The Legal Business Awards – Categories
Energy/Infrastructure Team of the Year
This award recognises the team that has attracted the most impressive instructions of the year in this critical and challenging sector group. We welcome submissions highlighting one standout example taken from a variety of work, including standout corporate transactions, financing, disputes and arbitration, as well as regulatory issues. This award could as easily go to a boutique firm or chambers for handling a critical dispute as it could go to a large international firm for a substantial project financing.
Life Sciences Team of the Year
This award recognises the team that has handled innovative work and has attracted the most impressive instructions of the year in this constantly changing sector. We welcome submissions highlighting one example taken from a variety of work, including standout corporate transactions, disputes and arbitration, as well as regulatory issues. This award could as easily go to a boutique firm for successfully handling critical patent litigation for a generics company as it could go to a large international firm for handling public M&A for Big Pharma.
Private Practice Lawyer of the Year
This category acknowledges truly exceptional individual contributions to the profession during 2023. Submissions are welcomed from private practitioners at large international firms to single-office regional practices, offshore or onshore, in the UK. Judges will be looking for evidence of exceptional performance in any area that makes the chosen lawyer stand out from their peers.
Barrister of the Year
This award recognises standout individual contributions from the Bar during 2023. Entries are welcomed from King’s Counsel and junior barristers, regardless of experience, who are tenants at any chambers. Judges will be looking for evidence of exceptional performance in any area that makes the chosen barrister stand out from their peers.
Marketing Initiative of the Year
This category is open to law firms, chambers and in-house legal teams as well as external marketing and PR agencies that advise the legal profession. Critical to the success of entries for this category is evidence of a successful outcome, with strong testimony, rather than spin and puff. Judges will be looking for evidence of one specific campaign or initiative that has delivered tangible results for a legal client during 2023.
Boutique Law Firm of the Year
With specialist law firms striking an increasingly confident note in the market, this award will be handed to a niche practice that has performed exceptionally in terms of rapidly establishing itself, approaching its chosen market creatively and effectively competing against far larger competition.
Chambers of the Year
This award highlights the set that stands out for its impressive performance over the past year. Key factors considered will be evidence of an outstanding track record in winning high-end disputes, innovation, effective leadership, high-quality clerking, impressive financial performance and increased market share.
Commercial Litigation Team of the Year
This category identifies one outstanding piece of commercial litigation work undertaken by the winning team. The key requirement is not necessarily a substantial award of damages but rather an impressive result for the client, which could include an important out-of-court settlement or avoiding a costly appeals process. This category covers all litigation regardless of sector, including intellectual property, TMT and insurance disputes.
Competition Team of the Year
This award will be given to the team that can demonstrate crucial antitrust advice on a specific case, transaction or investigation, or was instrumental in steering a client through a regulatory minefield.
Corporate Team of the Year
For this award, consideration will be given to mergers and acquisitions work, as well as disposals, joint ventures and equity capital markets listings or strategic boardroom and shareholder representation in any sector. It is not the value of the deal that will concern judges as much as evidence of outstanding transactional nous and commitment to the client in the context of one exceptional piece of work.
ESG Programme of the Year
In recognition of either a single law firm, in-house team or chambers, or a wider association, this award will be given to those in the industry that have made the strongest overall contribution to promoting the environmental, social and governance (ESG) agenda in the past year. Reference can be made to a range of areas, including pro bono and community activities, environmental and workplace initiatives and responsible client selection.
Finance Team of the Year
Winners of this award will operate at the cutting edge of the finance industry. We will consider one standout example of work taken from a wide range of disciplines, including bank lending, acquisition finance, structured finance, project finance and debt capital markets.
GC of the Year
The winner of this award will be a general counsel (or those in the most senior in-house legal position) who has truly led the way for their business in 2023. Key factors influencing our judging panel include board profile, outstanding strategic thinking, superb communication skills and the extent to which individuals have the support of their teams in delivering exceptional value to the wider business to help it move forward.
In-House Team of the Year
This category is open to general counsel and their teams from any industry sector. Tying in with our annual GC Powerlist report and event, this award will be presented to the team that can demonstrate outstanding performance on behalf of the company, either through innovative use of its own resources or effective management of external law firms.
International Arbitration Team of the Year
The winner of this award will demonstrate pre-eminent advice in a single international arbitration matter, be that acting for private corporates, investors, state-owned enterprises or states themselves in international commercial arbitration or investment treaty arbitration.
Law Firm of the Year
The most outstanding law firms of the last 12 months make the shortlist in this, our most prestigious award. Judges will be looking for firms that have taken the market by storm and have achieved more than their direct competitors and peers. Achievements may include the successful development of new practice areas, expansion into new international or domestic markets, new client wins, the completion of a strategic merger or acquisition, improved financial performance, or a successful recruitment policy.
Legal Technology Team of the Year
Recognising the law firms, in-house teams and chambers that have pushed through innovation and secured competitive advantage for their business. Important factors will be fresh approaches in creating and delivering legal products, including utilising technology and new business models.
Management Partner of the Year
The winner of this award will be a managing partner, senior partner, head of chambers, chief executive or chief operating officer who has truly led the way for their business in 2023. Key factors influencing our judging panel include market profile, outstanding strategic thinking, superb communication skills and the extent to which individuals have the support of staff and clients in driving the firm’s business forward.
Most Transformative In-House Team of the Year
This award recognises in-house legal teams that have made a major contribution to change or transformation either at an industry or sector level, or have championed unusual or innovative approaches. This could range from dealing admirably with dramatic changes in a particular industry to wrestling with challenges in society linked to cultural or technological upheaval.
Private Client Team of the Year
This award recognises the top private client teams handling high-value work in the areas of estates, charities, family, contentious and non-contentious trusts and probate, as well as personal tax, particularly to high-net-worth individuals and families.
Private Equity Team of the Year
The winner in this category must demonstrate an ability to land the most significant mandates in an incredibly competitive market for private equity-backed deals. Judges will look for evidence of an ability to move with the market and stand out from competitors in the most eye-catching transactions.
Real Estate Team of the Year
For this award, judges will look for a standout example of real estate-related work, including financing, development or construction, or cases and transactions in planning, environment and regeneration areas.
Regional/Offshore Firm of the Year
This award highlights the UK-based regional or offshore firm (with headquarters outside of London) that has made the most significant progress over the past year in advancing its strategy. Key factors taken into account will be evidence of effective leadership, impressive financial performance and increased market share.
Restructuring Team of the Year
This award recognises teams that have played a critical role on the most complex restructuring mandates of the year. In choosing the winners in this category, judges will be looking for clear examples of innovation and where the lawyers have achieved crucial outcomes for their clients.
Rising Star In-House Counsel of the Year
Tying in with our annual GC Powerlist report in recognising outstanding achievements by in-house lawyers below group general counsel level, this award will focus on the rising stars tipped for great things by their colleagues, peers and advisers.
US Law Firm of the Year
This award highlights the US firm that has made the greatest progress over the past year in advancing its strategy, improving financial performance and winning instructions, particularly in the City. A large international presence is not a prerequisite for consideration for this award, although the judges will be looking for strong evidence of success in those foreign markets where the firm has offices.