The successes were highlighted at this year’s LawNet  awards, and leading the winners was Buckles Solicitors LLP with Law Firm of the Year.
Peterborough-based Buckles embarked on an ambitious development strategy, based on excellent client service and investing in their people.
In the last year it has seen the firm grow to employ 57 lawyers and achieve gross fees of £6.7m, with independently assessed overall client satisfaction scores of 95%, a listing in the Best Companies to Work For and securing the elite Investors In People Gold accreditation.
Said Colleen Gostick, managing partner of Buckles: “We’re thrilled to win, particularly given the quality of the competition in LawNet. Within the business we’re always focused on the next thing, so it’s great to reflect on what’s been achieved and celebrate the success with the people who made it happen.”
Alexandra Savage of Warner Goodman LLP in Hampshire was named Young Lawyer of the Year having earned the firm’s fastest-ever promotion from trainee to Associate, in just three years.
Team of the Year went to the Later Life Team at Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP Solicitors. Their holistic approach to later life planning has created a unique team, bringing together legal services with personal care coordinators. This, combined with a research-based thought leadership campaign, has brought them to the forefront of the fast expanding care sector market in the South East.
Matthew Arnold & Baldwin LLP secured Best Digital Presence for a multi-channel approach including internal and external platforms, with results that included a 700% increase in visitor traffic to their website.
Best Community Contribution went to Clarkson Wright & Jakes for a bigger-picture CSR strategy that is putting them at the heart of their local community, with fundraising and skills-sharing that’s both supporting their community partners and also boosting staff morale internally. Initiatives have included making the community more dementia-friendly.
Hart Brown received the Mark of Excellence award, for outstanding performance on LawNet’s independently assessed mystery shopping and online client satisfaction measurement.
Chris Marston, chief executive of LawNet, said: “Once again, the submissions show that independent law firms are ideally placed to demonstrate what it means to be innovative in the legal sector. That, combined with a commitment to excellence, is what our awards recognise.
“Results like this give real purpose to annual awards. Our members want to benchmark themselves against other forward-thinking firms. Our awards allow us to recognise the people behind these exceptional initiatives.”
He added: “People sometimes assume that innovation starts at the top in the legal sector, amongst the major multi-national players, but our members consistently demonstrate that they can be more nimble, quicker to react and implement, and because of that they generate outstanding performance as a result.”