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Firms and individuals practicing in Birmingham and the surrounding areas are invited to submit nominations in one of the 12 award categories.

To asisst you with your nominations we have included the criteria for each award below. Once all entries have been received, nominees will be contacted and asked to supply further detailed information to support thier nomination.

TRAINEE SOLICITOR OF THE YEAR

This award will be given to a person who has gone above and beyond the day-to-day expectations of a trainee solicitor. The judges are looking for someone who has made a significant contribution both within their firm and more widely within the Birmingham legal community. This could be in terms of their legal work or their involvement in particular projects or organisations; however in all cases the judges will expect to see evidence of leadership and individual impact rather than mere participation. The winner of this award will be committed to building a successful and influential career in Birmingham. This award is open to all trainee solicitors in Birmingham and the surrounding area regardless of whether they are training at a large or small firm or in-house.

APPRENTICE OF THE YEAR

This award is available to a legal apprentice as defined by Trailblazer legal apprenticeships. The winner may be employed as a Paralegal apprentice, Probate Technician Apprentice, Conveyancing Technician Apprentice, CILEx apprentice or Solicitor apprentice. The Judges will be looking for someone who can highlight the legal work undertaken by this new type of lawyer and who exemplifies the benefit that an apprentice brings to their organisation.

PARALEGAL OF THE YEAR

This award will be given to a person who exemplifies the value that a Paralegal can bring to their department, team or wider organisation.  The judges are looking for someone who has made a contribution both in respect of their client based contribution but also on the wider stage, whether in CSR, business development, training, involvement within the Birmingham legal community or otherwise. The winner of this award will demonstrate commitment to their organisation, clients and their professional and personal development. This award is open to all Paralegals in Birmingham and the surrounding area regardless of whether they are employed in a large or small firm or in-house.

SOLICITOR OF THE YEAR

This award will be given to a solicitor (non Partner) who has consistently demonstrated outstanding performance in their role as a qualified solicitor. The judges are looking for someone who has made a significant contribution both within their firm and more widely within the Birmingham legal community and is committed to furthering their impact as their career progresses. This may be shown through the individual's legal work or their involvement in additional projects or organisations; however in all cases the judges will expect to see evidence that the individual has successfully taken a leading role rather than merely assisted. This award is open to all practising solicitors in Birmingham who are not partners, regardless of whether they are working at a large or small firm or in-house.

BARRISTER OF THE YEAR

The winner of this category will be a Barrister who has demonstrated an outstanding contribution to the Birmingham region and who continuously strives for, and achieves excellence. The judges will expect to the winner to be able to demonstrate a high calibre of work, with good examples of the cases that they have undertaken. The judges will also expect to see strong evidence of leadership and teamwork. This award is open to all barristers who practice in Birmingham and surrounding areas.

PARTNER OF THE YEAR

This prestigious award will be given to a Partner (or person of equivalent standing) who exemplifies the qualities needed to be successful at a senior level in a law firm.  The judges are looking for someone who has made a consistent and significant contribution both within their firm and more widely within the Birmingham legal community.  This may be demonstrated through the individual's legal work and/or their involvement in projects or organisations outside their firm; however in all cases the judges will expect to see strong evidence of leadership, commitment to excellence, a proven ability to develop business from current or new clients and a commitment to the success of their firm and its people.  This award is open to all practising solicitors in Birmingham who are partners (or of equivalent status) in firms with an office in Birmingham and the surrounding area, regardless of the size of the firm or their role within the firm. 

BIRMINGHAM LAW SOCIETY PRO BONO AWARD

Individuals, firms, teams and organisations that have made an outstanding contribution to pro bono during 2018 may be nominated for this category. The contribution to pro bono may include work done on a specific case, evidence of a general commitment to pro bono and/or work done via a pro bono project or clinic. Nominations for collaborative pro bono initiatives are also welcome. Pro bono work is any work that meets the definition contained in the Joint Pro Bono Protocol, which is ‘legal advice or representation provided by lawyers in the public interest including to individuals, charities and community groups who cannot afford to pay for that advice or representation and where public and alternative means of funding are not available’. This would include pro bono work undertaken by any university pro bono initiative.

EXCELLENCE IN CLIENT SERVICE – BUSINESS CLIENTS

This award is available to teams that can demonstrate a significant contribution to the business clients of their firm.  That could be work on a particular client transaction or series of transactions undertaken in 2018 or commitment to excellence in serving business clients over a longer period of time.  The judges will be looking for a team that has worked together to produce an outstanding outcome for their business client(s) and has shown high standards of skill, professionalism and dedication in so doing.  Nominees will be expected to cite examples of their work in support of their application (names and client details will be kept confidential) and may be asked to provide client references.  The award is open to teams (including in-house teams) providing advice to clients in the public, private or not-for-profit sectors in relation to their business affairs.

EXCELLENCE IN CLIENT SERVICE – PRIVATE CLIENTS

This award is available to teams that can demonstrate a significant contribution to the private clients of their firm.  That could be a particular project/work done for a private client in 2018 or commitment to excellence in serving private clients over a longer period of time.  The judges will be looking for a team that has worked together to produce an outstanding outcome for their private client(s) and has shown high standards of skill, professionalism and dedication in so doing.  Nominees will be expected to provide examples of work they cite in support of their application (names and client details will be kept confidential) and may be asked to provide client references.  The award is open to teams providing advice to individuals and trusts in relation to their personal, family or other non-business affairs.

LAW FIRM OF THE YEAR (SOLE PRACTITIONERS AND FIRMS UP TO 5 PARTNERS)

The winner of this category will have one or more offices in Birmingham or the surrounding area and have no more than 5 Partners (or equivalent).  Small firms are the life blood of our profession but are under increasing professional scrutiny and seen to be under threat in a changing legal marketplace.  The winner of this award will demonstrate how small firms can combine first class service for their clients with an excellent working environment for their staff and, as result, prosper and thrive.  The Judges will be looking for:
  • Examples of how the Firm is committed to the highest standards of client service
  • Results of that commitment (eg new client wins, financial growth) in 2018
  • The Firm’s commitment to its people and their development
  • How the Firm has been involved in local initiatives or activities that show the value that a small firm can bring to its local community.
LAW FIRM OF THE YEAR (REGIONAL)

The winner of this category will be a firm with more than 5 Partners and with one or more offices in Birmingham or the surrounding area only.

The Judges will be looking for firms who have who have set themselves apart from their competition by making demonstrable progress in the legal market in the last 12 months. The successful Regional firm must be able to demonstrate a commitment within the Birmingham or surrounding area in respect of the following categories:
  • Highlights - Two top highlights from the past 12 months
  • Growth – This could be as a result of good financial performance, a successful merger/acquisition, successful expansion into new practice areas and/or the opening of new offices nationally
  • Clients - This could be coveted new client wins, or by differentiating itself from its competitors by the way it provides its services to its clients
  • CSR - How local communities have benefited from the firm’s CSR initiatives
  • Staff - This could be demonstrating how diversity within the firm is recognised and promoted, or what policies/procedures the firm has in place to attract and then retain staff
  • Regional focus- Ways in which the firm helps showcase Birmingham legal talent in our region
LAW FIRM OF THE YEAR (NATIONAL)

The winner of this category will be a firm with more than 5 Partners, at least one office based in Birmingham or the surrounding area and one or more other offices outside our region.

The Judges will be looking for firms who have who have set themselves apart from their competition by making demonstrable progress in the National legal market in the last 12 months. The successful National firm must be able to demonstrate a commitment within the Birmingham or surrounding area and further afield in respect of the following categories:-
  • Highlights - Two top highlights from the past 12 months
  • Growth - This could be as a result of good financial performance, a successful merger/acquisition, successful expansion into new practice areas and/or the opening of new offices nationally
  • Clients - This could be coveted new client wins, or by differentiating itself from its competitors by the way it provides its services to its clients
  • CSR - How local communities have benefited from the firm’s CSR initiatives
  • Staff - This could be demonstrating how diversity within the firm is recognised and promoted, or what policies/procedures the firm has in place to attract and then retain staff
  • National- Ways in which being a National firm help the firm’s clients and help showcase Birmingham legal talent on the National stage