A Welsh law firm and barristers’ chambers have triumphed at a national awards ceremony beating off competition from around the UK.
Watkins & Gunn Solicitors and Civitas Law were named Legal Services Team of the Year (1-10 partners) and Legal Services Team of the Year (21+ partners) respectively at the Claims Innovation Awards.
Civitas Law’s business development manager Emma Waddingham also scooped an individual ‘Rising Star’ award for her work within the sector.
The annual industry awards celebrate the excellence of individuals and organisations working within, and leading and innovating, the UK claims industry.
With offices in Cardiff, Newport and Pontypool, the personal injury team at Watkins and Gunn Solicitors were praised by judges as being one of the most progressive in Wales that has successfully balanced maintaining its reputation for quality alongside introducing and marketing competitive new offerings.
Members of the Law Society’s expert Personal Injury Panel and individually accredited by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, the team at Watkins and Gunn are also recommended in the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners publications as one of the leading Personal Injury firms in the UK.
Clive Thomas, Managing Partner and Head of the Personal Injury team at Watkins and Gunn, said of the win, “We are thrilled to have won such a prestigious national award and I’m tremendously proud of our outstanding personal injury team and all that we have achieved together. The team are passionate about delivering a high quality service and achieving the best possible outcome for our clients. We certainly will not be resting on our laurels as we are always looking for innovative new ways to improve the service we offer our clients. We also congratulate Civitas Law and Emma Waddingham on their richly deserved success. It was fantastic for two Welsh Personal Injury teams to be recognised as the best in the UK.”
The Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence barristers at Cardiff-based Civitas Law, who are the current ‘Welsh Chambers of the Year’, were commended for their advocacy, innovative client services, team development and ability to provide access to justice for claimants and defendants having worked on some high profile Supreme Court cases.
While Emma Waddingham was honoured for exemplifying best practice within the sector and demonstrating commitment to promoting the work of the PI industry and that of Civitas Law. With a background in journalism and marketing, Emma, who has been with Civitas Law for two years, was praised by judges for coming into the sector without a legal background and achieving so much in a short space of time.
Emma Waddingham said, “This has been a fantastic 12 months for Civitas Law – with continued growth and client support for civil and public law in England and Wales. The barristers and staff who have built a leading reputation and high level of service and success for our clients are incredibly proud to win this award. But this achievement is also a reflection of the outstanding legal services being provided across Wales by clients like Watkins & Gunn who have embraced innovation to respond to the challenges now facing the sector and our market places.
“I would like to thank my colleagues and the barristers at Civitas Law for supporting my service and development initiatives, as well as taking bold steps in building new markets. I’m honoured to receive such recognition by our peers and look forward to forging new opportunities with clients to help deliver further innovation for those procuring legal services and advocacy from Wales.”
Alan Nesbit, chair of the judging panel, said, “The innovative spirit of practitioners on both sides of the claims market – as well as the suppliers who service the industry – never ceases to amaze me.
“In these most challenging of times the winners have pushed boundaries and found new ways to both get to market and expand in the marketplace.”