The family law community sector came together to recognise legal excellence, client care and staff wellbeing at the inaugural British Family Law Awards, with 200 people joining the celebrations at Harbour House Hotel in the historic city of Bristol.
Across 14 hotly contested categories the British Family Law Awards recognises the individuals and organisations across the profession who go above and beyond their peers in supporting their clients and leading the way in the industry. A detailed submissions process, requiring firms to outline their approach to clients, people, technology, process, professional development and technical excellence preceded a thorough judging process with an esteemed panel, drawn from across the family and wider legal community, scrutinising each entry before arriving at the evening’s winner.
The ceremony was held in the midst of National Mediation Week, and hosted by journalist and broadcaster turned family mediator Joanna Gosling. Alongside some traditional staples of awards evenings, the British Family Law Awards introduced a few new categories designed to capture the innovation and changing nature of legal services.
Family Innovator of the Year went to The Divorce Surgery with SE-Solicitors Highly Commended; while Innovation in Marketing & Social Strategy was awarded to In/Fertility in the City, with Wilson Browne Solicitors Highly Commended.
Settify walked away with Legal Supplier of the Year and in the Barrister categories 42BR were recognised as Chambers of the Year with Deka Chambers Highly Commended, and Sharan Bhachu of 42BR was Barrister of the Year with Maria Hancock of Westgate Chambers Highly Commended.
“One to Watch” Family Practitioner of the Year is always a popular category and Kathryn Cassells of Vaitilingam Kay was recognised for her skills and progress, while Vikkie Chetcuti-Gee of Burgess Mee Family Law was Highly Commended.
Bristol based Barcan+Kirby and North West firm Brabners jointly scooped Best Place to Work while in the Regional and National Family Law Firm of the Year North East firm Emmersons and National firm Irwin Mitchell took home the top prizes with Thomson Snell & Passmore and Weightmans LLP Highly Commended respectively.
Commenting on the evening David Opie, Managing Director of Today’s Media, the organisers of the awards and publishers of Today’s Family Lawyer said:
“I said on the night that to win one of these prestigious awards should be regarded as a badge of honour and I am so pleased to see the incredible names on our shortlists and winners lists. Thank you to everybody who has taken the time to enter and to all our judges who have scrutinised the entries to arrive at our winners and highly commended’s.
“We look forward to seeing you showcase your success and wearing your British Family Law Awards badge with pride! Congratulations to everybody and we look forward to welcoming you back in 2025 to defend your titles!”
The British Family Law Awards 2024 – Winners and Highly Commended
Family Innovator of the Year
- Winner: The Divorce Surgery
- Highly Commended: SE-Solicitors
Family Mediator of the Year
- Winner: Claire Colbert – Family Mediation and Mentoring LLP
- Highly Commended: Edward Cooke Family Law
Excellence in Client Care (sponsored by InfoLegal)
- Winner: Rowlinsons Solicitors
- Highly Commended: Venters Solicitors
Innovation in Marketing & Social Strategy
- Winner: In/Fertility in the City
- Highly Commended: Wilson Browne Solicitors
Chambers of the Year
- Winner: 42BR
- Highly Commended: Deka Chambers
Boutique Family Law Firm of the Year
- Winner: Edward Cooke Family Law
- Highly Commended: Edwards Family Law
Legal Supplier of the Year
- Winner: Settify
- Highly Commended: Claire Macklin Divorce Coach AND OurFamilyWizard
Family Lawyer of the Year
- Winner: Alison Leivesley – Bindmans LLP
- Highly Commended: Peter Burgess – Burgess Mee Family Law
Family Law Team of the Year
- Winner: Taylor Walton Solicitors
- Highly Commended: Coodes Solicitors
“One to Watch” Family Practitioner of the Year
- Winner: Kathryn Cassells – Vaitilingam Kay Solicitors
- Highly Commended: Vikkie Chetcuti-Gee – Burgess Mee Family Law
Best Place to Work
- Winner: Barcan+Kirby AND Brabners
- Highly Commended: Rayden Solicitors
Barrister of the Year
- Winner: Sharan Bhachu – 42BR Barristers
- Highly Commended: Maria Hancock – Westgate Chambers
Family Law Firm of the Year – Regional
- Winner: Emmersons Solicitors
- Highly Commended: Thomson Snell & Passmore
Family Law Firm of the Year – National
- Winner: Irwin Mitchell LLP
- Highly Commended: Weightmans LLP