small Highlands firm MacPhee & Partners, MOV8 Real Estate and Shoosmiths.
The hotly-contested Firm of the Year, sponsored by DX, will be fought out by Digby Brown, DLA Piper Scotland, Simpson & Marwick and Thompsons.
Joy McLaughlin, a member of the judging panel and partner in main sponsor of the awards, Scott+Co, has praised the quality of the 2015 entries, She said: “There is real talent and creativity out there in the Scottish legal profession, which was displayed across a wide range of categories. We selected some very worthy winners and all the judges look forward to recognising the achievements of all those winners at the ceremony in March.”
• The 12th annual Scott + Co Scottish Legal Awards takes place on Thursday 26 March 2015 at the Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh. Tickets are available from £130 + VAT per person and can be reserved by visiting www.kdmedia.co.uk/legalawards/book/