The Devon and Somerset Law Society’s Legal Awards 2017 have been officially launched.
The best of the legal profession were invited to afternoon tea at the Deer Park Hotel in Honiton to celebrate the initiative designed to recognise the achievements of the Westcountry legal profession.
DASLS president Mark Roome said: “DASLS legal awards demonstrate the quality of legal services provided by solicitors in Devon and Somerset.
“Along with gaining great publicity, winners and shortlisted entries are able to stand out as leading the way in the solicitors’ profession. Now is the time to submit your entry for one or more of these prestigious awards.”
Lawyers and legal practices are being invited to submit nominations. There are 12 categories and the deadline for entries is Friday, October 21.
DASLS has teamed up with DC Media, publisher of titles including the Express & Echo and Western Morning News, to organise the event.It is headline sponsored by specialist legal software company SOS.
Graham Colbourne, SOS managing director, said: “Following the outstanding success of last year’s awards, we are delighted that SOS is headline sponsor for the Devon & Somerset Law Society’s Legal Awards 2017.
“Several people told me last year that they didn’t make any nominations. I would encourage them to go against their natural modesty and nominate their firms or colleagues for this year’s awards. We know Devon and Somerset law firms are amongst the most progressive in the UK and as such I think they have a lot to be proud of.
“I very much enjoyed judging the entries last year and look forward to having an even harder job this year.”
Mr Colbourne will be joined on the judging panel by Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis; Judge Erik Salomonsen; Rob Varley, chief executive of the Met Office; Richard Edwards, interim head of the law school at the University of Exeter; Stephen Roberts, chief executive of North Devon Hospice; Bill Martin, regional editor-in-chief with DC Media; Stephanie Henshaw, corporate audit partner at PKF Francis Clark and Anne Blackburn, founder of the Sidona Group.
Last year, more than 400 members of the legal profession came together at a gala dinner to showcase the profession and celebrate practitioners.
The ceremony is being held at Sandy Park in Exeter on Thursday, March 2, 2017.
There are 12 categories for firms and individuals to enter:
Innovation Award sponsored by SOS: Innovation is key to the future success of any organisation. We want to hear how firms and organisations have innovated to develop their business. Private practice law firms, in house lawyers from commerce or public service are invited to enter for this award.
Corporate and Social Responsibility Award: Businesses have a responsibility towards the communities they serve. Demonstrate how your firm gives time freely to good causes and community projects. This award draws together many of the qualities sought in other categories to find the small or medium size law firm that has a winning formula. The Judges will be looking for excellence in firms able to demonstrate a clear vision for their business and how that is being achieved.
Law Firm of the Year Award (11+ partners): This award draws together many of the qualities sought in other categories to find the small or medium size law firm that has a winning formula. The Judges will be looking for excellence in firms able to demonstrate a clear vision for their business and how that is being achieved.
Law Firm of the Year Award (1-10 partners): This award draws together many of the qualities sought in other categories to find the small or medium size law firm that has a winning formula. Entries are invited from any firm with 1-10 partners including small niche practices and general high street firms.
Team of the Year Award: Great teamwork is an essential part of modern business especially in a legal practice where a combination of skill sets is needed. Teams from private practice law firms and in house lawyer departments in commerce or public service are invited to enter for this award.
Client Service Award: Great client service is at the heart of all solicitor firms and fundamental to their success. The judges will be looking for those firms that have a culture of putting the client first and a pro-active approach to continual improvement.
Solicitor of the Year Award sponsored by PKF Francis Clark: The Solicitor of the Year may be recently qualified or have many years of experience and can have practised in any type of organisation and discipline. They will be an exemplar for the solicitors’ profession and will likely to have achieved particular recognition for their professional work.
Leader/Law Manager of the Year Award: This Award will be presented to the individual who has inspired their organisation to achieve through their leadership and/or management skills.
In-house/Public Sector Lawyer of the Year Award: Entries for this category will be from members of in-house corporate teams and those working in public bodies. They may be recently qualified or have many years of experience.
Support Team Member of the Year Award: Nominations are welcome from firms or clients for legal executives, paralegals, secretaries, cashiers and others who support Devon & Somerset Law Society solicitor members.
Legal ‘Hero’ of the Year Award: Legal Heroes make a real difference to their clients. They may work in any area of practice going the extra mile for the client’s desired outcome be that a house move, settlement of a dispute, a claim for compensation, formation of a company or the resolution of a family matter.
Lifetime Achievement Award sponsored by The Law Society: This award will be presented to the individual who has made an exceptional contribution to the reputation of solicitors during their career as a solicitor in Devon and Somerset. While entries could be based on any number of criteria, candidates will be an exemplar of the legal profession having demonstrated high standards of integrity in their endeavours.
The deadline for entries is Friday, October 21. Shortlisted companies and individuals will be announced late in November. Enter the DASLS Legal Awards at digital-thisis.co.uk/dasls/