Innovation was the name of the game at this year’s LawNet  awards, with the collaborative network celebrating the contribution of the winning firms who showcased their strategies for success.
Leading the winners by scooping the Law Firm of the Year was Warner Goodman LLP.
Announcing the awards, Chris Marston, chief executive of LawNet, said: “The aim of our annual awards is to get to the heart of what makes an innovative law firm, underpinned by a commitment to excellence, and these were outstanding examples of that ethos.”
Warner Goodman LLP has experienced record growth through its focus on strong financial management, combined with a commitment to client care and staff well-being. The strategy has delivered a 20% increase in turnover year on year and a dramatic rise in net profit margins.
Said Ian Curtis, managing partner of Warner Goodman: “It’s a very proud moment for us, and a fantastic testament to the great staff we have.”
Joint winners of the Young Lawyer of the Year award were Lorna Barry of Aylesbury-based Parrott and Coales LLP, who has been showing how to leverage networks to create new revenue streams, and Ben Ward of Ashton KCJ, who has been recognised by the Legal 500 at only 3 years PQE, and is already successfully carving out his own specialism.
Andrew and Co in Lincoln scooped Best Innovation for showing a clear line of sight between strategy and implementation in the development of an ‘Energy and Renewables’ team that has seen them become sector leaders in a very short period of time.
In the East of England, Ashton KCJ’s digital marketing won them top prize for the second year running, securing the Best Digital Presence award for their company-wide culture of online activity and contribution, which has resulted in tangible business benefits.
Team of the Year went to the compliance team at West Midlands-based FBC Manby Bowdler Solicitors, for demonstrating the power of collaboration to improve processes, drive efficiency and foster a culture of compliance across the wider firm.
Best Community Contribution went to Belfast firm Cleaver Fulton Rankin for their company-wide fundraising events and effective protocols on recycling and power consumption.
Hay & Kilner received the Mark of Excellence award, having posted the most impressive combined performance across mystery shopping and online client satisfaction measurement.
Added Chris Marston: “The awards are a great opportunity to recognise the contribution our members are making to the standing of the LawNet network, as well as recognising the staff behind these outstanding outcomes.
“We set high quality and management standards for members, and that helps to maintain the parity between our firms, which in turn leads to a cooperative powerhouse effect, where everyone benefits from collaboration and networking – and that’s evident in this year’s award winners.”
The award winners:
Law Firm of the Year Warner Goodman LLP : Sponsored by Wilkinson Read & Partners
Team of the Year FBC Manby Bowdler Solicitors : Sponsored by Baker Tilly
Young Lawyers of the year Lorna Barry, Parrott and Coales LLP and Ben Ward, Ashton KCJ : Sponsored by Landmark and STL
Best Innovation Andrew and Co : Sponsored by TikitTFB
Best Community Contribution Cleaver Fulton Rankin : Sponsored by Lloyds Bank
Best Digital Presence Ashton KCJ, sponsored by Conscious Solutions
LawNet Mark of Excellence Hay & Kilner : Sponsored by Law League
Most active LawNet member IBB Solicitors