2018 The British Legal Awards


Celebrating achievement, excellence and innovation in the legal profession


CMS, Latham & Watkins and DLA Piper were among the law firms winning top awards at the British Legal Awards last night (29 November), after an evening celebrating outstanding performances by law firms, legal teams and individuals over the past year. CMS saw off strong competition from a line-up of nominees including Clifford Chance and Eversheds Sutherland to secure the Law Firm of the Year award. The win comes 18 months after the CMS, Nabarro and Olswang merger, which created a combined firm of nearly 2,500 lawyers in the UK and more than 4,500 around the world.

Another big winner on the night was US firm Latham & Watkins, which walked away with two awards - International Law Firm of the Year and Private Equity Team of the Year.

DLA Piper won Commercial Team of the Year, while Janet Legrand QC - who recently stepped in as interim senior partner and global co-chair after the departure of Juan Picon - was honoured with the City of London Law Society Lifetime Achievement Award.

Other individuals taking home top prizes were Serco group general counsel David Eveleigh, who was named General Counsel of the Year, and Allen & Overy (A&O) senior partner Wim Dejonghe, who took home the Editor’s Award for Law Firm Leader of the Year. A&O also secured the prize for Competition Team of the Year.

Taking home UK Law Firm of the Year was Mills & Reeve, while Germany’s Noerr was named European Law Firm of the Year.

The awards were decided on by a senior independent judging panel that included City of London Law Society chair Edward Sparrow, KPMG GC Jeremy Barton, BAE Systems group GC Philip Bramwell and former Herbert Smith Freehills CEO Sonya Leydecker, among others. The host for the evening was actor Stephen Mangan.

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