Introducing our esteemed panel of judges for 2022
Meet the judges
We are very proud to welcome another diverse and high profile panel of judges for the Wales Legal Awards in 2022. Our judges are all peer-regarded experts in their field and also include representatives of Wales’ regional legal communities, well-respected voices from the legal media, and those at cutting edge of the business of law in the UK.
Executive Coach & Mentor
Alys is an executive coach and mentor, working in the main with professionals and business owners. Prior to this, she was a corporate solicitor for 18 years, the first 12 of which she spent at Allen & Overy in a range of fee-earning and management roles. More recently, she was a partner at Capital Law, where she helped lead the business through a period of significant growth. She was identified as a leading individual in the Legal 500 2020, the only female corporate lawyer in Wales to make the cut.
Owner / Director, Lux Family Law
Charlotte is the co-founder of Wales Legal Awards. Charlotte is also the Director and owner of boutique family law practice, Lux Family Law and is recognised as one of the leading family law professionals in South Wales. Charlotte has specialised in private family law since 2003. She practised family law at the highest level in London, acting for celebrities, entrepreneurs and high profile commercial professionals until returning to South Wales in 2013, where she joined Hugh James. She quickly became Head of Family Law in the firm and recognised as a market leader. In January 2018 she launched Lux Family Law which has quickly established itself as one of the leading family law practices in South Wales. Charlotte was appointed to the Board of Cardiff Business Club in 2016.
President, Swansea & District Law Society
Chris is a specialist Healthcare solicitor with considerable experience in acting for Dentists and Pharmacists who wish to buy or sell their Practices throughout England and Wales. Alongside this, Chris also acts for Opticians, GP's and funders who lend to healthcare professionals. Chris is a long standing member NASDAL(National Association of Specialist Dental Accountants & Lawyers) and presently chairs the membership committee. Chris has used his connections, expertise and experience to build a large portfolio of Dental, Pharmaceutical and other healthcare clients throughout England and Wales. Chris also writes articles and speaks to various healthcare groups. Chris has worked in a variety of leadership roles at JCP, applying his experience to successfully build teams with in the property and healthcare sectors. Chris was elected President of the Swansea and District Law Society in 2020 for an extended 2 year term and has helped to steer the Society and its members through the Covid pandemic. Chris is a family man who uses his leisure time playing golf and supporting his children’s sporting activities.
Professor Dylan Jones-Evans OBE
Assistant Pro-Vice Chancellor (Enterprise), USW
Professor Dylan Jones-Evans OBE is the Assistant Pro-Vice Chancellor (Enterprise) at the University of South Wales, and has been championing entrepreneurship in Wales for 25 years. As well as being the founder of the Wales Fast Growth 50 Awards and the Wales Start-Up Awards, he has a weekly business column in both the Daily Post and the Western Mail and sits on the boards of Town Square Spaces and the homeless charity Fabric Foundation. Dylan is a Co-Founder of the Wales Legal Awards and chair of the judging panel.
Chief Legal Adviser, Welsh Parliament
Huw Williams is the Chief Legal Adviser to the Senedd. He was previously the senior partner in the Cardiff office and Vice-chair of Geldards LLP and Lead Partner, Public Law. He is the immediate past chair of Legal Wales and of Public Law Wales, a member of the Law Society’s Wales Committee and he also served for many years on the Law Society’s Planning and Environment Law Committee.
Regional Director, Stowe Family Law
Jemma is a highly experienced and respected practitioner at Stowe Family Law - the UK’s largest specialist family law firm with 45 offices nationwide, including Cardiff. She practised in London and Surrey for many years before returning to her beloved Wales in 2015. Jemma heads up Stowe’s leading practice in South Wales, the South West of England and the Midlands. She is a passionate advocate for her clients and is renowned for her brilliant strategic and holistic approach. She has acted in cases at all levels up to the Court of Appeal and advises clients from all walks of life, including professional sports personalities, politicians and high profile businessmen and women.
Deputy News Editor, Law Society Gazette
John Hyde is the Deputy News Editor for the leading legal publication in the country, the Law Society Gazette. Previously a local newspaper reporter in Essex and East London, he joined the Gazette in 2011 when it was seeking to introduce a new focus on breaking news stories and being a commercial competitor in the legal news market. John has developed a specialism in reporting on regulation, costs and personal injury, and also writes a regular blog which is frequently the most popular commentary on the Gazette site. He is known for breaking stories first about the sector, holding authorities to account through his reporting, and seeking to portray the legal profession in a different light to that put forward by the national media. He is a frequent and respected user of social media and has a following of almost 15,000 on Twitter.
Managing Director, Spindogs
Liam is the Managing Director of Spindogs growing the business over the last 18 years to it’s current size of 70 people delivering a range of agency and digital transformation services to it’s global client base. Alongside continuously driving the company mission and vision, and working closely with businesses across the public, private and third sectors to better understand their organisation’s needs with strong experience within the legal and wider professional services industries. Liam has held a number of advisory board positions, including IoD Wales Advisory Committee and the Duke of Edinburgh Award Wales Advisory Board, and was the proud winner of the IoD Young Director of the Year award (2013) and Director of the Year – SME (2018).
Head of England & Wales Licensing Team, TLT Solicitors LLP
Matthew is head of TLT’s England & Wales Licensing team. The team is recognised as a leading national licensing practice. Matthew is a trustee (and companion) of the British Institute of Inn keeping, legal officer for the Welsh region of the Institute of Licensing and former secretary to the All Party Welsh Assembly Food and Drink group. The team act for substantial estates, pub companies, hotels, music festivals, restaurants, retailers, developers and other leisure operators, as well as local authorities. Matthew is a regular speaker at national licensing conferences and has presented at the annual national Institute of Licensing Conference, as well as numerous other events, to local authority officers and other key stakeholders, for many years.
Chief Executive Officer, Yolk Recruitment
Dale co-founded Yolk in 2009 and the company has grown exponentially. He is proud of the vision and leadership that has shaped it into a recruitment business that people love to work for, and that clients are always ready to recommend. Dale's focus is on building the most unique, engaging and high performing recruitment business for our people so that they can in turn offer the most quality driven, creative and bespoke solutions for our clients and candidates.
President, Cardiff & District Law Society
Tom Black is the President of Cardiff & District Law Society. He is a Principal Associate at Eversheds Sutherland, in the Financial Services Disputes and Investigations group. Tom is commended by Legal 500 for his “excellent client relationships”. His main areas of specialism are: mortgage law and regulation; equity release; defending mis-selling claims; and LPA Receiverships. He has successfully defended numerous mis-selling claims and frequently advises on a wide range of complex defended mortgage disputes. Tom regularly advises lenders defending mortgage mis-selling claims and acts for LPA Receivers in relation to complicated property disputes. Strong project management skills have enabled Tom to successfully run several high profile regulatory projects for banks and other financial institutions. Cardiff & District Law Society is a membership organisation representing the interests of lawyers and their employers across the South Wales district.
"The diverse categories offer something for all legal teams in Wales and we’re excited to hear how the legal sector in Wales has surpassed expectations for clients, communities and its people this year.” - Sarah Smith, Yolk Recruitment - Headline Sponsor of the Wales Legal Awards 2022.
"Wales has so much talent to celebrate in the legal sector and the last two years has really shown the ability of the sector to diversify and excel. We are very excited to all be able to celebrate this success in person at the black tie event in May." - Charlotte Leyshon, co-Founder of the Wales Legal Awards & Founder of Lux Family Law.