Eversheds has been named the best large law firm in the West Midlands at the Birmingham Law Society Legal Awards.
The Colmore Row firm, which celebrated its 100th anniversary last year, was crowned Law Firm of the Year (16 partners or more) at the annual event at the International Convention Centre (ICC).
In landing the coveted accolade Eversheds beat off competition from Cartwright King Solicitors, Mills & Reeve, SGH Martineau, Shoosmiths and Weightmans.
Over the past 12 months the law firm has advised on a host of high-profile projects in Birmingham and the Midlands, including HS2, Paradise Circus, Grand Central, and the sale of the NEC Group.
The judges said Eversheds had “set a very high bar for both itself and its competitors, with an unrivalled client and case portfolio”.
In the remaining Law Firm of the Year categories, Sydney Mitchell Solicitors won the award for five to 15 partners for the third year running, while Averta Employment Lawyers won sole practitioner to four partners.
In the individual categories, awards were given to:
Katie Willems, Higgs & Sons Solicitors - Trainee Solicitor of the Year
Mark Hands, Irwin Mitchell - Assistant/Associate Solicitor of the Year
Natalie Moustache, Anthony Collins Solicitors - Paralegal of the Year
Alison Hancock - SGH Martineau, Chartered Legal Executive of the Year
Tariq Sadiq, St Philips Chambers - Barrister of the Year
Michael Stephens, Kings Chambers - International Lawyer of the Year
Derek Adamson, DWF - Partner of the Year
Ian Henery, Ian Henery Solicitors - Corporate Social Responsibility/Pro bono Lawyers of the Year
A special Lifetime Achievement Award was also presented to Bernard Shepherd in recognition of his contribution to the legal profession during his 44-year career.
Mr Shepherd was admitted as a solicitor in 1971 and after a spell with Lovsey Baughn and Hayward teamed-up with Stephen Gateley, running an office in Great Barr. Two years later the firm Gateley Wareing was formed after a merger.
In 1983, Mr Shepherd set up his own practice in Great Barr before returning to Gateley Wareing in 2007. He later moved to Blakemores in 2011 and now works as a consultant for CBTC Solicitors in West Bromwich.
A past president of Birmingham Law Society, Mr Shepherd is the current president of the West Midlands Association of Law Societies.
Eileen Schofield, president of Birmingham Law Society, said: “All of the winners, and indeed the finalists, represent the very best that Birmingham and the West Midlands’ legal sector has to offer, from trainees just starting their professional careers to experienced practitioners.
“As a sector, we should be immensely proud of both the talent we have and the quality of legal services that continue to be provided by the region’s firms and individuals.
“This year’s winners are a credit to themselves, their firms, the profession and the region.”
Now in its 14th year, more than 500 people attended the awards ceremony at the ICC.
The evening was hosted by Joshua Rozenberg, legal commentator and presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Law in Action programme, with England rugby legend Brian Moore as the guest speaker.
The event attracted several high-profile sponsors including alldayPA Legal, Arthur J Gallagher, Birmingham Airport, Birmingham City University, Chiltern Railways, Hettle Andrews, Landmark Information Group, No5 Chambers, Rathbones, Severn Trent Searches, St Philips Chambers, Turkish Airlines, the University of Law, the University of Wolverhampton and Wesleyan.