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21 April 2020

Extended deadline for WLAs 2020

Celebrating your inspirational approach and client commitment in extraordinary times

‘Now more than ever we need to celebrate the legal sector across the length and breadth of Wales’.

Over the last few weeks, all of us have been grappling to deal with the fall-out of lockdown and its impact on our work, our clients and our people.

During this time, the main ethos of the Wales Legal Awards – to celebrate excellence and support the legal sector in Wales – is more important than ever as we witness the outstanding commitment, creativity and true grit on display from law firms in supporting their clients and employees during these most extraordinary times.

As Charlotte Leyshon, Founder of the Wales Legal Awards and Lux Family Law explains:

“We understand that it has been a challenging time for the legal sector in Wales recently. Law firms and their staff have had to diversify, embrace remote working and create innovative responses to enable them to continue to provide clients with the best service possible. That is why we are committed to ensuring that the Wales Legal Awards 2020 proceeds as planned so that we can celebrate achievements of the legal sector across the length and breadth of Wales.”

Celebrating incredible tenacity, creativity & commitment to clients

We’ve been inspired by the number of firms in the Welsh legal community that have stepped up to support each other during these unprecedented  times. We’ve always known that Wales is a supportive and approachable nation and while more is needed, it’s indicative of our culture to see such generosity and support shine through within the sector.

That’s why the Wales Legal Awards 2020 wants to help. We want to rally the sector at this challenging time to showcase the extraordinary talent, inventiveness, diversity and success in the sector over the last 12 months and that have been amplified by Welsh legal businesses over the last three weeks.

What’s different?

We’ve been working hard to ensure this year’s awards go ahead to celebrate the achievements of the legal sector in Wales and provide a strong sense of community in uncertain times.

As Charlotte explains:

“We are proceeding with categories being judged by our esteemed panel of judges remotely. In the event that we are not all able to come together and celebrate on September 11th, we have exciting plans to ensure that the awards still go ahead as we are determined that, even in lockdown, the best of the legal sector in Wales should be celebrated in 2020.”

New, extended deadline!

The new deadline for entries for this year’s awards is midnight on the 31st May 2020.

The judging process

Our judging process – where shortlisted teams and individuals are interviewed by our judging panel, in order to determine the winner – will continue to take place in the third week of June 2020 although the interviews may be held virtually via Zoom because of the current lockdown restrictions.

New Award!

In light of the Covid-19 pandemic and the impact of lockdown on the Welsh legal sector, we’re launching a new award recognising ‘Innovation in response to Covid-19”.

This award will celebrate a legal entity in Wales that can evidence one or more of the following:

  • Excelled in supporting clients during the pandemic and crafted new ways to continue working while safeguarding employees, clients and suppliers
  • Successfully diversified or changed its approach to reflect the impact of the crisis on clients and the business
  • Harnessed the power of technology and committed to ensuring a long-term vision for its use and value in the business in the long-term e.g. new communication tools, block chain technology etc
  • Championed time and assets to access to justice during the crisis
  • Been a driving force in campaigns or approaches that have helped safeguard those involved in the justice process in Wales.

The 2020 Awards Ceremony

The black tie ceremony is undoubtedly the night we look forward to as it’s our opportunity to reward and celebrate those who set the bar for excellence in the Welsh legal sector this year. However, it’s not the only way we can achieve this.

None of us has a crystal ball (if only) and no-one can say for certain if we’ll be able to gather at the Mercure Hotel in Cardiff on the 11th September 2020 as planned. It is our ambition to do so if the Welsh Government deems this type of event safe and appropriate.

If we can’t, we have a plan!

The awards will be celebrated, with the same level of profile and community spirit, just in a different way. We have created an imaginative, inclusive alternative to a traditional black-tie event, that reflects the ‘new normal’ for many of us.

Should social-distancing impact holding our planned awards night in Cardiff, our alternative ceremony will be held live and online on the same day. We’ll be sure to inject the fun, glamour and sense of inspirational community that we all felt at the 2019 awards night. The resulting profile – in the media and in the form of branded logos, trophies and other benefits for those shortlisted and the winners – remains the same.

As soon as we have clarity on the format following the latest government recommendations, we’ll let you know.

Enter today!

Click here to view the categories, criteria and make an award submission.

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Meet the judges

The nominations are judged by an expert, independent panel of esteemed judges from across the sector, including representatives from The Law Society Gazette, Presidents of regional law societies in Wales and Thomson Reuters, the awards identify excellence in all parts of the legal community. Once a shortlist is created, our judges take the time to interview each shortlisted team or individual to identify the category winners.

Our sponsors

We are delighted to introduce our sponsors for the Wales Legal Awards 2020. Our greatest thanks to them all – for their time and support during the year, especially our headline sponsor, Yolk Recruitment.

More information on the Wales Legal Awards, including our handy FAQs, can be found here.

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Our booking Terms & Conditions can be found here.

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