* Crime, fraud, family and clinical negligence teams and lawyers at Midland law firm Challinors have scored highly in the latest Chambers & Partners 2012 UK Directory.
Challinors’ 30-strong business and serious crime team, which has offices in the West and East Midlands, has been awarded band one, Chambers’ highest ranking, for the third consecutive year.
According to Chambers, “market sources agree that serious crime is one of the firm’s key strengths”, and that “the teams’ peers are happy to refer it high-level work”.
Meanwhile, Chambers & Partners UK 2012 has announced that Birmingham based law firm, Anthony Collins Solicitors has been awarded their highest band one award in three categories: housing, charities and clinical negligence, with 20 solicitors ranked as leaders in their field.
* Dispute resolution solicitor Ligia Bob, based at law firm Sydney Mitchell, is a finalist in the category of Assistant Solicitor/Associate of the Year in the British Legal Awards 2011.
Ms Bob moved to the UK from Romania only four years ago and could not speak a word of English.
In a short time, with the support of Sydney Mitchell and language lessons, she has mastered the English language and converted her Romanian legal qualification through the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Test (QLTT) within three years and is now a UK qualified practicing solicitor. She is one of six finalists for this award.
Ms Bob said: “Language need not be a barrier; it was hard work but worth every verb and noun learnt.”
The British Legal Awards take place in London in on December 1 at the Old Billingsgate Market.
* St Philips has announced that Mirza Ahmad, former corporate director of governance at Birmingham City Council, has joined as a member of chambers.
Mr Ahmad said: “It is a great honour and a privilege for me to join St Philips, as it is nationally recognised as a leading set of barristers chambers.
“The move to St Philips Chambers is a choice inspired by the knowledge that it is already exceptionally well placed to serve all local authorities and the public sector in the UK, not just those based in the Midlands.
“I plan to capitalise on my 26 years of high level experiences in local government legal, focusing on high level ethical and corporate governance and other legal work associated with local authorities and the public sector.
“Alongside my new colleagues I hope to build on the services already offered by St Philips to strengthen a specialist team delivering legal expertise to the local authority and public sector market.”
Kevin Hegarty QC, head of chambers, said: “St Philips has built a strong reputation for local authority work, which is a key area for chambers, especially given the changing legal services marketplace.
“Mirza’s decision to join us will strengthen our team and will help to shape the services we can offer to clients in this sector in the future”.
* Chris Owen, St Philips CEO, said: “I have known Mirza for several years and am delighted he has decided to practice from St Philips. He is a most welcome addition to chambers local authority, public and administrative law team and news of his decision to join chambers has already been well received.”