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The Family Law Awards 2017: celebrating the amazing talent within the family law community

Date:30 NOV 2017
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Over 500 family lawyers enjoyed a sparkling evening at the seventh annual Family Law Awards last night at the Ballroom South Bank in London.

Finalists, sponsors and guests celebrated the hard work, commitment and successes throughout the year among the nominees and the family law profession as a whole.

Sir Mark Hedley once again expertly hosted the event during which awards were presented across 19 categories.

The 2017 charity partner was the National Pro Bono Centre, the ‘hub’ for legal pro bono charities across the legal sector. Representatives of the Centre selected the winner of the Family Law Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year award, which was awarded to Alex Laing of Coram Chambers.

The remaining shortlist and winners were chosen by a judging panel made up of the heads of the Family Law Bar Association, Resolution, CILEx and the Association of Lawyers for Children, along with Family Law and LexisNexis editors and executives.

In keeping with tradition, three of this year’s awards were voted for by the family law community (Chartered Legal Executive or Paralegal, Commentator and the Clerking Team awards).

The prestigious Cornwell Award for Outstanding Contribution to Family Law, sponsored by 4 Paper Buildings, was awarded to the late Sir Nicholas Wall, former President of the Family Law Division. Accepting the award, Lady Margaret Wall announced that the family has set up an Annual Lecture in Sir Nicholas’s name, the first of which will be given by Lady Hale in May 2018.

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Christian Fleck, Managing Director, LexisNexis UK & Ireland, said:

‘The Family Law Awards are designed to champion the truly exceptional achievements of family lawyers across the profession. I’m honoured that so many have joined us to celebrate this evening as we turn the spotlight on their valuable work. Our congratulations to all those nominated and shortlisted for their efforts, and our thanks to the judges and all those who took the time to nominate.’

This year’s event was generously sponsored by: 1 Crown Office  Row, Brighton; 1 Garden Court Family Law  Chambers; 3 Paper Buildings; 4 Paper Buildings; Brewin Dolphin; Coram Chambers; Dawson Cornwell; DNA Legal; Goldsmith Chambers; Harcourt Chambers; Irwin Mitchell Private Wealth; RateSetter; Rayden Solicitors and Smith & Williamson.

Family Law and LexisNexis would like to congratulate all the winners and shortlisted nominees and thank everyone who submitted a nomination and voted.

See Twitter for details of all the night's action #familylawawards

Photos of the winners are available on the Family Law Awards website.

The full list of winners is set  out below

Family Law Chartered Legal Executive or Paralegal of the Year

Kerri Gregory, Field Overell LLP

Family Law Commentator of the Year

Andrew Newbury, Hall Brown Family Law

Family Law Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year

Alex Laing, Coram Chambers

International Family Lawyer of the Year

Henry Setright QC, 4 Paper Buildings

Cornwell Award for Outstanding Contribution to Family Law

(The Late) Sir Nicholas Wall

Family Law Young Solicitor of the Year

Lucy Hoare, Hecht Montgomery Solicitors

Family Law Young Barrister of the Year

Indu Kumar, 4 Paper Buildings

Family Law Associate Solicitor of the Year

David Lister, Irwin Mitchell Private Wealth

Family Law Junior Barrister of the Year

Katy Rensten, Coram Chambers

Family Law Partner of the Year

Peter Watson-Lee, Williams Thompson Solicitors

Family Law QC of the Year

David Williams QC
 (appointed The Rt Hon Justice Williams in October 2017)

Clerking Team of the Year

36 Family

Family Law Firm of the Year – London

Forsters LLP

Family Law Firm of the Year – Midlands

Irwin Mitchell Private Wealth

Family Law Firm of the Year – North

MSB Solicitors

Family Law Firm of the Year – South

Rayden Solicitors

Family Law Firm of the Year – Wales

Wendy Hopkins Family Law Practice

Family Law Regional Chambers of the Year

Park Square Barristers

Family Law London Chambers of the Year

4 Paper Buildings