RPC, Hogan Lovells and Allen & Overy's Morley among winners at British Legal Awards 2015

The cream of the legal community was out in force at the British Legal Awards 2015 as the UK’s top lawyers came together in recognition of the profession’s achievements from the last year.

Among the big winners was RPC, which took home the much sought-after Law Firm of the Year award, while Allen & Overy (A&O) senior partner David Morley (pictured below right with editor Georgina Stanley) scooped the Editor’s Award for Managing/Senior Partner of the Year.

david-morley-law-firm-leader-2015RPC was praised by the judges for its strong financial results, innovation and for “really looking after its staff”. The firm also triumphed in the Competition and Regulatory Team of the Year category.

Morley, meanwhile has overseen a period of sustained growth at A&O since first taking on a management role in 2003. Revenue has almost doubled to stand at £1.28bn in 2014-15, while PEP has increased by some 80% since 2002-03 to £1.21m.

Key in-house awards handed out at the ceremony at London’s Old Billingsgate Market saw Stefan Borson, Quindell’s legal head, take home the title of General Counsel of the Year after overseeing a torrid period for the company, while online gambling group Gala Coral was awarded the Legal Department of the Year award.

The City of London Law Society Lifetime Achievement Award went to Macfarlanes partner Ann Minogue, who, as a leading construction lawyer, has acted on some of the most significant projects in the UK over the last 35 years, including The Royal Opera House, Tate Modern, Tate Britain and South Bank Centre.

Shoosmiths was named UK Law Firm of the Year, seeing off competition from firms including Mishcon de Reya and Brodies, while after a headline grabbing entrance into the London market earlier this year, Cooley won London Office of the Year.

bla-2015-ceremonyThe practice honours saw Jones Day awarded the M&A Team of the Year prize, while Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer landed the Banking, Finance and Restructuring Team of the Year award. The prize for the best litigation team went to Hogan Lovells, which also took home the Diversity Initiative of the Year award.

The 22-strong judging panel for the awards was chaired by City of London Law Society chairman Alasdair Douglas and included News UK general counsel Emma Moloney, 3i general counsel Kevin Dunn and BAE Systems group general counsel Philip Bramwell.

“We continue to live in interesting times,” said Douglas in his opening speech. “Competition is fiercer than ever – from accountants, foreign jurisdictions and legal service providers of all hues.”

The host for the night was comedian and actor Hugh Dennis, while the chosen charity for the awards was War Child, which provides support to vulnerable children whose lives have been torn apart by war.

Click here for the winners in pictures, and click here for more pictures from the evening.

The winners in full

City of London Law Society Lifetime Achievement Award – Ann Minogue
Law Firm of the Year – RPC
Editor’s Award for Managing or Senior Partner of the Year – David Morley, Allen & Overy
UK Law Firm of the Year – Shoosmiths
General Counsel of the Year – Stefan Borson, Quindell
Legal Department of the Year – Gala Coral
Legal Counsel of the Year – Frederic Dupas, BT
Client Partner of the Year – Andrew Davies, DLA Piper
Assistant Solicitor/Associate Solicitor of the Year – Charlotte Antoniou, Michelmores
Banking, Finance and Restructuring Team of the Year – Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
M&A Team of the Year – Jones Day
Litigation and Dispute Resolution Team of the Year – Hogan Lovells
Commercial Team of the Year – King & Wood Mallesons
Private Client Team of the Year – Stephenson Harwood
Competition and Regulatory Team of the Year – RPC
TMT Team of the Year – Herbert Smith Freehills
Property Team of the Year – Bircham Dyson Bell
European Law Firm of the Year – Garrigues
European Legal Team of the Year – Arthur Cox
London Office of the Year – Cooley
Education and Training Initiative of the Year – My Home Move
Law Firm Innovation Award – CMS
In-house Innovation Award – British Business Bank
Chambers of the Year – Brick Court
Offshore Law Firm of the Year – Maples and Calder
Diversity Initiative of the Year – Hogan Lovells
CSR Initiative of the Year – Linklaters
Best Use of Technology – Berwin Leighton Paisner
Supplier of the Year – LexisNexis

Legal Week will be providing further analysis of who won what and why next week. Click here for a look back at the evening’s events on our dedicated live-blog

Related: Editor Georgina Stanley outlines the thinking behind the shortlist for Law Firm of the Year