LawNet Awards 2023 Winners

LawNet Awards 2023 Winners

by LawNet | November 13, 2023

Northern powerhouses top the bill

Edinburgh’s MBM Commercial and Liverpool’s Bell Lamb & Joynson scoop law firm awards

Edinburgh firm MBM Commercial LLP and north-west private client specialists Bell Lamb & Joynson Solicitors have each been named LawNet Law Firm of the Year in their respective categories. 

MBM Commercial LLP was recognised in the £6m+ turnover category for its ground-breaking performance, while Bell Lamb & Joynson Solicitors collected the award for up to £6m turnover practices, thanks to an exceptional approach towards investing in their staff. 

LawNet’s annual awards recognise innovation and strategic success across the network’s SME law firm members, as well as highlighting individuals and teams who are delivering outstanding business results.  This year, more than 300 delegates joined the annual conference and awards dinner from the 74 member firms. 

MBM Commercial has been pursuing an ambitious growth programme which has seen turnover surge, pushing the firm into the £6+m turnover category of the awards, after winning the smaller firm LawNet award previously.   As well as using international connections in the US and Germany to build their niche focus on tech and high-growth entrepreneurial business support, the 70-strong firm has invested heavily in its staff, with both wellbeing and diversity prioritised. 

Bell Lamb & Joynson Solicitors traces its origins back to Liverpool in 1821, and now delivers private client services from offices across the north-west.  Recognised nationally for its residential conveyancing, it has a long-standing commitment to legal aid.

Congratulating this year’s winners, LawNet chief executive Chris Marston said: 

“Our law firm of the year award recognises outstanding performance against strategic objectives and growth targets – but performance is not simply about the bottom line. 

“A strong inclusive, client-centred culture is what we see across our member firms and that is reflected in the initiatives they adopt when it comes to strategy.  At MBM and Bell Lamb & Joynson we can see the whole of the firm’s culture in focus, from wellbeing and diversity among staff through to how to serve clients who may otherwise be less able to access the legal system.”

Receiving the award, Iain McDougall, partner at MBM Commercial LLP said:  “We are absolutely delighted to have won this award. Much of our growth has been due to our international outlook, with our corporate and US teams driving considerable growth. Clients entrust the firm with both larger and more complex transactions.”

“It was also great to see recognition for our WE:change work experience initiative which was designed to facilitate entry into the legal profession in Scotland for under-represented groups.”

Mike Leeman, managing partner of Bell Lamb & Joynson Solicitors, added: “Culture is everything to us.  We believe passionately that to deliver exceptional client care, we need exceptional people, who are motivated, want to be challenged and encouraged to be the best versions of themselves.

“It’s great to be acknowledged by our peers for what we are trying to achieve for our clients and to have recognition of our whole team for all their hard work.” 

Young award winners were trainee of the year Anisa Khan of Thompson Smith and Puxon and rising star Hazara Patel of Mullis & Peake LLP Solicitors.

The commercial & agriculture Team at Farnfields LLP and the wills & probate team at Mullis & Peake LLP Solicitors were named legal teams of the year, with the business development & marketing team at Buckles Law securing business support team of the year.

Wolferstans LLP won the excellence in client care award, the ESG initiative award went to Wollens, and the learning & development initiative award went to Cleaver Fulton Rankin.

Added Chris Marston:  “The independent judges for this year’s entries commented on the remarkable initiatives demonstrated by firms: embracing innovation, while supporting and motivating their staff to deliver a great client experience. 

“What is perhaps unique about our awards is that while the entrants are fully focused on winning a hard-fought challenge against their peers, the journey to outstanding performance will also be shared with others.  Each winner will pass on their knowledge through our leadership and management groups, as our network members know that we all rise by learning from each other. ”

The LawNet Awards 2023 in full:

All the award winners:

Excellence in Client Care sponsored by ReviewSolicitors Wolferstans LLP

Learning & Development Initiative sponsored by Barbri Cleaver Fulton Rankin

ESG Initiative Award sponsored by Conscious Solutions Wollens

Trainee of the Year sponsored by Moneypenny Anisa Khan of Thompson Smith and Puxon

Rising Star - under 35 years sponsored by Document Direct Hazara Patel of Mullis & Peake LLP Solicitors

Team of the Year (Business Law) sponsored by Aldermont Group Farnfields LLP - Commercial & Agriculture Team

Team of the Year (Individual Law) sponsored by Perfect Portal Mullis & Peake LLP Solicitors - Wills & Probate Team

Business Support Team of the Year sponsored by Gemstone Legal Buckles Law - BD & Marketing Team

Highly Commended - Blaser Mills Law

Law Firm of the Year up to £6m t/o sponsored by Consortium more than marketing Bell Lamb & Joynson Solicitors

Highly Commended - howell jones solicitors

Law Firm of the Year over £6m t/o sponsored by Xperate MBM Commercial