And the winners of the Legal Cheek Awards 2019 are…

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By Aishah Hussain on

Gongs galore for industry’s top players, including firm of the year Taylor Wessing and ‘Most Admired’ chambers Blackstone

The Legal Cheek Awards 2019

The legal profession has celebrated the top rookie-rated law firms and chambers of the year in a glitzy ceremony held at the top of London’s iconic Cheesegrater skyscraper.

This year’s Legal Cheek Awards, sponsored by BARBRI International, took place on Thursday evening in Landing Forty Two of the tapering City of London tower officially known as the Leadenhall Building. Three-hundred guests from the UK’s leading corporate law firms and barristers’ chambers donned their sharpest suits and highest heels to ascend the escalators and glass-panelled lifts for the exclusive ceremony, hosted by Legal Cheek founder Alex Aldridge.

Before the Awards bash got underway, Sarah Hutchinson, BARBRI International managing director, presented the findings of Legal Cheek‘s Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) survey, before the audience were treated to the premiere of a short film, produced exclusively for the event by the Legal Cheek team.

Can you spot the special guest playing a cameo role in this year’s Legal Cheek Awards video?

Legal Cheek student campus ambassadors presented no less than 23 gongs alongside a handful of sponsors and legal celebrities, including Love Island solicitor Rosie Williams.

Rosie Williams with the Legal Cheek campus ambassadors and vloggers Chrissie Wolfe and Eve Cornwell #squadgoals

So who won what? Read on to find out.

Best Law Firm for Training 2019: Osborne Clarke

The Osborne Clarke team pick up their gong from King’s College London’s Simran Malhi

Highly commended: Ashurst, Bristows, Burges Salmon, Clifford Chance, Hogan Lovells, Linklaters, Macfarlanes, Mayer Brown, Norton Rose Fulbright, Pinsent Masons, Taylor Wessing, Travers Smith, Walker Morris

Best Law Firm for Quality of Work 2019: Shearman & Sterling

Emma Hopkins, our campus ambassador for Cambridge Uni, with Paul Gascoyne and the Shearman & Sterling team

Highly commended: Bristows, Farrer & Co, Fladgate, Foot Anstey, Gowling WLG, Kirkland & Ellis, Macfarlanes, Milbank, Mills & Reeve, Osborne Clarke, Ropes & Gray, Taylor Wessing, Travers Smith, Walker Morris

Best Law Firm for Peer Support 2019: Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown’s Danielle White receives the award from Hertfordshire Uni’s Gayathiri Kanagasundaram

Highly commended: Baker McKenzie, Bristows, Burges Salmon, Farrer & Co, Herbert Smith Freehills, Hogan Lovells, Irwin Mitchell, Linklaters, Osborne Clarke, Pinsent Masons, PwC, Simmons & Simmons, Taylor Wessing, White & Case

Best Law Firm for Partner Approachability 2019: Womble Bond Dickinson

Carter Corson business psychologist Sara Duxbury presents Womble Bond Dickinson’s Joanne Smallwood with the award

Sponsored by Carter Corson, business psychologists supporting high-profile organisations, particularly professional services firms.

Highly commended: Bird & Bird, Bristows, Clyde & Co, DAC Beachcroft, Eversheds Sutherland, Gowling WLG, Osborne Clarke, RPC, Ropes & Gray, Shoosmiths, Squire Patton Boggs, TLT, Taylor Wessing, Travers Smith

Best Law Firm for Work/Life Balance 2019: DWF

LawCare CEO Elizabeth Rimmer with the DWF team

Sponsored by LawCare, the charity that supports and promotes mental health and wellbeing in the legal community throughout the UK and Ireland.

Highly commended: Ashfords, BLM, Blake Morgan, Browne Jacobson, Fieldfisher, Forsters, Irwin Mitchell, Mills & Reeve, Royds Withy King

Best Law Firm for Tech 2019: CMS

STEM Future Lawyers ambassador Nishant Prasad hands the CMS team their trophy

Sponsored by STEM Future Lawyers, the legal careers network for science, technology, engineering and maths students.

Highly commended: Addleshaw Goddard, Allen & Overy, Bird & Bird, Bristows, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, DWF, Gowling WLG, Osborne Clarke, Pinsent Masons

Best Law Firm for Perks 2019: Clifford Chance

Coventry student Phoebe Howard presents the award to Clifford Chance trainee Adam Hunter

Highly commended: Allen & Overy, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Hogan Lovells, Kirkland & Ellis, Linklaters, Milbank, Ropes & Gray, Skadden, White & Case

Most Impressive Law Firm Office 2019: Gowling WLG

The Gowling WLG team collecting their award from University of East Anglia student Giannis Christofi

Highly commended: Allen & Overy, Bird & Bird, Burges Salmon, Clifford Chance, Kirkland & Ellis, Norton Rose Fulbright, Reed Smith, Ropes & Gray, Taylor Wessing

Best Law Firm Canteen 2019: Addleshaw Goddard

Roehampton Uni’s Aimee Peacock with the Addleshaw Goddard team

Highly commended: Bird & Bird, Burges Salmon, Clyde & Co, Gowling WLG, Jones Day, K&L Gates, Kirkland & Ellis, Linklaters, Taylor Wessing

Best Law Firm for Social Life 2019: Burges Salmon

Imperial student Gatsby Fitzgerald presents Burges Salmon with their award

Highly commended: Bristows, Browne Jacobson, Charles Russell Speechlys, K&L Gates, RPC, Taylor Wessing, Travers Smith, Walker Morris, Wedlake Bell

Best Law Firm for International Secondments 2019: White & Case

HBW Consulting co-founder and director John Hancock presents the prize to the White & Case team

Sponsored by HBW Consulting, a boutique agency that works as a specialist extension to your graduate recruitment team, helping law firms with media strategy, spend and analysis.

Highly commended: Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Clifford Chance, Debevoise & Plimpton, Dechert, HFW, Shearman & Sterling, Skadden, Stephenson Harwood, Watson Farley & Williams

Best Law Firm for Client Secondments 2019: Squire Patton Boggs

City Uni law student Malek Arab presents Squire Patton Boggs with their gong

Highly commended: Baker McKenzie, Bird & Bird, Bristows, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Mayer Brown, Reed Smith, RPC, Walker Morris, Weightmans

Most Admired Law Firm 2019: Bird & Bird

Final-year Queen Mary law student Saeed Mahmood hands a Bird & Bird rep their prize

Highly commended: Allen & Overy, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Herbert Smith Freehills, Kirkland & Ellis, Latham & Watkins, Mishcon de Reya, Linklaters, Osborne Clarke, Slaughter and May

Legal Cheek Firm of the Year 2019: Taylor Wessing

BARBRI’s Sarah Hutchinson with Taylor Wessing’s Lydia Block and Olivia Coppin

Presented by BARBRI, the international legal qualifications specialist.

Highly commended: Bird & Bird, Bristows, Burges Salmon, Gowling WLG, Kirkland & Ellis, Linklaters, Osborne Clarke, Pinsent Masons, Travers Smith

Best Chambers for Training 2019: Hardwicke

The Hardwicke team receive their award from Coventry Uni’s Samiksha Shetty

Highly commended: 2 Temple Gardens, 5 Essex Court, 7 King’s Bench Walk, Atkin Chambers, Blackstone Chambers, Kings Chambers, Littleton Chambers, Serjeants’ Inn Chambers, Wilberforce Chambers

Best Chambers for Quality of Work 2019: Littleton Chambers

Bar Squared CEO Helen Ford with Littleton Chambers

Sponsored by Bar Squared, legal tech company and developers of LEX, a leading software solution for barristers’ chambers.

Highly commended: 11KBW, 4 New Square, 5 Essex Court, Blackstone Chambers, Brick Court Chambers, Fountain Court Chambers, Landmark Chambers, Serjeants’ Inn, Wilberforce Chambers

Best Chambers for Colleague Supportiveness 2019: Cornerstone Barristers

Carolina Gasparoli and the Cornerstone Barristers team pick up their gong from Kingston Uni’s Maria Dvornikova

Highly commended: Devereux Chambers, Exchange Chambers, Hardwicke, Henderson Chambers, Kings Chambers, Outer Temple Chambers, St John’s Chambers

Best Chambers for Facilities 2019: Exchange Chambers

Bristol Uni’s Holly Hill presents Exchange Chambers’ Tom Handley with the trophy

Highly commended: 2 Temple Gardens, 3 Verulam Buildings, 39 Essex Chambers, 4 New Square, Blackstone Chambers, Cornerstone Barristers, Fountain Court Chambers, Hardwicke, Radcliffe Chambers

Best Chambers for Social Life 2019: Henderson Chambers

The Henderson Chambers team with City Uni’s Zulkaif Riaz

Highly commended: 1 Crown Office Row, 12 King’s Bench Walk, 2 Hare Court, 4 Pump Court, 5 Essex Court, Cornerstone Barristers, Keating Chambers, Radcliffe Chambers, XXIV Old Buildings

Most Admired Chambers 2019: Blackstone Chambers

UCL’s Christopher Ho with the Blackstone Chambers team

Highly commended: One Essex Court, Brick Court Chambers, Matrix Chambers, Fountain Court Chambers, 1 Crown Office Row, Essex Court Chambers, 11KBW, Doughty Street Chambers, Landmark Chambers

Legal Cheek Chambers of the Year 2019: Radcliffe Chambers

BARBRI’s Sarah Hutchinson presents the Radcliffe Chambers team with their trophy

Presented by BARBRI, the interntional legal qualifications specialist.

Highly commended: Blackstone Chambers, Cornerstone Barristers, 5 Essex Court, Exchange Chambers, Hardwicke, Henderson Chambers, Kings Chambers, Littleton Chambers, 2 Temple Gardens

Best Use of Social Media 2019: YouTuber Angeliculture

Who better than Rosie Williams of Love Island fame to present Angelica Olawepo with the award for ‘Best Use of Social Media’?

Highly commended: Vlogger Chrissie Wolfe (Law and Broader) and Irwin Mitchell, 5 Essex Court’s Instagram account, Linklaters and Eve Cornwell’s collab video, The Bar Council’s ‘#iamthebar’ Twitter campaign, Blogger Rosie Watterson (Apply.Shine.Win) and Herbert Smith Freehills, Shoosmiths’ Facebook Livestreams, The Secret Barrister, The UK Supreme Court’s Instagram, Shearman & Sterling’s video series, ‘Whiteboard Wednesday’

Best Legal Cheek Journal Contribution 2019: Max Aitchison for ‘Revenge porn: Love Island and the law’

Max Aitchison receives his trophy from LPC Law partner Michael Javaherian

Sponsored by LPC Law, a specialist firm of solicitors, focused on providing a high quality advocacy and clerking service to clients throughout England and Wales.

Highly commended: ‘Why our employment laws need some serious attention’ by Fraser Collingham, ‘The coming of the age of AI in the law’ by Soh Kian Peng, ‘Consensual sadomasochism is private sex — not violence’ by Gina Heung Lai Yin, ‘Should there be criminal liability for corporations?’ by Rodney Dzwairo, ‘What does artificial intelligence look like?’ by Nishant Prasad, ‘Should law firms be able to float?’ by Clive Wong, ‘Should sex offenders have access to the internet?’ by Maro Polykarpou, ‘Black Lives Matter: How to fix a failing criminal justice system?’ By Eeman Talha, ‘Owens v Owens: Has the time finally come for a ‘no-fault divorce’ system?’ By Thomas McGrath

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