This prestigious event, now in its fourth year, will be a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the success of our SLS Legal Award winners and showcase the very best of Surrey’s legal talent, as well as offering members the chance to network and enjoy the entertainment.

This year, as well as incorporating the usual reception and dinner, the evening will include an after dinner speech from former barrister, broadcaster and comedy writer, Clive Anderson.

The reception, 3-course dinner, and wine are included in the cost and we will be raising money on the evening in aid of the President’s chosen charity


The categories for the 2022 SLS Legal Awards are:

  • Law Firm of the Year
  • Lawyer of the Year
  • Dispute Resolution Lawyer of the Year
  • Employment Lawyer of the Year
  • Family Lawyer of the Year
  • Private Client Lawyer of the Year
  • Paralegal of the Year
  • Property Lawyer of the Year
  • Rising Star of the Year
  • Support Team Member of the Year


  • Law Firm of the Year
    The firm must be able to show significant progress and development as a business within the last 12 months. Evidence of this can include details of growth, strategy, financial performance, employee development, training and diversity. The firm must also be able to demonstrate that it has a rounded approach to the delivery of legal services, and that it is working in the best interest of not only its clients but the profession overall.
  • Lawyer of the Year
    The nominee must be a Lawyer who goes “above and beyond” in both his/ her colleagues’ eyes as well as those of the clients. This might be demonstrable in a specific case or work done in relation to a particular area of Law. The nominee may also have proposed and put in place a business solution that proved beneficial to the firm overall or to his/her client, or both. The nominee should also be able to show strong management and leadership skills.
  • Dispute Resolution Lawyer of the Year
    The judges will accept nominations based on one outstanding matter worked on during the last year or on the overall performance of the individual during that year from those who practice in any area of dispute resolution on either the Claimant and/or Defendant side. The nominee must be able to demonstrate that he/she has delivered exceptional client outcomes. Please explain the single greatest achievement of the past 12 months in one or more of the following: client service, innovation or exceptional client outcome/s.
  • Employment Lawyer of the Year
    The judges will accept nominations based on one outstanding matter worked on during the last year or on the overall performance of the individual during that year from those who practice in any area of employment law. The nominee must be able to demonstrate that he/she has delivered exceptional client outcomes. Please explain the single greatest achievement of the past 12 months in one or more of the following: client service, innovation or exceptional client outcome/s.
  • Family Lawyer of the Year
    The nominee must demonstrate excellence within the field of family law through their practice. The nominee must also show that they have provided an outstanding quality of legal service for their clients and demonstrated teamwork within their firm, with external lawyers and/or other professionals.
  • Paralegal of the Year
    This award recognises the key role paralegals play in our justice system. The nominee will be an exceptional individual who consistently makes contributions to the legal profession whether in client care, business development, training or otherwise and who acts as an inspiration to other paralegals through their knowledge of the law, perseverance in cases, professional and personal development and superior skill set. The nominee must also demonstrate a commitment to continuing legal education.
  • Private Client Lawyer of the Year
    The judges will accept nominations based on one outstanding matter worked on during the last year or on the overall performance of the individual during that year. The nominee must be able to demonstrate that he/she has delivered exceptional client outcomes. Please explain the single greatest achievement of the past 12 months in one or more of the following: client service, innovation or exceptional client outcome/s.
  • Property Lawyer of the Year
    We will accept entries from both commercial and residential property Lawyers and landlord and tenant specialists. The nominee must be able to demonstrate that he/she has delivered exceptional client outcomes. Please explain the single greatest achievement of the past 12 months in one or more of the following: client service, innovation or exceptional client outcome/s.
  • Rising Star of the Year
    The nominee needs to show a sizeable level of involvement within the profession and/or the area in which they practice and provide evidence of any significant obstacle/s they have overcome. Evidence in relation to how and why the nominee has “risen” over the past 12 months is advised.
  • Support Team Member of the Year
    This year we are welcoming nominations from colleagues or clients for secretaries, cashiers and other support team members who support Surrey Law Society members. Nominees must demonstrate a special contribution to their organisation or to specific clients, showing dedication and commitment that goes ‘the extra mile’.


Date:  Thursday 22nd September 2022

Venue:  The Mandolay Hotel: 36 – 40 London Road, Guildford, Surrey, GU1 2AE (01483 303030).

Accommodation:  Surrey Law Society has reserved a number of bedrooms at the Mandolay for the night of the 22nd September.  Guests of the dinner can book these by calling 01483 303030, selecting Option 1 and quoting Event Reference Code: Surrey Law Society Gala.  The double occupancy rate is £130 per room per night and includes breakfast. Rooms are available on a first-come, first-served basis and any bedrooms still vacant by 25th August 2022 will be released.  The Surrey Law Society cannot guarantee that this accommodation rate is the most competitive available and it might be possible to find preferential rates via some of the major hotel booking sites.


How to Book:

Booking is now open and you can reserve your place at the Awards in the following ways:

Attendance Fees:

  • Individual Ticket (Early Bird): £125 plus VAT (Standard Rate – £150 plus VAT)
  • Table of 10 (Early Bird Rate): £1,100 plus VAT (Standard Rate – £1,250 plus VAT)

Early Bird rates are available until Friday 29th July, after which standard rates will apply.

2022 Event Programme:

6:30pm Welcome Reception Mandolay Suite (Ground Floor)
7:10pm Welcome by the President Mandolay Suite (Lower Ground)
7:30pm Gala Dinner Mandolay Suite (Lower Ground)
9:00pm An After-Dinner Speech by Clive Anderson Mandolay Suite (Lower Ground)
9:45pm SLS Legal Awards Ceremony Mandolay Suite (Lower Ground)
10:45pm Drinks & Mingling Mandolay Suite (Lower Ground)
12:30am Carriages Mandolay Suite (Lower Ground)


This year we are absolutely thrilled to announce that our after-dinner speaker and Awards compere will be Clive Anderson.  Clive is a barrister by training but is best known for being an award-winning and versatile, broadcaster and comedy writer.

Winner of the British Comedy Award in 1991, Clive began his success during his 15-year law career with stand-up comedy and script writing, before rising to fame as the host of Whose Line Is It Anyway? on radio and then television.

Clive went on to front ten series of his own show, Clive Anderson Talks Back on Channel 4 and four series of Clive Anderson All Talk on BBC 1. As well as presenting several other TV and radio programmes, he has made many guest appearances on shows such as Have I Got News For You, QI, Mock the Week, and The Bubble. Clive has been the unflappable host of live events and award ceremonies for BAFTA, the London Evening Standard Film Awards, the Chortle Awards and the Olivier Awards and has fronted other events and programmes ranging from the Proms to politics.

In recent years, he has presented The Big Read and Maestro! on BBC 2. Clive has also presented a two-part series investigating China’s Football Revolution, as well as being a regular contributor to The Footballs On on BT Sport. Clive hosted Whose Line Is It Anyway?…Live the official worldwide première at the Adelphi Theatre in London in 2015. Due to popular demand, the sold-out show returned to London Palladium for a limited run in 2016 and again to Royal Albert Hall in December 2018 to celebrate its 30th birthday with an exclusive run of three live festive shows.

2018 saw Clive, along with anthropologist Mary-Ann Ochota, host Mystic Britain for showtime-owned Smithsonian Channel. Clive took his first solo show Me, Macbeth & I to the fringe in 2019 to critical acclaim and a sold out run.  He will take the show on the road, in debut tour across the UK. He writes for a variety of comedians, radio and TV programmes, for several national newspapers and magazines, hosts a variety of award ceremonies and continues to present Loose Ends and Unreliable Evidence (both BBC Radio 4). In 2021 Clive started his own podcast My Seven Wonders with Clive Anderson. The 18-part series saw Clive sitting down with famous guests and discussing their own personal Seven Wonders of the World. With no topic off limit, each guest guided Clive through the why, the how and the when of their seven passions.

2022 Sponsors

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We have a range of sponsorship options available for the 2022 SLS Legal Awards, details of which can be viewed here.

For further information on the opportunities available, or email Helen Opie, CEO at


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HFS Milbourne Sponsor of the Drinks Reception & Family Lawyer of the Year Award

HFS Milbourne is one of Surrey’s leading independent Wealth Managers with over £450 million in client funds under management.

Established in 1986 and regulated by the FCA, we provide lawyers and their clients with expert financial advice on a range of specialist areas including: Pensions and Divorce, Maintenance Protection, Letters of Borrowing Capacity, Inheritance Tax, plus Investment and Trust advice. With a fee based approach, we offer a high degree of expertise which includes a Resolution accredited Independent Financial Advisor who is specifically trained in the area of collaborative law, two STEP Affiliated advisers, three Chartered advisers, and five Long Term Care specialists.

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Conscious, Sponsor of the Support Team Member of the Year Award

For 18 years we have been working with law firms of all sizes helping them design, build, run and maximise the return on investment of their websites. Whether it’s designing a new website, improving search engine rankings, or implementing a PPC campaign, everything we do is aimed at improving your website and digital marketing strategy.

With a “full service” solution – whether you need a blend of sophisticated technology or a library of professionally written legal copy both online and offline. We allow you to pick and choose which services you require depending on your existing resources, both in-house and outsourced.

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Landmark Information, Sponsor of Property Lawyer of the Year

Landmark Information is at the forefront of legal products and data supply to support the UK’s Property Professionals. Our dedicated, personal approach supports legal professionals in their due diligence in line with the Law Society and SRA requirements. Landmarks longevity in the legal market brings valuable experience and dependability to risk solutions whilst continuing to innovate.


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Meet the Judges

George Coates

George is Head of Guildford Chambers. He specialises in financial settlements in divorce proceedings and related family financial disputes. He takes a particular interest in disputes between unmarried parents, and has written and lectured on this topic.

George has wide-ranging experience of dealing with complex cases, often involving substantial sums made up of shareholdings in private companies (including family businesses), partnerships, family trusts, and pensions.

Other areas in which George has extensive experience include property disputes, and matters relating to children (having sat on the Social Security and Child Support Appeal Tribunal) and education, including challenging LEA policies on school admissions.

Over the years, he has undertaken a wide variety of general civil and commercial law cases, including professional or other negligence cases.

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David Greene

David is senior partner at Edwin Coe, and vice president at the Law Society. He joined the Law Society Council in 2009 and his constituency is international practice. He is the chair of the International Committee. He is also chair of the Policy and Regulatory Affairs Committee and sits on the Law Society Board. He is also chair of the Brexit Task Force and the Law Society’s nominee on the Lord Chancellor’s Brexit Law Committee. He also runs a practice!

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Neil Rose

Neil is a qualified solicitor and has been a legal journalist since 1995. He is the founder and editor of Legal Futures, a news-driven website providing market intelligence for law firms of the future. He is a recognised market commentator on ABSs, legal regulation and the future of the market. He also runs Litigation Futures, the first independent website dedicated to costs, funding and the Jackson reforms.

In 2014, he won the Legal Journalism of the Year award at the Halsbury Legal Awards.

Neil has freelanced for a wide range of publications, including The Guardian and The Times. He is also a co-director of Black Letter Communications, a specialist public relations agency for the legal sector.

Formerly Deputy Editor of the Law Society Gazette, he was also the Editor of the award-winning CILEx Journal, for which he was shortlisted for Editor of the Year (business and professional magazines, non-weekly) by the British Society of Magazine Editors in 2009.

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David Steed

David qualified as a Solicitor in January 1980 after articles with a London firm, specialising in property law.

Throughout most of his career however he has worked in the Surrey area dealing with both residential and commercial properties and secured funding work for banks and building societies.

He was on the Surrey Law Society committee for many years, and President twice in the 2000s.

He has also twice been chair of the Society’s conveyancing and land law sub committee.

David has now moved to the Isle of Wight but has maintained his links with Surrey, as he is a consultant to Harold Bell Infields in Ewell.

He is currently a Council Member of The Law Society holding the Commercial Property seat and sits on TLS Conveyancing & Land Law committee.

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Sarah Pooley

Sarah Pooley is the Dean of the Guildford and Reading Campuses of the University of Law. Sarah has a BA (Hons) in History from the University of Sheffield and an M.Litt from the University of Cambridge. She studied for the Common Professional Examination and Law Society Finals at the University (then College) of Law in London. She trained and qualified as a solicitor at Slaughter and May and worked in financial regulation until she moved into legal education. Sarah is a former Head of Students at Guildford and Head of Tutors at the London Moorgate campus. She is the Chair of the Ethics Committee at the University of Law and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She was made an Associate Professor in 2015.

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John Hyde

John Hyde is Deputy News Editor at The Law Society Gazette. He reports extensively on all matters impacting the legal profession and has his finger on the pulse of latest developments.

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Rita Leat

Rita Leat is the Chief Executive of the Institute of Paralegals and a founder and Managing Director of the overarching voluntary regulator for Paralegals, the PPR. With over 27 years experience in the Paralegal sector, representing the interests of Paralegals Nationally, Rita has become known as the Chief Executive of All Things Paralegal.

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Veronica Gilmour

Veronica is a partner in the family law team at Penningtons Manches Cooper. She has a broad range of experience which includes advising on private children disputes, pensions on divorce and pre and post marital agreements. She has particular expertise in high value, complex financial cases in both the UK and internationally.

Accredited by Resolution as a specialist family lawyer, she has been at the forefront of the development of non-adversarial alternatives in family law matters for a number of years. She is a qualified collaborative lawyer with a thriving mediation practice and is a long-standing member of the Surrey Resolution Committee.

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John-Paul MacNamara

John-Paul was called to the Bar by the Middle Temple in 2008 and cross-qualified as a solicitor in 2011. He worked for many years for a Top 100 Law firm and was eventually promoted to partner and Head of Crown Court Advocacy before moving to GT Stewart Solicitors and Advocates in 2017. He has appeared in the Crown Court as Leading Junior, Led Junior and Junior alone and has advocated extensively in the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division). He has represented defendants for offences ranging from intercontinental drug importation to kidnap and murder. He completed his vulnerable witness training with the Law Society and is well known in London courts for his measured style of advocacy and tenacious closing speeches.

J-P was shortlisted in the 2015 and 2016 Law Society Excellence Awards in the category of “Solicitor Advocate of the Year”. In the 2016 shortlist the Judges’ panel, described him as “having developed a reputation as a leading advocate – particularly in cross-examination of expert witnesses”. At GT Stewart he was a prominent member of their Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners ranked crime teams, and won The “Lawyer of the Year Award” with the Surrey Law Society in 2019.

In January 2020 J-P joined the staff at the City Law School and is an advocacy tutor as well as a tutor on the Criminal Litigation, Evidence and Sentencing module of the Bar Vocational Studies course. J-P also lectures to Pupils at Middle Temple and having formally returned to the Bar, holds a door tenancy at 33 Bedford Row.

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Is it free to enter?
Our firm has many individuals doing excellent work. Is there a limit on how many entries can be submitted?
No, but you will need to complete separate entries for each firm/individual category you choose to enter.
What is the criteria and format of each award?
Please view the categories and criteria page for details of each Award.
Can non-solicitors enter?
Yes. We accept entries from Solicitors, Barristers, Legal Executives, Licensed Conveyancers and from paralegals and support staff where appropriate so long as the firm and/or individual is a member of the Surrey Law Society.
Can I nominate someone for an individual award if I don’t work in a Law Firm?
What is the deadline for nominations?
The deadline for nominations is 12 May 2022. Please note that all firms/individuals nominated must be members of the Surrey Law Society.
How do I nominate?
Nominating couldn't be easier, members can download the relevant Nomination Form for the category of their choice and return this to You may support your nomination by submitting independent objective evidence of the nominees achievements from 3rd parties, for example, in the form of testimonials received on letter headed paper, by email, via press cuttings etc. – these should be concise and no more than three sides of A4.
When do the judges consider the nominations?
Between May and August 2022.
When will the shortlist be announced?
The shortlisted individuals/firms will be contacted during the week commencing in 13 June 2022.
When will the winners be announced?
The winners will be announced at the Awards Dinner and Ceremony at the Mandolay Hotel, Guildford, on Thursday 22nd September 2022
Who can attend the Awards Dinner?
Tickets are available to all members - you don't need to have entered the awards.

Contact us

Please do not hesitate to get in touch should you have any queries regarding an award category, the shortlist, judging process or the Awards Dinner.
Email: or phone: 0333 577 3830 Mobile : 07597 582400