PEOPLE IN LAW AWARDS WINNERS
EXCELLENCE IN LEARNING & DEVELOPMENT
Winner: Mishcon de Reya
The Mishcon Academy initiative has a real Wow factor. Mishcon de Reya have created an initiative with universal appeal and access, yet which is also very personal. A really vibrant and ambitious programme, well executed and directly on brand for the firm.
BEST APPRENTICESHIP INITIATIVE
The judges were impressed by this bold and far-reaching initiative by Ashurst, which was placed front and centre of their firm-wide talent and D&I strategy, and their business as a whole, partnering directly with marquee clients through very structured secondment programmes.
BEST HEALTH & WELLBEING INITIATIVE (FOR FIRMS OF UP TO 750 EMPLOYEES INCLUDING PARTNERS)
Winner: Kingsley Napley
The judges were impressed by the comprehensive nature of Kingsley Napley’s approach to wellbeing, with joined up practical and impactful initiatives, and clear evidence of managers taking a very active and effective ongoing interest in the wellbeing of their staff.
BEST HEALTH & WELLBEING INITIATIVE (FOR FIRMS OF OVER 750 EMPLOYEES INCLUDING PARTNERS)
Winner: Mills & Reeve
The judges were impressed by Mills & Reeve’s holistic approach to wellbeing, focusing on the full range of physical, emotional, social and spiritual wellbeing needs of their staff.
BEST CSR INITIATIVE
Judges were impressed by Macfarlanes’ focus on pro bono advice for asylum seekers bringing fresh claims for asylum, which involved collaboration with community providers, research academics and a leading competitor. They were particularly impressed by the dedication and commitment of the firm and its volunteer lawyers to the project, including with specialist training in Refugee Law for the volunteers and a clear alignment with the firm’s strategic focus on increasing access to justice.
BEST SOCIAL MOBILITY INITIATIVE
Judges were impressed by Ashurst’s joined up, multi-strand approach to driving social mobility in recruitment, with notable elements including school leaver legal apprenticeships, reverse mentoring, use of gamification in the recruitment process, and the decision to drop A level results as a recruitment criterion, which together resulted in a significant shift to diverse and state school backgrounds both in applications received and in graduate intake.
EXCELLENCE IN EQUALITY & INCLUSION
Winner: Gowling WLG
The judges were impressed by Gowling WLG’s very structured, broad engagement – which gave all of their people a voice. They understood the importance of meaningful interaction, with action plans driven out of that interaction, to create significant change across the firm.
Highly Commended: Trowers & Hamlins
The judges were profoundly moved by the Trowers & Hamlins #7T&HBlackMen video project; it was an innovative and brave way to start a conversation on racial diversity and inclusion.
BEST HR INNOVATION THROUGH TECHNOLOGY
Judges were impressed that Macfarlanes went out of their way to develop their own platform to provide a highly personalised experience with a feel for the culture of the firm, and with measurable results in terms of a significantly high proportion of subsequent trainee place acceptances and truly outstanding feedback from the virtual platform users.
BEST TRAINEE RECRUITMENT CAMPAIGN
This was a very ambitious initiative by Dentons, with strongly aligned branding and messaging, and clear follow through, which demonstrated return on investment via strong metrics and use of data.
Highly Commended: Gowling WLG
The judges were impressed by the authenticity and personalisation of the approach adopted by Gowling WLG on an obviously tight budget.
MOST INNOVATIVE HR INITIATIVE
Winner: DAC Beachcroft
The judges were impressed by this initiative which tackles a very important challenge and opportunity for law firms, by removing the impact on lawyers of taking a career break and giving returners to the profession hope and confidence to resume their legal careers.
BEST ORGANISATIONAL RESPONSE TO COVID-19
Judges’ commentary on all shortlisted nominations: All nominations reflected a huge amount of work by the candidates during the Covid-19 pandemic. The judges were so impressed by all the shortlisted firms’ responses that it was very hard to separate them all out; they are all commended.
Winner: Kingsley Napley
The judges were impressed by Kingsley Napley’s practical and pragmatic approach: they had clearly thought about what would make a difference to their people on an everyday basis during a difficult period, making them feel more connected to the firm than ever before. Particularly notable was the daily communication to all staff by the Managing Partner.
Highly Commended: Ropes & Gray
Commended for their broad spectrum of initiatives that touched the lives of their people in small but regular, human and meaningful ways.
BEST INDIVIDUAL CONTRIBUTION
Winner: Elisa Lewis, Mills Selig, and Sue Brooks, Trowers & Hamlins
The judges found it impossible to separate the candidates, each making an inspirational contribution at different stages of their own career, clearly both going significantly over and above to affect their colleagues’ wellbeing and livelihoods, with clear dedication and commitment by both winners to their firms during a very difficult period.
Winner: Sophia Cox, Gowling WLG
Judges were impressed by the fact that Sophia Cox, through sheer determination, persistence, innovation and a consistently personal touch, has had a direct impact disproportionate to her level of experience and seniority, on engagement and diversity in the Early Talent arena. Sophia embodies the spirit of the Rising star category and is a great advertisement for the power of apprenticeship.
SENIOR HR ALLY
Winner: Fiona McBride, Withers & Rogers
A true advocate for structured and immersive HR and for the importance of diversity and inclusion at the most senior levels of the firm and throughout the firm's strategy. There was clear evidence of Fiona's breadth of engagement in driving the people agenda in Withers & Rogers and in consistently reinforcing the importance of the role of HR in the business.
HR TEAM OF THE YEAR (FOR FIRMS OF UP TO 750 EMPLOYEES INCLUDING PARTNERS)
Winner: Penningtons Manches Cooper
The judges were impressed by the very ambitious breadth of projects that Penningtons Manches Cooper took on in such a difficult year and relative to the size of their HR team, with clear, tangible and measurable impact in key strategic areas of the firm.
HR TEAM OF THE YEAR (FOR FIRMS OF OVER 750 EMPLOYEES INCLUDING PARTNERS)
Winner: Trowers & Hamlins
The judges were impressed by the extent to which Trowers & Hamlins consistently stayed true to their People First agenda, with a particularly creative and empathetic approach to keeping their staff employed, engaged and productive throughout an incredibly challenging and uncertain year.
Winner: Ashurst, Best Social Mobility Initiative