Winners celebrate at the Yorkshire Legal Awards 2018

The region’s legal sector celebrated its stunning achievements at the Yorkshire Legal Awards last night.

Some 900 legal professionals attended the Yorkshire Legal Awards at New Dock Hall in Leeds. BBC Breakfast presenter Mike Bushell was the host for the evening. More than 20 sponsors supported the event.

Paula Dillon, partner at Womble Bond Dickinson, was named Yorkshire Lawyer of the Year for 2018.

Paul Singh, who leads the litigation team at Sheffield City Council and is president of Sheffield & District Law Society, led the panel of judges. He also revealed Dillon as Yorkshire Lawyer of the Year, saying: “For the winner, we looked beyond someone who had won big cases or simply improved their firm’s turnover. We were looking for someone who had contributed to the legal community and the Yorkshire community as a whole.”

Among Dillon’s achievements, Singh noted her position as a senior partner who consistently appears in the Legal 500, as well as her championing of gender equality through her work at the Leeds Chamber of Commerce, and her fundraising for annual singing competition the Crypt Factor.

Jeremy Shulman received the Lifetime Achievement Award. He retired earlier this year, having founded Shulmans in Leeds in 1981. He was recognised for his contribution to the promotion of Leeds and Yorkshire businesses throughout his career.

Walker Morris was among the night’s biggest winners, picking up Large Firm of the Year and the Regulatory & Compliance Award.

Addleshaw Goddard was another, receiving the Commercial Property and Litigation & Dispute Resolution Awards.

Irwin Mitchell won the Banking & Finance Law Award, and its head of the asbestos-related disease team in Leeds, Ian Taft, was named Partner of the Year.

Stowe Family Law also did well, picking up the Family Law Award, as well as the much coveted Rising Star of the Year, which went to solicitor Charlotte Newman.

Organised by Barker Brooks Communications, a Leeds-based company that specialises in live events and media content in business-to-business professional markets, the Yorkshire Legal Awards have been celebrating the achievements of lawyers and law firms in the region since 2000.

The winners of the Yorkshire Legal Awards 2018:

Small Firm of the Year

Sponsored by Zenith Chambers

Oakwood Solicitors

Medium Law Firm of the Year

Sponsored by Clydesdale & Yorkshire Banks

Blacks Solicitors

Large Law Firm of the Year

Sponsored by LexisNexis

Walker Morris

In-House Law Award

Sponsored by DLA Piper

Laura Taylor, City of Wakefield MDC

Employment Law Award

Sponsored by The Apprenticeship Guide

Lupton Fawcett

Banking & Finance Law Award

Sponsored by Marsh

Irwin Mitchell

Residential Property Award

Sponsored by PSG

Emsleys Solicitors

Commercial Property Award

Sponsored by InfoTrack

Addleshaw Goddard

Litigation & Dispute Resolution Award

Sponsored by IT Group

Addleshaw Goddard

Rising Star of the Year

Sponsored by SafeMove, part of Yorkshire Water

Charlotte Newman, Stowe Family Law

Diversity & Inclusion Award

Sponsored by Langleys Solicitors

Irwin Mitchell

Pro-bono Award

Sponsored by Midshire

BPP University Law School

Private Client Award

Sponsored by Perfect Portal


Niche Law Firm of the Year

Sponsored by High Court Enforcement Group

ARC Pensions Law

Corporate & Commercial Award

Sponsored by ARAG

DLA Piper

Intellectual Property Award

Sponsored by Catax

Womble Bond Dickinson

Criminal Law Award

Sponsored by Yorkshire Legal News

Howard & Byrne

Regulatory & Compliance Award

Sponsored by Legal Eye

Walker Morris

Family Law Award

Sponsored by Parklane Plowden

Stowe Family Law

Chambers of the Year

Sponsored by Porsche Centre Leeds

Park Square Barristers

Trainee Solicitor of the Year

Sponsored by BPP University Law School

Ellie Leatherday, Lupton Fawcett

Partner of the Year

Sponsored by Brewin Dolphin

Ian Toft, Irwin Mitchell

Managing Partner of the Year

Sponsored by Willis Towers Watson

Chris Allen, Blacks Solicitors

Yorkshire Lawyer of the Year

Presented by Paul Singh, Chair of the judging panel

Paula Dillon, Womble Bond Dickinson

Lifetime Achievement Award

Sponsored by tmgroup

Jeremy Shulman