Two of the most influential figures in the personal injury legal sector were rewarded for their work after being presented with the Lifetime Achievement award at the Eclipse Proclaim Personal Injury Awards on Tuesday 26 November at The Riverbank Park Plaza Hotel in central London.
Michael Napier and Rodger Pannone, founders of the first specialist multi-party action firm in the UK, picked up the award at the end of a glittering black tie ceremony during which 16 other award winners were crowned for their accomplishments.
The two pioneers, who are also former Presidents of the Law Society, made the national headlines after setting up Pannone Napier which worked to deliver justice for victims of the Marchioness, King's Cross and Lockerbie disasters.
Craig Budsworth, chairman of the Motor Accident Solicitors Society (MASS) and the chair of the judging panel for the awards described Napier and Pannone as "gods of the industry" who had "blazed a trail for us mere mortals".
"To even be associated with an industry that looks like it does now, because of what our two winners have done, is an honour," he said.
Nigel Tomkins, a former associate professor of Civil Litigation with the College of Law and an independent training and legal consultant, was chosen by the judges as the winner of the outstanding achievement award for the training he has provided on the changes to the law made by the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Act.
Tomkins is a prolific author on personal injury matters, a former working party member on Lord Woolf's civil justice review and also the digest editor of the Journal of Personal Injury Law.
Award winning comedian and TV star Russell Kane hosted the event which was attended by 420 PI professionals, made up of solicitors, barristers, doctors, insurers, rehabilitation providers, claims management companies and other service providers, who gathered to celebrate the excellence of individuals and organisations across the whole of the personal injury claims sector.
The full list of the 2013 Eclipse Proclaim Personal Injury Awards winners is as follows:
Lifetime Achievement Award – Rodger Panonne and Michael Napier
Outstanding Achievement – Nigel Tomkins
Outstanding Case of the Year – Berrymans Lace Mawer LLP
PI Lawyer of the Year (Claimant) – Warren Collins – Simpson Millar
PI Lawyer of the Year (Defendant) – David Pugh – Keoghs
PI Team of the Year (Claimant) – The Child Abuse Team at Switalskis
PI Team of the Year (Defendant) – Keoghs
Barrister of the Year – Hugh Preston QC – 7 Bedford Row
Barristers' Chambers of the Year – Parklane Plowden
Mediation Achiever of the Year – Quentin Smith
Rehab Provider of the Year – Medicess
Young Achiever of the Year – Helen Tinsley – Keoghs
Claims Management Company of the Year – First4lawyers
Medical Agency of the Year – Doctors Chambers
Insurance Provider of the Year – ARAG
Practice/Operations Manager of the Year – Gladys Swaim-Rutter – Roberts Jackson
Associated Industries – Trevor Gilbert & Associates
Eclipse Legal Systems once again headlined the event, which was also supported by ARAG, Atrium Legal, Capita Medical Reporting, Carpenters Solicitors, Civil & Commercial Cost Lawyers, DAS Law Assist, Financial & Legal, First4Lawyers, Frenkels Forensics, Google, HARTECuk, ISO, i-sign, IQED, Medical Records UK, mmadigital, Moneypenny, Ontime Group, Keystone Legal, Laird Assessors, Premex, Real Time Claims, Roberts Jackson Solicitors, Silva Legal Services, Speed Medical, Thorneycroft Solicitors, TLA Medicolegal and TRUE Personal Injury Solicitors.
As well as honouring hard work and talent in the PI profession, the awards also raised over £1,400 for Candlelighters, the children’s cancer charity based at St James Hospital in Leeds.
To find out more visit www.personalinjuryawards.co.uk.