Winners 2016

We asked our 2016 winners for an update on what they’ve been up to since winning in the Northern Law Awards 2016. Please see below for the fantastic responses we received:

I have had great success outside of my teaching role following the award ceremony.

Following your publicity of winning the Law Teacher of the Year award I have been approached by a family to assist in the investigation of a near 30 year old murder cold case.  This came about from your award publicity and the family looking into my background.  Hopefully this will lead to the resolution of a near 30 year old murder and even an alternative direction of career.

I can only thank you for your support in my award; it has genuinely changed my life.

After her win, Elaine spent the summer of 2016 speaking at international conferences in Toronto, New York, and Dublin. She delivered papers on numerous topics, including the role of clinical legal education in an age of austerity and the need for introspection in legal education research.
In December, Elaine was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship by the Higher Education Academy. The scheme celebrates excellent practice and outstanding achievement in learning and teaching in higher education.

On behalf of the family department, Partner Cris McCurley had the following to say:

“Winning the Northern Law Award for the Family Team was a great honour for me and the team. It is very special to be recognised in your home city, especially at an event like this one.

Since winning the award we have continued to work in consultation with the Government about extending Legal Aid eligibility for victims of domestic violence. We are also about to launch our niche LGBT Family Law team.”

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Helen is currently completing her second year seat within the Medical Negligence department. She continues to develop business development links with local charities and in September 2016 she led table discussions with a number of health and social care professionals from across the region regarding standards of home care for people with neurological conditions.

In December 2016 Helen was jointly published in the Journal of Personal Injury Law for an article focusing on the security of Periodical Payment Orders in high value personal injury claims.  The article can be found in 2016 JPIL Issue 4.

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Ronagh is now completing her first year of her training contract, having had seats in community care and housing. In 2017 she will be working in mental health law and will be applying to be on the mental health panel.

Meanwhile, she has built partnerships with the North East Refugee Service and Byker Community Centre to implement her project to increase access to Justice as part of the Justice First Fellowship.

Ronagh is also on the national committee for the Young Legal Aid Lawyers and the Junior Lawyers Division, where she is pushing policy objectives such as social mobility, diversity within the profession and access to justice.

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2016 has been a year of changes across the legal profession. As a full service law firm, TBI has taken the brunt of these changes but fortunately also has had the focus and ability to adapt to them, putting it in a strong position as it enters its 175th year.

In 2015 TBI won two Northern Law Awards – Lawyer of the Year (Alison Leith), and Litigation and Dispute Resolution Team of the Year.  In 2016 it was a proud winner of the Pro Bono and Community Initiative Award which a great honour and is testament to its contribution to the community.

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Since winning in June 2016, TLW have maintained great progress in terms of diversification into new areas of work. They have welcomed a number of new additions to the team at TLW and are very much looking forward to 2017.

Their serious injury division goes from strength to strength and their financial mis-selling team continues to grow their expertise in the niche areas in which they operate.

Square One Law has announced turnover growth of 39%, following year on year growth of 36% in the last 3 years. An analysis of the recently published ‘Top 200’ legal firms in the UK revealed that, aside from mergers, no firm could match this rate of organic growth making it the fastest growing commercial law firm in the UK. During 2015/16 the firm completed 22 corporate transactions of over £500,000, with a total value of £290m

Since the awards, Simon Loy, specialist international employment lawyer, (who returns to the North East, after working for Nissan Europe SAS) has joined as a partner.

Since winning at the Northern Law Awards, Irwin Mitchell has gone on to further success, winning The Post Magazine – Rehabilitation First Awards 2016 – Claimant Solicitor of the Year for the seventh time, this Award recognised the work of the firm’s personal injury team.  The judges commented on their submission as being an innovative financial package to achieve a compassionate solution for a complicated set of circumstances.

The North East teams have maintained their top tier ranking in Chambers & Partners 2017. Since June, our Medical Negligence team has settled 7 Cerebral Palsy cases, with a total value of over £50m.

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Growth carries on apace at Swinburne Maddison LLP as the firm announces it has increased staff numbers by some sixteen percent in the months following the firm’s success at the 2016 Northern Law Awards, with two of the new appointments, solicitors Caroline Simpson and Andrew Foster, joining the firm’s award-winning property team.  In direct response to a continued increase in demand for its services from both new and existing clients, Swinburne Maddison has created eight new posts in total, welcoming the arrival of three solicitors, two trainee solicitors, two secretaries and a business administration apprentice.


Since winning the Corporate Commercial Team of the Year Award, the team was nominated and shortlisted for the Corporate Commercial Team of the Year in the National Law Awards.

The team has continued to be involved in a wide range of exciting and innovative projects including a billion-pound ICT integrated outsourcing, a number of long term contract efficiency reviews, many academy conversions and the provision of secondments to clients to help with major initiatives.

David has been very busy following his success at the 2016 Northern Law Awards.  His property litigation team has seen further growth since the summer and recently welcomed the arrival of trainee solicitor, Rachel Stapleton, to help support the continued demand for its services.  In addition to ongoing legal successes within Swinburne Maddison, David was delighted to see the launch of the Durham Young Professionals networking initiative before Christmas, a group which was founded David, his colleague in the corporate team, Sarah Carr, and two close professional contacts at Handelsbanken.

Since their success in June, Latimer Hinks have gone from strength to strength. Specialisms continue to develop. Two new directors have been appointed. 2017 sees them launching a new look Farms and Estates Team with their Property Department.
Chambers UK and Legal 500 both acknowledged the Private Client Team’s “depth of knowledge” as a “great strength”. They are “great at building client trust”.

In 2017 they celebrate their 125th Anniversary. As well as taking the business forward they will be fund-raising for worthy causes supporting the Local Arts, Education and the Community, specifically the Hospice and the Elderly.

Following David Adam’s win as Northern Lawyer of the Year the corporate team has gone on to secure top tier status in the Legal 500 for Corporate and Commercial matters in the North outside of Newcastle.

In his role as Head of Business Client Services the firm has seen a healthy increase in income across all service areas.   David has also recently been appointed an equity Partner at the firm following the most successful total deal value over a 12 month period completed for corporate matters including a circa £38 million transaction earlier in the year.

It’s been a busy and successful year since winning the Law Practice Management Award.

2016 saw Chris Williams elected as Head of Chambers, with Parklane Plowden shortlisted for Chambers of the Year by the Yorkshire Legal Awards, Modern Law Awards and the Personal Injury Awards, where Michael Stubbs was also shortlisted for Practice Manager of the Year.

Once again, we were delighted to remain the only ranked set on the North Eastern circuit for Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury work in the latest edition of Chambers & Partners – UK Bar Guide 2017, as well as a leading set of chambers in this year’s Legal 500 UK Directory.

We look forward to another successful year as we celebrate the 10 year anniversary of our formation.

To download the 2016 Winner’s Guide, click on the image below.