Thursday night saw the City’s best lawyers get the weekend off to a traditional early start as Legal Week magazine invited them to Old Billingsgate Market to celebrate the British Legal Awards 2012.
The annual black-tie bash, again held at the City fish market, was filled with tables from all the big firms. Host for the night was comedian Jason Manford, not as funny, one solicitor reliably told The Capitalist, as previous compere Jack Dee: “We were hoping for Michael MacIntyre this time” sighed our disappointed partner.
Presenting Law Firm of the Year to Travers Smith, cheeky Manford quipped: “This is the penultimate award, which is why it is my second favourite.”
Other winners included Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton for European Legal Team of the Year and Burges Salmon for best Commercial Team. Hogan Lovells won in the Banking, Finance or Restructuring Team of the Year category and the City of London Law Society Lifetime Achievement Award went to ex-Law Society president John Wotton. M&A Team of the Year was scooped up by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, which The Capitalist cannot help but feel should inspire a new category for next year – Most Difficult Name to Pronounce When Two Glasses of Champagne Down.