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Family Law Awards winners announced in virtual awards ceremony

Date:26 NOV 2020
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The winners of the Family Law Awards 2020 were announced at 4pm during a much-anticipated virtual awards ceremony. Over the past ten years, the Family Law Awards has recognised the leading players in the world of family law across England and Wales and the vital contribution they make to society and this year was no different to others. Although the physical event did not take place due to the global pandemic, LexisNexis, the organisers, were determined to ensure that family lawyers, who have continued to provide an invaluable service to their clients whilst working under uniquely testing circumstances, were recognised with these prestigious accolades.

The event was a fantastic evening of celebration, with more than 500 guests joining from both the domestic family law community and around the global.

Andy Sparkes, Director of Legal Markets at LexisNexis, said of the awards “The pressures of the last year have been extreme.  For many people across the country, social isolation, bubbling and quarantine hasn’t just been an inconvenience.  It has been a stressful, unsafe and life changing experience. Looking after the vulnerable, protecting children and bringing legal justice to those in need is one of the unspoken chapters of this pandemic.  When we celebrate the success of family law practitioners this year, more than ever before, we are thinking of the human stories.”

The highly prestigious Cornwell Award for Outstanding Contribution to Family Law, sponsored by 4 Paper Buildings, was awarded to His Honour, Philip Waller, who is known for his impressive commitment to family law and its development. Philip said of his award, “I am deeply touched to have been selected for this award, especially since it honours the memory of someone whom I admired greatly and who himself made such a huge and lasting contribution to family justice and to the profession. John Cornwell was a good friend and it is fitting that his legacy should live on both in the way we work and in these awards.”

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Winners in three categories were voted for by the family law community. These included Family Law Chartered Legal Executive of the Year, Family Law Clerking Team of the Year and Family Law Commentator of the Year.

The Judges said that “3PB [who won the award for Clerking Team of the Year] are commended for consistently providing some of the best clerking in the country. They stood out for responding to the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis with an unswerving focus on supporting colleagues and clients as they seek to manage their personal and professional lives throughout the lockdown period.”

Thanks to the generosity of the guests, the event also raised over £1,000 in support of the charity partners, National Family Mediation, the largest provider of family mediation in England and Wales.

The full list of finalists and winners and more information on the annual event can be found on the Family Law Awards website.

The full list of winners was as follows:


Family Law Associate Solicitor of the Year    

Tammy Knox, Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP


Family Law Case of the Year  

Dawson Cornwell, Coram Chambers and Harcourt Chambers, Re NY (A Child) [2019] UKSC 49


Family Law Chambers of the Year: London    

36 Family


Family Law Chambers of the Year: Regional  

Senate House Chambers


Family Law Chartered Legal Executive of the Year    

Frances Edwards, Caswell Jones


Family Law Clerking Team of the Year           

3PB Barristers


Family Law Commentator of the Year

Sarah Phillimore, St. John’s Chambers


Family Law Community Interaction Award     

The Centre for Justice Innovation


Family Law Dispute Resolution Team of the Year      

Family Law in Partnership


Family Law Firm of the Year: London 

Hughes Fowler Carruthers


Family Law Firm of the Year: Midlands and Wales     

Shakespeare Martineau


Family Law Firm of the Year: North    

Jones Myers


Family Law Firm of the Year: South   

Corbett Le Quesne


Family Law Innovation of the Year     

FOMAS - Family Online Mediation and Arbitration Service


Family Law Junior Barrister of the Year         

Alex Laing, Coram Chambers


Family Law Partner of the Year          

Ros Bever, Irwin Mitchell


Family Law QC of the Year     

Hannah Markham QC, 36 Family


Family Law Young Barrister of the Year         

Rachel Cooper, Coram Chambers


Family Law Young Solicitor of the Year         

Scott Halliday, Irwin Mitchell


International Family Lawyer of the Year         

Dr Rob George, Harcourt Chambers