Last night, a delegation from Brooke Thornham – Tony, Harriet and Helena – got dressed up in their glad rags and headed out to celebrate the region’s finest legal talent at the 2018 Yorkshire Legal Awards. And we can’t deny it – our heads might just be a tiny bit sore this morning…
It’s the most wonderful time of the year…
The Yorkshire Legal Awards is always one of the highlights of our calendar – every year we have a wonderful time socialising and celebrating with industry acquaintances old and new, and every year we’re convinced that the Awards couldn’t possibly get any bigger or better. Happily, we seem to be proved wrong every time, and 2018 is no exception: according to organisers Barker Brooks, this year’s event saw an unbelievable 850 legal professionals from across the region gathering in Leeds to celebrate the legal powerhouse that is Yorkshire.
Each year, the Yorkshire Legal Awards ceremony gives the Yorkshire law community the opportunity to recognise and celebrate the achievements of the region’s legal sector. The event brings together legal professionals from every corner of the county, with award categories acknowledging everyone from the biggest corporate law firms to rising stars and trainee solicitors, and a prestigious judging panel of experts from across the region.
Food, friends and fun
Held once again at the Royal Armouries’ New Dock Hall, Leeds’ largest banqueting and exhibition venue, we enjoyed a champagne reception on arrival followed by a delicious dinner while appreciating the opportunity to catch up with some familiar industry faces.
The Brooke Thornham gang shared a table with delegates from Hudgells Solicitors and Freeths, including Megan Atack (of Freeths) who was nominated for the Trainee Solicitor of the Year award. There was some great chatter around the group, including a hilarious admission from one partner on our table (who will remain anonymous): apparently, his first ever piece of work as a trainee was torn up by his supervisor, who said it was the worst legal work he’d ever seen. A fun fact for you: that supervisor was among the nominees at this year’s YLAs! We won’t be naming names, of course, but it did give us quite a chuckle…
Once we’d eaten and the chatter had died down a little, we settled down to watch familiar BBC Breakfast face Mike Bushell present the 2018 awards across 25 categories.
Amongst the heavyweights, rising stars and special mentions, we were very pleased to see several of Brooke Thornham’s clients being recognised for their work with awards across a broad range of categories. The Regulatory & Compliance award was won by our friends at Walker Morris, and Addleshaw Goddard took home the Dispute Resolution and Real Estate awards. The Private Client category went to Clarion, another client of ours, and well-deserved.
Brooke Thornham client Blacks were multiple winners on the night, too. As well as taking home the ‘Medium Law Firm of the Year’ award, the Managing Partner of the Year gong went to partner Chris Allen: a popular winner, since he took the same award home back in 2011, too.
(We’d also like to give Chris our own special commendation for his white tuxedo. We salute you, Chris: not every man can pull off white the way you did!)
In a truly coincidental turn of events, the Criminal Law award was won by Howard & Byrne: a York firm founded and lead by Colin Byrne, whose wife was Tony’s first boss when he first started out in recruitment back in 1997. Yorkshire really is a small world!
Finally, the Lifetime Achievement Award went this year to Jeremy Shulman, who for many years was instrumental in organising and judging the awards. Eighteen years of the YLAs is something to be incredibly proud of, and Jeremy’s recognition is truly well-deserved.
The YLAs are always a pleasure to attend, and this year’s ceremony might just have been the most exciting yet. We at Brooke Thornham would like to congratulate all the 2018 winners and nominees on their achievements. Now, after all that celebrating last night, it’s time for a breakfast butty and a strong cup of coffee…