Friday 19 October 2012 by Catherine Baksi
Karen Todner, the London solicitor who represented 'Pentagon hacker' Gary McKinnon, received a standing ovation as she collected the Law Society Gazette's Legal Personality of the Year award at last night's Law Society Excellence awards ceremony.
Todner (pictured) has been at the forefront of high-profile extradition cases for clients including McKinnon and the 'Crete 5' plane-spotters. In such cases, the force of not one, but two nation states had been trained on her clients.
In addition to her defence of their direct interests, Todner was recognised for the public pressure she put on unbalanced laws.
Kathryn Ludlow, partner at City firm Linklaters, was highly commended in the same category. As Linklaters' first global pro bono partner, Ludlow has driven projects that have taken pro bono's aim of meeting unmet need to the 'next level', setting a benchmark for other international firms.
Among the 17 awards presented at Old Billingsgate was a Lifetime Achievement Award to Roger Smith, who stepped down as the director of Justice earlier this year.
Law Society president Lucy Scott-Moncrieff said: 'Every year the number, range and quality of the entries gets greater, and this year is no exception. The winners and highly commended entrants should be extremely proud.
'Winning a Law Society Excellence Award is a huge achievement that brings valuable recognition for individuals and firms. These awards reflect the Law Society's commitment to the promotion of quality, innovation and client service across the legal profession,' she said.
The full list of the winners:
Excellence in Community Investment
Winner: Sheffield firm Unity Law
Highly commended: Stephensons & Barnardo's and Gordons
Excellence in Equality and Diversity
Winner: AMV LAW
Highly commended: Eversheds and Hogan Lovells
Legal Sector Alliance Award for Excellence in Environmental Responsibility
Highly commended: Allen & Overy and Eversheds
Excellence in Client Service
Winner: Turpin & Miller
Highly commended: The Royal College of Nursing legal services team and Mayo Wynne Baxter
Excellence in Marketing & Business Development
Winner: Fosters Solicitors
Highly commended: QualitySolicitors
Excellence in Conveyancing Practice
Highly commended: Comptons and KJ Commons
Lexcel Award for Excellence in Practice Management
Winner: J.D Spicer & Co
Highly commended: Trowers & Hamlins, London Borough OF Enfield legal services and Paul Crowley & Co
Excellence in Innovation
Winner: Paris Smith LLP
Highly commended: Clifford Chance
Excellence in Learning and Development
Winner: The Clifford Chance Academy
Highly commended: Hugh James training team and the Hogan Lovells Litigation Foundation
Association of Women Solicitors Legal Business Woman of the Year
Winner: Sarah Goulbourne of Gunnercooke
Highly commended: Jackie Newstead of Hogan Lovells
Chartered Legal Executive of the Year: Ian Ashley-Smith of Heringtons
Solicitor Advocate of the Year: Craig Connal QC of Pinsent Masons
Junior Lawyer of the Year
Winner: Myles Jackman of Hodge Jones Allen
Highly commended: Kevin Timms of Garden House
In-house Solicitor of the Year
Winner: Paul Heron of Hackney Community Law Centre
Highly commended: Carolyn Osbourne of Streetwise Community Law Centre
Private Practice Solicitor of the Year: David Enright of Howe & Co