Bird & Bird and Holman Fenwick lawyers represent legal profession in New Year's Honours list

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Bird & Bird technology and communications partner Joanne Wheeler (pictured) has been awarded an MBE for her services to the space sector.

She is one of a handful of UK legal professionals recognised in the 2017 New Year’s Honours list.

Wheeler specialises in communications, satellite and space regulatory and policy matters. She is an expert in the satellite industry, having worked at the European Space Agency for three years.

She first joined Bird & Bird in October 2014, having worked for more than four years at CMS Cameron McKenna. CMS hired Wheeler from US firm Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy, where she was a senior associate, to lead the satellite capacity within its telecoms department.

Bird & Bird trainee Georgie Twigg, who was part of the women’s Great Britain hockey team which won gold at the 2016 Olympics, was also awarded an MBE for services to hockey.

Elsewhere, former deputy senior partner of legacy Wragge & Co Bob Gilbert was awarded a CBE. Gilbert, who is steering board chairman of the Intellectual Property Office, was awarded the honour for services to the legal profession and the economy.

James Gosling, a former partner and now consultant for Holman Fenwick Willan, was awarded an OBE for services to the legal profession and maritime services.

Gosling won the award for his work in shaping the global shipping industry’s response to maritime piracy in Somalia during an 11-year period. During this time, he worked with organisations in the City of London and the global shipping industry to bring about the release of more than 1,750 seafarer hostages, many of whom were mistreated or tortured during their ordeals.

This work included pro bono legal services for the release of 48 “forgotten” seafarer hostages, who had been held captive on land in Somalia for more than four years.

Janet Cooper, the co-founder of Tapestry Global Compliance and former head of global incentives at Linklaters, was awarded an OBE for her services to equality, women’s empowerment and employee share ownership.

Tapestry specialises in global compliance for employee incentives and share plans and was founded in 2011 by Cooper and Bob Grayson, who was global head of compliance at Shell. The firm picked up the award for Specialist Law Firm of the Year at the British Legal Awards in November.

Christopher Nott, senior partner of Cardiff and London-based law firm Capital Law was awarded an OBE for his services to business and economic development in Wales.

Nott is one of the founding partners of Capital Law. Alongside being a director for Capital Law’s integrated management consultancy, Nott is also chair of the Welsh government’s financial and professional services sector panel.