The 2021 SLS Legal Awards Ceremony & Gala Dinner will take place at the Mandolay Hotel in Guildford on the evening of Thursday 16th September 2021.  

Bookings are now open, so don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to celebrate the work of Surrey-based solicitors and firms, whilst enjoying some much needed networking time with your colleagues and peers.

Nominations have now closed and the shortlist will be announced during the week of 21st June 2021.




The categories for the 2021 SLS Legal Awards are:

  • Law Firm of the Year
  • Lawyer of the Year
  • Commercial / Corporate Lawyer of the Year
  • Family Lawyer of the Year
  • Litigation 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
    **** DR Solicitors **** Nichols Marcy Dawson LLP **** Rosewood Solicitors ****
  • Lawyer of the Year
    **** Holly Chantler, Morrisons Solicitors **** Kate Doody, GBH Law **** Dev Jummoodoo, Rosewood Solicitors ****
  • Commercial/Corporate Lawyer of the Year
    **** Nick Atkins, Stevens & Bolton **** Kate Doody, GBH Law **** Helen Mead, DMH Stallard ****
  • Family Lawyer of the Year
    **** Karen Barham, Moore Barlow **** Samantha Jago, DMH Stallard **** Katy Osborne, Howell Jones Solicitors **** Emma Patel, Rosewood Solicitors ****
  • Litigation Lawyer of the Year
    **** Ben Pearson, Peacock & Co Solicitors **** Caroline Kempster, Taylor Rose MW **** Ian Latimer, Taylor Rose MW **** Fiona McNelis, Taylor Rose MW ****
  • Paralegal of the Year
    **** Charlotte Alexander, TWM Solicitors **** Hannah Davies, Watson Thomas Solicitors **** Harriet Shore, Russell-Cooke ****
  • Private Client Lawyer of the Year
    **** Holly Chantler, Morrisons Solicitors **** Julie Man, Russell-Cooke **** Emma Sayers, Howell Jones Solicitors ****
  • Property Lawyer of the Year
    **** Ema Bryn Jones, Peacock & Co Solicitors **** Amira Hughes, Howell Jones Solicitors **** Piers Meadows, Meadows Ryan **** Rachel Philip, S. Abraham Solicitors ****
  • Rising Star of the Year
    **** Chrissie Cuming Walters, Keystone Law **** Michael Daniels, DMH Stallard **** Sophie Kimber, Howell Jones Solicitors **** Martin Whitehorn, Julie West Solicitors ****
  • Support Team Member of the Year
    **** Chloe Bradshaw, Russell-Cooke **** Ashley Burrow, Meadows Ryan **** Amanda Holden Guest, Quality Solicitors Palmers **** Vicky Mason, GBH Law ****



  • Individual: £100 + VAT
  • Table (10 seats): £900 + VAT

The SLS Legal Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner, will be held on Thursday 16th September at the Mandolay Hotel, Guildford.   The evening promises to be a fantastic occasion where we can truly celebrate the successes of our members and the local legal profession – proudly recognizing Surrey as a County of legal excellence.  Please note that this event will be filmed and photographs will be taken which will be used in our publications and social media content. If you do not wish to appear in any filming or photographs, please confirm in writing when making your booking.


How to Book:

Event Programme:

6:30pm Welcome Reception Mandolay Suite (Ground Floor)
7:15pm Welcome by the President Mandolay Suite (Lower Ground)
7:30pm Gala Dinner Mandolay Suite (Lower Ground)
9:15pm An Evening with Rob Rinder 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)


The Mandolay Hotel: 36 – 40 London Road, Guildford, Surrey, GU1 2AE (01483 303030).  For more information please visit the Mandolay Hotel Website Accommodation:  Surrey Law Society has reserved a number of bedrooms at the Mandolay for the night of the 16th September.  Guests of the dinner can book these by calling 01483 303030, selecting Option 1 and quoting Event Reference Code: Surrey Law Society.  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 19 August 2021 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. 

Our After Dinner Speaker and Awards Compere, Rob Rinder MBE

Rob Rinder MBE is a barrister turned writer and broadcaster.  In 2014, while still a practising Barrister, he began starring in his reality court show Judge Rinder, now in it’s 8th series; and uses his legal knowledge working in the media to make the law more accessible and understandable to the public regularly appearing on shows such as This Morning and Good Morning Britain.

Alongside Judge Rinder, Rob has also presented shows including Judge Rinder’s Crime Stories and The Rob Rinder Verdict as well as hosting his own BBC Radio 5Live series Raising the Bar aiming to demystify the legal system. His participation in series 15 of Who Do You Think You Are? retraced the story of his Holocaust survivor Grandfather and received critical acclaim. Following this Rob embarked on an emotional journey exploring further his own family’s Holocaust stories resulting in a 2-part documentary My Family, the Holocaust and Me.

Along with his screen work Rob has published Rinder’s Rules which provides a thorough guide to everyday legal issues including sections on jargon-busting, consumer rights and common mistakes. He is also a columnist for The Sun and the London Evening Standard newspapers.

2021 Sponsors

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Surrey Law Society has a range of sponsorship opportunities available for the SLS Legal Awards in 2021.

The Awards will once again showcase the very best of Surrey’s legal talent inviting nominations from its membership, and culminating in a prestigious gala dinner and award ceremony. This exciting event will represent a fantastic opportunity for our sponsors to showcase their business profile within the legal community and network with legal professionals at the dinner. This year more than ever, we want to celebrate the outstanding work of the legal community in Surrey, and applaud the strength and resilience of Surrey Law Society members,
as well as enjoying a fantastic evening of networking, dining, and entertainment, including an after-dinner speech from Rob Rinder.

View the Sponsorship Packages Available Here.

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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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Access Legal,  Sponsor of the  Lawyer of the Year Award.

Working in partnership with more than 3,500 UK law firms and underpinned by over 30 years of sector experience, Access Legal provides an unrivalled suite of complete software solutions.

From case and practice management, finance, accounting and business intelligence to learning, compliance and HR – Access Legal helps firms take control of their time, improve efficiency and productivity.

By providing software to manage every aspect of a firm’s operations, Access Legal enables ambitious firms to reach unlimited potential and have the freedom to focus on clients and people to drive profitability and growth.

Access Legal is part of The Access Group, a leading provider of business management software to mid-sized organisations

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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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Guildford Chambers, General Sponsor

Guildford Chambers is a progressive, multi-disciplinary set of barristers, uniquely positioned to provide competitive and effective advocacy for individuals and businesses in Surrey, Hampshire, Berkshire, London and the South East.
Our growing portfolio of clients value that we work with them as an extension of their team, and we endeavour to build strong and successful working relationships. We operate a system of specialist practice groups which ensure you receive the best advice and advocacy from your chosen barrister.
Our barristers and experienced, responsive clerking team share an uncompromising attitude to quality and client service with a sensible approach to cost.

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If you’re interested in supporting the SLS Legal Awards, Please download our Sponsorship Opportunities Pack here for further information on the opportunities available, or email Helen Opie, CEO at helen.opie@surreylawsociety.org.uk.

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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Simon Bland

Simon Bland is the Economic Prosperity Programme Manager for Reigate and Banstead Borough Council. He is responsible for the development and delivery of a programme of initiatives intended to help local businesses start, develop and grow. He is also a member of Surrey Futures, a co-opted member of the Executive Council of Gatwick Diamond Business and a Corporation Board Member of East Surrey College.

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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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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. Please note that nominations have now closed, but we'd be delighted to receive your submissions next year.
What is the criteria and format of each award?
Please refer to the Award Categories & Criteria page for specific entry instructions.
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 final deadline for entries was midnight on Friday 21 May 2021. Please note that all firms/individuals nominated must be members of the Surrey Law Society.
How do I nominate?
Nominations are now closed, but if you're thinking of nominating for our 2022 Awards, it couldn't be easier. Simply download the relevant Nomination Form for the category of your choice and return this to helen.opie@surreylawsociety.org.uk. 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 28th June and 1st September 2021.
When will the shortlist be announced?
The shortlisted individuals/firms will be contacted during the week commencing 21st June 2021.
When will the winners be announced?
The winners will be announced at the Awards Dinner and Ceremony on Thursday 16th September 2021 at the Mandolay Hotel Guildford.
Who can attend the Awards Dinner?
Tickets are available to everyone - 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: helen.opie@surreylawsociety.org.uk or phone: 0333 577 3830 Mobile : 07597 582400