UK Legal Awards 2023
EMSn e w s Subscribe here: www.sme-news.co.uk SME News is a quarterly digital publication aimed at those who own, run or assist in the running of small and medium-sized businesses within the UK. SME News, by way of its digital magazine, website and social media outlets, provides a valuable tool to SMEs and their leaders for running their business day to day, seeking the best advice and for growing and succeeding in their endeavours.
About our UK Legal Awards 2023 The legal industry plays a significant role in the UK economy, not only in terms of employment numbers but their overall contribution to the national economy, exports and the UK’s trade. As such, SME News is proud to present the Legal Awards, with the intention to recognise and spotlight the very best that this innovative and competitive industry has to offer. The team at SME News are delighted to host the Legal Awards 2023 for its fifth consecutive year! The Legal Awards are our annual tribute to those who dedicate themselves to business excellence, adapting to the nation’s diverse legal challenges and retaining the UK legal sector’s world-class standards! As the largest legal services market in Europe, and second largest globally, the UK legal sector is highly esteemed on a global scale. Alongside growing awareness of the importance of legal services for UK businesses, annual turnover in the sector reached a record height of £41.6bn from 2021-2022. This is forecasted to continue, as law firms adapt their service offering to meet the ever-developing demands of their clients and legal spend optimisation increases. The Legal Awards 2023 seeks to commend those law firms whose clientfocused service, value-adding expertise and technological prowess are at the forefront of the UK legal sector. Collectively, SMEs in the UK lose around £13.6bn due to unforeseen legal issues, which means legal firms who can correctly advise and guide these enterprises are an invaluable resource for their success! Sofi Parry | Senior Editor
4 | UK Legal Awards 2023 Feb23576 Best Real Estate Legal & Regulatory Consultancy 2023 Compliance On Demand consults both regulated and unregulated businesses primarily in real state. However, it also works with general corporate and not-for-profit clients that are navigating an increasingly regulated business environment while trying to meet investors and clients’ demands. It prides itself on quality and reputation which is why its clients have to demonstrate a culture of a business model that respects the protection of the environment, social awareness, and good governance. As well as being a solicitor, Philip Olmer is the Director and Founder of Compliance On Demand. He has over 35 years of experience within the real estate industry and has accumulated a rich wealth of knowledge over these pivotal years. Together with his team, Philip has found Compliance On Demand flourishing. He says, “We pride ourselves that our knowledge of the real estate industry means that we can offer an unrivalled regulatory and governance focused offering to enable clients not only to remain regulatory compliant, but also win business.” Compliance On Demand doesn’t provide one size fits all answers. Its work is tailored to each client’s needs, and it focuses on delivering the necessary tools to help them succeed and accomplish what they need to run accordingly. The team have 70 years of combined experience that enables them to provide only the best services to its high value clients. Its clients include FTSE listed REITS, FCA regulated investment managers, real estate investment companies, asset managers, commercial property lenders, offshore managers, and around 50 estate agency businesses. The services that it offers cover a variety of areas. Firstly, with antimoney laundering, it supports clients with mandatory risk assessments, policies, and due diligence procedures. It assists them with regulatory AML investigations carried out by HMRC, FCA, National Crime Agency, and HM Treasury OFSI. In addition, it provides staff training for estate agents, solicitors, accountants, FCA regulated businesses, and commercial lenders. Compliance On Demand is a Companies House Appointed UK Regulated Agent. Therefore, it helps in verifying the beneficial ownership details of overseas entities and submits the registrations to Companies House. Failing to register is a criminal offence that can lead to a fine and/or imprisonment for up to five years. Anti-tax evasion is another of its services, which helps companies with anti-tax evasion policies and procedures as they must have these systems and controls in place. Furthermore, Compliance On Demand advises businesses on FCA regulations to include FCA compliance systems, controls, policies, and procedures. Customised to real estate investment and asset managers, it can provide this because Philip is FCA Approved SMF16 and 17. On top of that, it offers to act for various commercial real estate lenders on their FCA registration, as well as for system and control requirements that would not be permitted without lending. Compliance On Demand Limited is a one-stop governance, legal, and regulatory consultancy that specialises in the real state sector. It was founded in 2018 by Philip Olmer after he realised the need for tailored compliance and regulatory support for companies in the sector. We take a closer look at the company to find at more about its services. “ We care about you and your business. ” Contents 6. Kurl Legal Services: Best UK Visa Specialists 2023 - East Midlands 8. Expert in Mind Ltd: Best Mental Health Legal Services Provider 2023 - South East England 10. Quegal Ltd: Online Legal Services Provider of the Year 2023 12. Platts Solicitors Ltd: Best Criminal Law Firm 2023 - Greater Manchester & Best Serious Crime Specialist 2023 (Manchester): Naila Akhter 13. RS Collaboration: Best Business & Human Rights Law Firm 2023 - Greater London 14. Reorg: Best Leveraged Loans & Restructuring Legal Intelligence Provider 2023 15. Avalon Legal: Best Independent Will Writing Business 2023 16. Apex Employment Solicitors Ltd: Best Employment Law Firm 2023 – Kent 17. FPS Law Limited: Criminal Defence Lawyers of the Year 2023 18. Family Law Cafe: Most Client-Focused Family Law Practice 2023 19. Devonshires Claims: Best Medical Negligence Solicitors 2023 20. Legmark Ltd: Best Legal Sector Digital Marketing Specialists 2023 – North West England 21. Kee Solicitors: Specialist Family Law Firm of the Year 2023 - Scotland 22. Sheryl Perry Solicitors: Best Family Law Firm 2023 - Essex 23. Totally ADR Ltd: Family Law Paralegals of the Year 2023 – South East England 24. Madison Legal Ltd: Most Trusted Litigation & Commercial Dispute Resolution Specialists 2023 - London 25. Daniel & Baker Solicitors Ltd: Landlord & Tenants Law Firm of the Year 2023 - North West England 26. Strong Wills: Leading Providers of Will Writing & LPA Preparation Services 2023 27. SAJ Legal solicitors: Best Solution-Orientated Public Law Firm 2023 – Greater London 28. Engleharts Solicitors: Most Comprehensive Property Solicitors 2023 – South East England 29. Axis Solicitors Limited: Best Business Immigration Lawyers 2023 – England 30. Greenwoods Solicitors: Best Residential Conveyancing Firm 2023 – North Yorkshire & SME Judges Choice Award (North Yorkshire): Greenwoods Solicitors 31. Harris Fowler: Leading Personal Injury Solicitors 2023 32. Seagull Legal Services: Best Wills & Probate Firm of the Year 2023 – South East
UK Legal Awards 2023 | 5 The team can advise clients on the terms for real estate funds and their governance, and they can assist in fund launches and provide regulatory input – this service is called fund governance. Similarly, it also offers clients corporate governance and winning business. This service means that the team assist them on corporate governance/ best practice systems and controls, and by helping clients on pitches it enables them to attract customers and increase their revenue. Your win is their win too. Additionally, Compliance On Demand covers data protection, being able to deliver clients through a holistic service that complies with the UK General Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018. It covers privacy policies, customer and employee notices, website privacy terms of business, and data sharing agreements. When it comes to business legal agreements, Compliance On Demand is also there to help its clients with the terms of business, customer engagement templates, employment contracts, and more. Finally, it also advises its clients on equality, diversity, and inclusion to comply with the Modern Slavery Act 2015 compliance and other procedures relating to their staff and third-party providers. Thanks to the team’s combined experience, Compliance On Demand is able to assist a vast number of clients dealing with different affairs within the real estate industry. This makes it possible to deliver businesses quality services that no other law firm is able to match successfully. Philip shares, “Governance and regulation and culture are not understood by law firms. The focus on financial crime and the lack of law firm understanding on what this means in practice, leaves the field wide open for a business like ours.” Compliance On Demand Limited has been victoriously assisting its clients since it was established, which is why it has now been recognised as the Best Real Estate Legal & Regulatory Consultancy 2023. We are excited to see what the future holds for the company as it is currently working on expanding behind the scenes. If you are interested in the support it offers, head over to its website to get in touch! Contact: Philip Olmer Company: Compliance On Demand Limited Web Address: https://www.complianceondemand.co.uk/ EMSn e w s Subscribe here: www.sme-news.co.uk SME News is a quarterly digital publication aimed at those who own, run or assist in the running of small and medium-sized businesses within the UK. SME News, by way of its digital magazine, website and social media outlets, provides a valuable tool to SMEs and their leaders for running their business day to day, seeking the best advice and for growing and succeeding in their endeavours.
6 | UK Legal Awards 2023 Feb23422 Best UK Visa Specialists 2023 - East Midlands Founded in 2019, Kurl Legal Services is an immigration law firm offering best-in-class legal assistance with the process of applying for and obtaining a visa or citizenship in the UK. Clients are at the heart of the business, so it strives to deliver personalised and high-quality services, as well as straightforward pricing with no hidden costs. No matter their situation, clients can trust that Kurl Legal Services will streamline the application process and maximise their chances of success. Based in Nottingham, Kurl Legal Services specialises in all types of UK visa applications, including corporate visas, skilled worker visas, partner visas, student visas, visitor visas, and registration for British Citizenship. On the firm’s website, those interested can find a wealth of information about the eligibility requirements for each category and are advised to get in touch with Kurl Legal Services if they decide to make an application. The firm’s knowledgeable team will support them through the process and ensure that their application ticks all the necessary boxes, increasing the likelihood that it will be successful. Kurl Legal Services was founded by Jyoti Kurl, a qualified Immigration Lawyer regulated and authorised by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner. She studied Law and completed her Legal Practice Course at De Montfort University in Leicester. In her work, Jyoti strives to guide her clients through the often-difficult process of joining or settling with their families. In this, she aims to make them feel welcome and at ease, taking the stress out of the situation by making everything as straightforward as possible. Jyoti is now backed by an incredible team at Kurl Legal Services, consisting of several experienced lawyers who speak a range of languages, including French, Cantonese, Mandarin, Tamil, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, Arabic, and Mirpuri. With multilingual capabilities, the firm advises and assists clients from all over the world. When clients choose to work with Kurl Legal Services, the process always begins with a detailed meeting in which the team take the time to gain an in-depth understanding of the client’s needs. Together, they analyse the issue and discuss their options, along with the potential consequences of each option. From this, the team proposes various application methods. Once the client approves of a method, the team will focus their effort, energy, and resources on developing a fool-proof, evidence-based, and comprehensive application tailored to the requirements of the client. Documentation is the most important part of an immigration application, so Kurl Legal Services always creates a customised list of documents for the client to prepare for their application. Even a single missing document can result in significant delays, so this is truly a crucial part of the process. Once the application is ready, Kurl Legal Services will complete the client’s application and send it to the Home Office. After this, the team will remain in regular contact with the client, providing updates on the progress of their application. As soon as a response from the Home Office is received, the firm gets in touch with the client to inform them of the news. For those who have successfully relocated to the UK but need further support, Kurl Legal Services also offers consultation services in which it provides advice to foreign residence struggling with issues such as CV writing, interview techniques, housing support, opening a local bank account, and more. The company is dedicated to helping these individuals with their transition into UK residency and strives to ensure that they do not feel alone. Operating in the legal services industry, where companies are known to have high prices and often fail to honour initial quotes, Kurl Legal Services is proud to offer extremely competitive rates, working on a fixed fee basis without any hidden costs. Clients can trust the firm to provide tailored solutions that perfectly match their needs. It is dedicated to delivering the best possible service by taking care of each and every client in a friendly and professional manner, maintaining the highest quality of work. To do this, Kurl Legal Services operates based on four core values. Firstly, its staff are expected to treat all people with courtesy, dignity, and respect. Secondly, it instils honesty and fairness into all its actions, which is important for ensuring the strength of its working relationships. Thirdly, the team take pride in everything they do to guarantee consistent quality. Lastly, the firm believes in the importance of attention to detail, so it encourages staff to strive for perfection in even the smallest of tasks. By providing the best services that deliver quality in areas where its competitors are lacking, Kurl Legal Services has built a loyal client base where customers are more than willing to recommend the firm to others through word of mouth. With an outstanding reputation, the company has garnered an impressive portfolio of five-star reviews on Yell, with clients praising the supportive, kind, and helpful nature of the services its lawyers provide. Customers are also frequently impressed with the firm’s efficiency and professionalism, stating in reviews that their applications were submitted quickly. Many are also pleased with the price, referring to the services as “affordable”. As a result of its incredible work, Kurl Legal Services has been awarded Best UK Visa Specialists, East Midlands, in the UK Legal Awards 2023. Moving on from this success, the company will no doubt continue to help people from across the globe who wish to apply for immigration status in the UK, changing their lives for the better by enabling them to access new opportunities. Contact: Jyoti Kurl Company: Kurl Legal Services Web Address: kurllegalservices.com
UK Legal Awards 2023 | 7 Best UK Visa Specialists 2023 - East Midlands
8 | UK Legal Awards 2023 Feb23494 Best Mental Health Legal Services Provider 2023 - South East England 15 years ago, Director Zofia Ludwig founded Expert in Mind in her spare room at home. She strongly believed in the importance of mental health and strived to provide individuals with the right diagnoses to allow them to seek appropriate treatment. Now, Expert in Mind is a thriving business with 17 employees, slowly but steadily growing while maintaining the personal touch and ‘family feel’ of the office. A medico-legal report refers to the written evidence provided by a medical expert witness for use in legal proceedings. Expert in Mind connects legal representatives with highly experienced mental health professionals, referred to as Experts, many of whom have been completing medico-legal reports for 20 to 30 years. Through this, legal representatives can arrange the necessary psychological assessments for their clients. All of Expert in Mind’s Experts are highly specialised, dedicated, and respected in their fields. For this reason, the company is confident in their ability to provide high quality, comprehensive reports, and can recommend them to clients without hesitation. The company works hard to build strong relationships with its Experts by getting to know their expertise, how they work, and who they are as people. Expert in Mind is therefore well-equipped to recommend the appropriate Experts to its legal representative clients. It is also capable of accurately advising on their general timescales, expertise, and fees. When urgent cases come up, its Experts are often happy to help by arranging an appointment as soon as possible. Expert in Mind is also equipped with a highly knowledgeable administration team, who respond efficiently to all enquiries and utilise their broad scope of knowledge to match Experts with cases that suit their expertise and experience. They provide the enquiring legal representatives with the CVs of the most suitable Experts for their case, along with estimates of fees and timescales. Often, these cases are time sensitive. For this reason, Expert in Mind is dedicated to providing the most efficient services possible, delivering the quickest enquiry response times in the industry. Typically, the administrative team will respond within an hour. By dealing with cases quickly, Expert in Mind saves time in the busy diaries of both its medical Experts and its legal representative clients. To facilitate a seamless, efficient, and stress-free process for all parties, every Expert is assigned a personal case manager at Expert in Mind, who assists with the management of their diary and medico-legal caseload. Case managers are well-acquainted with their Experts and know their caseload inside out, so they are capable of dealing with all the associated administration. Case managers can answer any questions that arise in the lead up to the appointment, saving time for all parties. This way, clients are guaranteed to deal with one person for the complete duration of their case, avoiding confusion. In addition, it enables Experts to focus solely on delivering reports, as all administrative tasks are taken care of. Expert in Mind is extremely proud of the high standards it works to, delivering both efficient and personal services. It puts the utmost effort into matching clients with the best Expert for their case. This is what makes the company so unique and sets it apart from its competitors. The firm is able to deliver such incredible services thanks to its hardworking and dedicated team, who are extremely passionate about building relationships and providing the best services to every client. They all work with four key values in mind: professionalism, commitment, positivity, and respect. Expert in Mind hires new staff based on these values, ensuring that everyone has a clear picture of the expected behaviour and attitudes to be displayed in the office. For the 15th anniversary of the business, Expert in Mind hosted an evening with its Experts and VIP clients. As a result of this event, the Striving to provide extremely efficient services, Expert in Mind Ltd. is an award-winning company with a panel of reputable expert psychologists and psychiatrists who are highly experienced in their fields. The firm matches legal representatives with the most appropriate Expert, who can assess their client to provide a medico-legal report for proceedings such as clinical negligence, personal injury, immigration law, family proceedings, and criminal law.
UK Legal Awards 2023 | 9 company received great feedback, with many commenting on the passion of its team and the great internal culture it has established. Afterwards, some of its Experts also said they would like the company to manage more of their work. At Expert in Mind, internal culture is a priority. Since she founded the company, Zofia Ludwig has been dedicated to ensuring all staff are appreciated and feel important in the workplace. She is proud to have established a positive and dynamic office culture by creating an atmosphere of joy, respect, and appreciation. This is truly fundamental, especially since people spend most of their lives at work. Furthermore, when people feel appreciated, they are more likely to put hard work, passion, loyalty, and commitment back into the company. As well as this, the offices at Expert in Mind are colourful and bright, with two office dogs who boost employees’ spirits. The company arranges many fun events for staff, including weekly wellness activities, parties, bake offs, and exercise sessions with a personal trainer. Some staff also completed couch to 10k together and now regularly enter races. By organising these fun activities, Expert in Mind has fostered a very close internal team. “It’s amazing to be surrounded by such loyalty. We work hard to ensure positivity in the office, appreciating that everyone is an individual with different needs, getting the job done and maintaining high standards across the board,” Zofia Ludwig comments. “Nobody is just a number to us. Nothing is automated. The passion, positivity and commitment of the team translates into everything we do, making us a joy to work with!” As a result of its incredibly efficient and personal services and its ability to meet clients’ needs, Expert in Mind Ltd. has been awarded Best Mental Health Legal Services Provider, South East England, in the UK Legal Awards 2023. Moving on from this success, the company is looking forward to some exciting developments in the coming year. Expert in Mind is currently working on a virtual ADHD assessment clinic, which is expected to be launched soon. There is a huge backlog of people who desperately need to be assessed for ADHD. Specialist Experts believe that, by opening a virtual clinic, the company can help more people get assessed. This may also help reduce NHS waiting lists for such assessments, which are currently extremely long. Contact: Zofia Ludwig Company: Expert in Mind Ltd. Web Address: https://expertinmind.co.uk/
10 | UK Legal Awards 2023 Mar23150 Online Legal Services Provider of the Year 2023 Live online legal advice tailored to you and provided at a competitive price seems just a little too good to be true, but this is exactly what Quegal Ltd (Quegal) is looking to offer following its crowdfunding endeavour, which launches in just over three months’ time. With the UK legal services market now valued at more than £30 billion, a total which is set to increase by more than 8% per year, a recent IRN consumer survey was released which uncovered that ‘40% of respondents would be attracted by the convenience and low cost of online legal services.’ There’s a growing online consumer demand for legal services. Figures show that 86% of the UK adult population regularly uses the internet. Within this figure, 22 million people have an average of 3.5 legal needs over a three-year period – commonly over consumer goods or services. Quegal believes there is a compelling consumer need for more affordable, pay-as-you-go legal support and advice. Recent test marketing in the UK generated more than 125,000 website visits per day, which exceeds those of top international law firms and equals Facebook on first VC funding. The company also has a projected EBITDA of £2.2m in three years’ time, whereupon it will channel profits into a gradual European rollout. So who are Quegal? Quegal comprises a small team of passionate, tech-savvy British social entrepreneurs, looking to democratise access to legal help and advice for both people and businesses in the wake of the legal aid cuts and resulting advice deserts. Founded by Robert Quaranta, an accomplished internet pioneer and credited by Richard Susskind with creating the first legal services comparison website, Quegal has been fortunate enough to attract Molten Ventures as a project adviser. Together, the partnership can provide unrivalled expertise in online consumerism, web and app development and the practice of law, and is now in a position to bring fast, affordable pay-as-you-go legal services to the world. Changes to UK legal services legislation means that companies can now provide advice without the constraints suffered by traditional law firms, including the ability to accept third-party development funding. In a nutshell, this means that, for the first time, the legal industry is a level playing field – ripe for client-focused innovation. Quegal’s fully qualified staff will be providing on-demand advice in the eight key areas of UK law, these being employment law, property law, family law (including wills), contract law, motoring law, criminal law, personal injury law and business law, with more fields due to be added in the future. This advice will be instantly accessible via high grade end-to-end encrypted internet portals and free mobile/tablet apps, including Apple and Android platforms – with video conferencing option. The advice will be offered on a pay-as-you-go basis at £0.60ppm and, unlike any other service, with no tie-in or minimum spend, you can choose exactly how much advice you actually need. There will be instant, dual authentication, social media sign up and cardless payment, and free legal guides in each practice area, together with regular pro-bono online advice clinics. What’s more, the support and advice from Quegal will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As the future unfolds and this kind of legal advice becomes more commonplace, Quegal plans to develop and patent its own unique cutting-edge software (with no shared cloud, website flash, tracking cookies, adverts or robot helpers in sight), and expects a build time of approximately seven months. Having already undertaken significant research and development into machine learning using Big Data, the Quegal team has designed the templates for the website, as well as holding the Quegal trademark in the UK, together with the relevant company domain names. There are intentions to create a social media viral video campaign to advertise the firm’s varied range of services and, with the public’s help, Quegal aims to raise a minimum of £1.5 million in this round (with no upper ceiling) and expects to offer a 39% return on investments within 18 months. Simply put, the more that the company can crowdfund the sooner it will be able to extend its offering and services. So what makes Quegal different? The company challenges the lack of diversification by established online retailers, and the persistent unwillingness by the profession to regulate quality, reduce costs, simplify advice and offer greater accessibility. Having been referred to as the ‘Uber for law’ Quegal is, of course, so much more than that. All staff hold equity in the business and are fully invested in providing future clients with the best possible service. With an ethos and structure that supports flexible home working (and a bring your own device policy), together with the advent of paralegal accreditation, Quegal sees itself as a leader in workplace development and satisfaction. With the cost of living going through the roof, more and more companies are trying to find innovative ways to continue providing their services to consumers without the high mark-up. One such firm is startup Quegal Ltd, which is crowdfunding a full website and app service that will enable users to source instant, affordable, and easy to understand answers to everyday legal questions in multiple languages – including key areas of law and jurisdictions. We profile the firm and its pioneering approach as it is named in the UK Legal Awards 2023.
UK Legal Awards 2023 | 11 The firm also believes in giving back and therefore pledges to donate 1% of its profits to the Quaranta Foundation, a non-profit charitable organisation which focuses on supporting children and protecting the environment. Why should you invest? Well, quite simply, Quegal is committed to putting an end to expensive advertising, offices and partner salaries, useless overseas support centres, hidden extra charges, elaborate terms and conditions and marketing spam. Nor will it ever sell any of your personal information to a third party. Furthermore, you’ll never have to overpay for (or under receive from) unnecessary annual policies and fixed fee packages ever again. Instead it will offer free support and a fast response from its trained teams; services that are a fraction of the cost of telephone helplines, legal insurance schemes, bogus free/virtual firms or any foreign app or thirdparty referral outfit; quality control across the board, with full indemnity cover; accessibility options built into its website and apps; ease of use and a full money-back guarantee; it will put you firmly in control. Makes for compelling reading, doesn’t it? It may also be handy to know that Quegal has recently gained recognition in the UK Legal Awards, being named Online Legal Services Provider of the Year 2023 for its innovative approach, dedication, and commitment to providing a more cost-effective way forward. It seems the future is bright… the future is Quegal! Contact Details Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Company: Quegal Ltd Web Address: www.quegal.com
12 | UK Legal Awards 2023 Feb23515 Best Criminal Law Firm 2023 - Greater Manchester & Best Serious Crime Specialist 2023 (Manchester): Naila Akhter Platts Solicitors Ltd was established in 2017 by Naila Akhter. It is a specialist law firm based in Manchester, UK covering the whole of the country as well as overseas, specialising in criminal, prison, proceed of crime, appeals, cross border investigations, organised crime, immigration, regulatory, and family law. Naila is a proactive criminal defence solicitor-advocate who is extremely ambitious and fearless. She is known as a straight talking, no nonsense lawyer who works hard to win all her cases. She qualified as a solicitor at Platt Halpern and was made a partner within five years of qualification. Naila is a strong believer in justice, human rights, and fairness. She has a huge history in criminal law spanning over 20 years, during which time she has represented some of the most highprofile and difficult criminal cases in the country. Naila is proud to have been recognised for her hard work and dedication as Best Serious Crime Specialist in Manchester. Platts Solicitors has an excellent reputation for quality of service, priding itself on being able to provide outstanding advice and the highest legal representation from the start of the case to the very end. The focus is to ensure that its clients’ rights are protected. The firm is able to offer complete flexibility, knowing that if legal issues arise unexpectedly, urgent assistance is essential. Readily available to clients and operating a highly accommodating appointment system, the firm’s 24-hour service is available on 07977 402020 when emergency criminal, family, and immigration matters arise. Also the firm’s police station team can offer immediate assistance to those under arrest, 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. They recognise that the police station stage of an investigation is often the most crucial and that the advice given there could have an enormous impact on the course of the case. They believe all suspects have one thing in common: innocent until proven guilty, and this experienced team of solicitors and fully accredited representatives will do everything within the rules to ensure that the client’s best interests are served to avoid criminal charges altogether. Platts Solicitors comprises a team of dedicated and experienced professionals who are specialists in their fields, are pragmatic, and have a broader outlook than most lawyers to the problems faced by clients. It has a highly experienced team that has been fighting for justice for their clients for over 30 years, by providing comprehensive legal advice to protect their interest, which is paramount to them. The firm’s award-winning criminal department has one of the best reputations in the northwest, and clients come to them from all over the country and overseas. When an individual’s reputation is at stake or a prison sentence is a possibility, representation from specialist solicitors is crucial. The solicitors are passionate about their work and are experts at defending individuals and companies accused of complex criminal offences, from homicide, multimillion pound fraud, and terrorism, to a full array of criminal offences of a less serious nature. They cover every aspect of the criminal justice system, from police station work right up to the supreme court. They realise that every case is vitally important and anyone facing criminal allegations may feel anxious and overwhelmed, and with over 30 years’ experience, the aim is to achieve the best possible result every time. The firm’s crown court department deals with some of the most serious and high-profile criminal cases in the country and has an enviable reputation for its robust defence of clients’ rights in what can be a highly stressful arena whilst maintaining a sensitive and caring relationship with them. Over the last three decades, they have amassed a wealth of experience in finding holes in prosecution cases. The entire team recognise the importance of treating their clients with the utmost respect and empathy. They have successfully defended individuals accused of serious and organised crime, murder, terrorism, multimillion pound fraud, sexual offences, possession of firearms with intent to supply, conspiracy to supply class A and B drugs, human trafficking, assault, robbery, computer crime, perverting the cause of justice, burglary, and public order act offences (violent disorder and affray). Overall, Platts Solicitors is continuing on its journey of success and triumph after winning Best Criminal Law Firm 2023 – Greater Manchester and Naila being individually being recognised as Best Serious Crime Specialist 2023 – Manchester. It continues to be a globally recognised and accomplished law firm that maintains its hard work to provide a high standard of service to all clients. Contact Details Company: Platts Solicitors Ltd Contact: Naila Akhter Email: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.plattssolicitors.co.uk Platts Solicitors Ltd
13 | UK Legal Awards 2023 Mar23126 Best Business & Human Rights Law Firm 2023 - Greater London In a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) world, the legal sector needs to continue to develop as well as to evolve to meet the velocity with which the world is changing and with globalisation and the advent of AI. RS Collaboration recognised the need for an advisory service that is nimble and collaborative, effective with technology to meet the client’s needs and at the intersect of international law, sustainable development, justice and politics. As the name suggests, RS Collaboration deploys a purely collaborative approach towards its clients’ needs. It believes that, in the modern day, client problems are more unique and nuanced than ever, and that this requires a flexible mindset. Each client deserves a personalised approach to truly adhere to their needs, and RS Collaboration’s understanding of this allows it to adapt to what is required to meet the client’s requirements with an approach that is proactive, progressive and away from traditional and prescriptive approaches. RS Collaboration creates teams as well as partnering with and / or being part of international teams centered around exactly what the client wishes for. In this way, a bespoke approach to each individual can be created. It recognises the importance of context and the need for an iterative and innovative approach – this ideology plays a crucial role in RS Collaboration’s practice, every day. RS Collaboration has therefore been able to provide a service that is invaluable to its clients. It can convey solutions that are pragmatic and effective where ‘integrity is key.’ Strong relationships are crucial, and much of Ruby’s work comes based on referrals. Though it’s based in the UK, RS Collaboration’s work is predominantly international and in the field of facilitative engagement, advocacy and mediation. This has led to RS Solutions’ reputation as a trusted advisor that always has the most constructive outcome and solution at the forefront of its intentions. At its core, RS Collaboration is a firm that concerns itself with providing sustainable solutions in the field of international law, development and business, and human rights. Contact Details Contact: Ruby@rscollaboration.com Company: RS Collaboration Web Address: https://www.rscollaboration.com
14 | UK Legal Awards 2023 Mar23064 Best Leveraged Loans & Restructuring Legal Intelligence Provider 2023 Through innovative analytics and technology, Reorg strives to empower professionals at leading investment banks, law firms, hedge funds, and corporations to discover and synthesize important information. It provides a granular and holistic view of credit information that can be difficult to find. Reorg’s lawyers, financial analysts, and reporters work together to create articles and analytical resources for its subscribers, who rely on the company for intel and data in order to efficiently make calculated investment and business decisions. Focusing on large scale and middle market financial restructurings, Reorg’s primary focus is leveraged finance, but it has roots in distressed debt. Its European legal team delivers industryleading analysis within the corporate financial restructuring sector as well as the leveraged loans and capital markets bonds sector. Reorg’s analysis encompasses information that spans the entire credit cycle. Its covenant lawyers focus on the issuance of debt while its restructuring lawyers focus on refinancing and restructuring. The restructuring lawyers provide analysis of stressed or distressed debtors, exploring their options to refinance or restructure consensually or through the court. The team also covers in-court disputes and other litigation, while supplying the market with monthly trend updates, industry-best restructuring databases, and several legal document databases. Reorg’s loans and capital markets legal team delivers detailed legal analysis of bond and loan documents, often consisting of hundreds of pages. The team’s highly experienced and trained legal professionals issue reports that critically analyse the protections available to lenders and bondholders, ranking them against market leading databases and libraries. This provides investors with the information they need to negotiate and invest their money effectively. As a leading player in the US and European Legal Tech landscape, Reorg brings innovative data solutions to the market using its unique editorial structure, which involves legal and financial analysts working with investigative reporters. Since 2013, it has been publishing analysis and historical data which goes back more than 15 years. The company’s product team has developed a range of data sets that subscribers can use to access hard-to-find information from court filings, financial reports, transcripts, and more. As a result of this expansive data set, Reorg’s lawyers can provide technical analysis to subscribers quickly. Through their subscription to Reorg, law firms can access quality analysis provided by a strong team of lawyers who are highly experienced in capital markets and restructuring. Internally, Reorg operates based on four values which enable it to deliver the highest standard of service. Firstly, its staff are expected to utilise an action-oriented approach to their work, taking initiative and executing tasks accordingly. The company believes in proactive improvement, so it strives to make thoughtful decisions to keep the ball moving forwards. It encourages staff to learn from their mistakes to improve their work in the future. Secondly, with customers at the heart of the business, Reorg’s employees should demonstrate a customer first mindset. They should work to solve customers’ problems and anticipate any challenges they may face. The company is committed to delivering on its promises and continuously improving the customer experience every day. Thirdly, all staff are encouraged to be effective team players, meaning they should treat each other with respect and integrity. They should offer colleagues candid and thoughtful feedback with the aim of supporting them in the process of improvement. Together, they are encouraged to work to achieve Reorg’s goals while striving to accomplish their own individual ambitions. Lastly, Reorg’s staff are driven to excel, striving for excellence in everything they do. They celebrate their achievements but are relentlessly dissatisfied with the status quo. There is always room for improvement, so they should continuously seek to make appropriate changes to benefit the company and all its stakeholders. As a result of its innovative solutions that drive efficiency for customers while democratising access to data, Reorg has won Best Leveraged Loans and Restructuring Legal Intelligence Provider in the UK Legal Awards 2023. Moving on from this success, the company continues to help its subscribers stay up to date in the market while gaining a deeper understanding of complex situations with its expert intel and in-depth analysis. Contact: Alice Thomas Company: Reorg Web Address: www.reorg.com With headquarters in New York, Reorg is a global provider of credit intelligence, data, and analytics. Since it was founded in 2013, the company has altered the way in which financial and legal professionals access complex and difficult to understand credit information. Its analytics, derived from a variety of public and private data sources, make digital data easily and efficiently accessible to the average end user.
15 | UK Legal Awards 2023 Feb23511 Best Independent Will Writing Business 2023 Devon based Avalon Legal is a fully insured and regulated professional legal firm offering estate planning including Wills and Powers of Attorney. It prides itself on being a visionary leader in the profession and tailoring its services to suit the varied needs of its clientele. Its award winning will writing services are informative and much endorsed. Avalon Legal is headed up by legal expert Colin Wells, a family man with over 20 years of legal experience. Avalon Legal is aware that clients work and lead busy lives. With this in mind, it offers appointments tailored around its clients’ work and family commitments. It offers appointments that are both flexible and often available out of hours, to suit individual clients’ needs. Avalon Legal is a unique legal practice specialising in wills, lasting powers of attorney, probate, estate planning and funeral planning. It is a company willing and able to go the extra mile for its valued clients. When it comes to will writing, Avalon Legal is committed to assisting its clients. It knows the importance of this document cannot be overstated. Will writing allows a person to have control over what happens to their property, money and belongings after they die. And yet, according to recent research 59% of UK adults haven’t made a will. That figure goes up to 65% among 45–54-year-olds. But just what should you put in a will, and how does the process work? There are plenty of things to consider when making a will. For one, it helps to control your estate, which is the main concern for most people when it comes to writing a will. They want to make sure their money and possessions are distributed in the way they prefer. Another thing it can help with is to reduce the stress for your next of kin. Following the death of a loved one, the amount of bureaucracy and arrangements that have to be made can be overwhelming. If a person dies without making a will, they are said to have died intestate. This means their estate will be divided according to official set rules, rather than in the way they may have intended. This is why it’s important to make a will and keep it updated. It will mean you can make provision for your children in the way you see fit. A will is where you can make your funeral requests clear, setting out the kind of funeral you’d like, whether you’d prefer to be buried or cremated, and your choice of music. Making a clear will can also help reduce your inheritance tax. As anything in your estate above £325,000 (2022/2023 tax year) is liable for inheritance tax, planning can help reduce the amount of tax your estate is liable for. Other things a will might specify are making charitable donations, protecting your digital assets (such as photographs or other password protected documents), and who should look after your pets. If you die without making a will, what you leave becomes subject to intestacy laws. If there are no surviving relatives who can inherit under the rules of intestacy, the estate passes to the crown. The intestacy laws are designed to help decide who’s entitled to your estate under the rules of inheritance. A big disadvantage here is your estate may not pass to the people you want to benefit. For example, if you were married or had a civil partner, there’s no guarantee your children or grandchildren would receive anything. Getting professional support when it comes to writing a will is imperative, which is where Avalon Legal comes in. It will help you to protect your family’s future by safely transferring your money, assets and possessions from one generation to the next. It is never an easy conversation to have, but it’s very important to talk to those close to you about your wishes after your death. This can help prevent any arguments or misunderstandings after the event. It is also an opportunity to find out what treasured possessions they value and might like to receive. Avalon Legal will help guide you when it comes to how to go about making a will. It will walk you through the steps one must take in deciding how to distribute your estate. It will begin with getting your estate valued. This means you need to calculate your total assets such as property, savings and investments, as well as any debts such as outstanding mortgage payments, credit card loans and bank overdrafts. Aside from its extensive will facilitation services, Avalon Legal can also help with Lasting Power of Attorney. Other aspects of legal affairs Avalon can assist with include dealing with probate, contested probate, funeral wishes, how divorce affects a will, and writing a letter of wishes. Its extensive knowledge and experience means clients are in safe hands when it comes to their will requirements, whatever they may be. The company is backed up by dozens of positive customer testimonials, and now they are also the recipients of a UK Legal Award as Best Independent Will Writing Business 2023. Well done to this trusted and awardwinning company for its professional and highly recommended first-class legal services. Contact Details Company: Avalon Legal Contact: Colin Wells Web Address: www.avalonlegal.org
Feb23510 Best Employment Law Firm 2023 – Kent Maidstone, Kent based Apex Employment Solicitors is a firm of employment law experts who work for both individuals and businesses throughout the UK. It offers high quality and intelligent employment and HR advice across a range of employment-related issues. Its high-quality team have combined industry experiences spanning over twenty-five years, and work to continuously stay ahead of the curve in the field of law. Apex Employment Solicitors Ltd is a niche employment law practice founded by Joanna Gooden, who qualified in 2012 and has extensive experience in employment law claims and disputes. Joanna trained at Herbert Smith LLP, and is known for her pragmatic advice combined with a friendly approach. She is partner at the firm where she advises on a full range of contentious and non-contentious matters. Joanna has explained to us how Apex first came about as something of a ground-breaking new law firm. “Apex Employment Law Solicitors was born from the notion of wanting to break the stereotypical mould for the working practices of solicitors and ensuring that experienced legal talent could be retained in an environment where a genuine work-life balance is achievable and supported.” It is a flexible and progressive business, continually aiming to provide its clients with the very best service. Its Employment Solicitors act for a broad range of businesses including entrepreneurial startups, well established companies and professional service firms, as well as individual employees. It can help employers to protect their business interests, effectively manage their workforce, and assist employees to both understand their legal rights and maximise their financial entitlements. Employment is a complex and continually evolving area of law, but its specialists always stay up to date with the latest developments. It offers the full breadth of employment law services including breach of contract, discrimination, unfair dismissal, redundancy, TUPE, employment tribunals, negotiated exits, and drafting employment documentation and settlement agreements. It wholeheartedly believes excellent service is the fundamental key to its success, and works hard to get its clients where they want to be in an innovative and cost-effective manner. Nothing gives Apex greater satisfaction than achieving the results their client was looking for. Such successes are celebrated internally by a team that feel able to practice what they love in a supportive and positive environment. Apex has a flexible working culture with an achievable work life balance, and a team of experienced solicitors who are extremely valued. This means it can fully invest in any client matters it is working on. Its renowned professional but friendly approach means teams are personally accessible to clients, and able to break complex legal jargon down successfully. Following the Covid-19 pandemic, and now the current cost of living crisis, Apex is witnessing a substantial amount of redundancies, sometimes with legal guidelines being unlawfully flouted. It is therefore keen to ensure the ability to pay legal fees is not a barrier for clients when they need representation the most. It has developed a variety of fee-paying structures to assist with this such as fixed fees and no win no fee arrangements, to cover all circumstances. For employers, Apex appreciates the need to incorporate legal advice into budgets, so its retainer arrangements can be a particularly useful resource. Clients often comment that they have been reluctant to engage solicitors because they have preconceived ideas of what the process involves. It is rewarding when they remark afterwards that it has been an enjoyable experience working with Apex, and their matters have been dealt with in an accessible, down to earth way. The need for individuals to receive independent legal advice is most important, and gives Apex a sense of pride and achievement in their work. The majority of Apex’s work comes from previous client referrals. Being recommended to colleagues, friends and family is very gratifying for Apex. It has worked hard to develop its reputation as the leading expert in its field, with customer services to match. Maintaining this position is very important to the company. In the light of which, its recent announcement as the Best Employment Law Firm 2023 – Kent, couldn’t have come at a better time. It is a further step towards Apex continuing its growth and upward trajectory, as well as a fitting honour for the excellent work the company has already achieved. Company: Apex Employment Solicitors Ltd Contact: Joanna Gooden Web Address: www.apexemploymentsolicitors.co.ukwww.sme-news.co.uk