Scottish Legal Awards

Crerar honoured as legal firms celebrate success

2019 legal awards

Celebration: winners on the night (pic: contributed)


Lawyers celebrated their success at the 16th annual Scottish Legal Awards following a record number of entries.

The ultimate award of the night, Firm of the Year was presented to Digby Brown after the judging panel praised the firm’s continued success and impressive results. It was joined in celebration by Dundee-based Blackadders which collected two awards including Managing Partner of the Year presented to Johnston Clark for delivering a three-year growth strategy for the firm.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Professor Lorne Crerar, chairman and co-founding partner of Harper Macleod for his 30-year career at the forefront of Scottish law. He has served as an independent adviser to a number of public sector bodies and as chairman of Highlands and Islands Enterprise. He has been Professor Emeritus of Law at Glasgow University since 2015.

Accepting the award, he said: “I am truly honoured to receive this award and would like to thank the judging panel for deeming me worthy of joining such an esteemed list of recipients. It has been my good fortune to find a career that I love and through which I have had so many opportunities open before me.

“I have also been very fortunate to work with great clients and many brilliant colleagues in law, in sport and in all my other roles without whom any achievements of mine could not have been realised. To this day I am as passionate about Scots law and the Scottish legal profession as ever and on evenings such as this see every reason why it will have a very bright future.”

legal awardsIn total, 25 awards were presented on the night to individuals and teams. The highly regarded Lawyer of the Year Award was presented to Jill Sinclair from DWF as head of the Counter Fraud Team, a new department created three years ago. Her work has made significant impact.

Other winners included Glasgow-based firm Livingstone Brown which collected team awards for its work in the areas of family law and criminal defence, whilst the competition’s new in-house legal team awards were presented to the Royal Bank of Scotland (commercial) and The City of Edinburgh Council’s Legal Services division (public sector). The in-house lawyer of the year was awarded to joint winners Maree Allison from the Scottish Social Services Council, based in Dundee and Kenny Robertson from Royal Bank of Scotland.

The independent programme is presided over by a large expert judging panel, chaired by Shonaig Macpherson.

She commented; “The Scottish legal system is one of the best in the world. We have outstanding lawyers, innovative businesses and very many successful firms. The Scottish Legal Awards serve as an annual reminder of the achievements of the year for all of the finalists. We are delighted to be highlighting the excellence that occurs every day. I extend my congratulations to all the finalists and winners and encourage them to take time to celebrate their achievements.”

The awards are operated in support of It’s Good 2 Give and LawScot Foundation.

Firm of the Year

Digby Brown

Lifetime Achievement Award

Lorne Crerar

Managing Partner of the Year

Johnston Clark, Blackadders

Lawyer of the Year

Jill Sinclair, DWF

In-House Lawyer of the Year (Public Sector)

Maree Allison, Scottish Social Services Council

In-House Lawyer of the Year (Commercial)

Kenny Robertson, Royal Bank of Scotand

Commercial Property Team of the Year


Community Contribution Award

Digby Brown

Community Contribution Award

Scullion Law

Corporate and Commercial Team of the Year

Shepherd & Wedderburn

Criminal Defence Firm of the Year

Livingstone Brown

Employment Team of the Year


Family Law Team of the Year

Livingstone Brown

Commercial In-House Team of the Year

Royal Bank of Scotland

Commercial In-House Team of the Year (highly commended)


Public Sector In-House Team of the Year

City of Edinburgh Council – Legal Services Division

Legal Technology Award


Litigation Team of the Year

Allan McDougall

Litigation Team of the Year (highly commended)


Paralegal of the Year

Fiona Anderson, MaPhee and partners

Residential Property Team of the Year


Rising Star of the Year

Jamie Apted, MBM Commercial

Rising Star of the Year (highly commended)

Amy Mackenzie, Harper Macleod

Rising Star of the Year (highly commended)

Shawn Wood, Watermans Legal

Support Team of the Year




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