Winners of the LexisNexis Legal Awards 2020 announced, with a lifetime contribution honour for Baroness Hale

LexisNexis have announced the winners of their LexisNexis Legal Awards, hosted by Alexander Armstrong.

The winners of the LexisNexis Legal Awards 2020 were announced at The Sheraton Grand London Park Lane last night. Originally established in 2013, the LexisNexis Legal Awards (formerly the Halsbury Legal Awards) recognise and celebrate firms, companies and individuals that have furthered the Rule of Law through brilliant practice and innovation.

The winners included Doughty Street Chambers, who received the International Team of the Year Award for their work protecting vulnerable journalists around the world and seeking justice for those who have been silenced, including Jamal Khashoggi and Daphne Caruana Galizia. Ryan Whelan of Gibson Dunn, was voted Legal Personality of the Year for his successful pro bono campaign to make “upskirting” a criminal offence.

A panel of leading figures from the legal world decided on the winners for 17 categories. Judges included the Law Society President, Simon Davis, Vice Chair of the Bar, Derek Sweeting QC and Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, the Director of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute. The Legal Personality of the Year Award was decided by vote from the legal community.

The prestigious Lifetime Contribution Award was presented to the outgoing President of the Supreme Court, Baroness Hale of Richmond in recognition of her long and varied career in the law. As an academic, law reformer and judge she has achieved many firsts and broken-down barriers within the profession. In a passionate speech, Lady Hale spoke of the importance of the Rule of Law and equality within the law.  She expressed pride that “a little girl like me from a small state school in North Yorkshire, no connections in the law, no previous experience of the law, can rise to the top of the legal profession”

“My message” she continued, “is that nothing is impossible if you want it hard enough and try hard enough.”

Other winners included P.R.I.M.E Finance Foundation, who were presented with the Halsbury Award for Rule of Law for their invaluable work training judges on complex financial products, giving them the tools and knowledge they need to render better judgments.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer were awarded the PSL / Knowledge Award for their launch of “Freshfields Digital”, an innovative service that keeps clients advised on the evolving spectrum of risks and opportunities presented by digitization.

Dechert collected the Pro Bono Award for their work representing prisoners of conscience around the world, which included securing the release of a Mauretanian citizen from death row after he had been sentenced to execution by firing squad for apostasy.

LexisNexis Managing Director UK, Ireland & Pacific, Christian Fleck, said: “The LexisNexis Legal Awards are the highlight of the legal calendar.  It is inspiring to see so many outstanding entries, each embodying and furthering the Rule of Law. My huge congratulations to the winners.”