Frank Burton QC from 12 King’s Bench Walk, and Winn Solicitors were singled out for special praise last night at the Eclipse Proclaim Personal Injury Awards.
The awards, now in their ninth year, took place at the Grange St. Paul’s hotel in London. Organised by Barker Brooks Communications, the publisher of Claims Media, the awards were attended by a record number of 440 guests.
Burton, a barrister who has worked tirelessly for victims of injury throughout his career, won the Lifetime Achievement award, while Winn Solicitors picked up the prize for Outstanding achievement in the last year.
Burton was lauded for his high profile litigation work, expertise in asbestos-related disease work and mild manner with clients and colleagues alike.
Deborah Evans, the chief executive of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and chair of the judging panel for the awards, said that Burton was known as someone “who has an incredibly deep reserve of genuine compassion which is only matched by his formidable intellect”.
Winn Solicitors was chosen for their award after winning a series of cases in the Court of Appeal in the last 12 months, which led to positive changes for claimant solicitors. One of the firm’s victories ensured that where a Part 36 offer is beaten at trial, indemnity costs are paid in addition to fixed costs. The appeal victory could also encourage more early settlement as it pushes defendants to seriously consider Part 36 offers.
Evans was joined on the judging panel by Andrew Pemberton, chair of the UK Rehabilitation Council; the CEO of FOIL, Laurence Besemer; David Fisher, the catastrophic and injury claims technical manager at AXA Insurance; Amanda Stevens, group head of legal practice at Hudgell Solicitors; Paul Nicholls, the co-founder of law firm Nicholas Brimble; and Bill Braithwaite QC, from Exchange Chambers.
Hundreds of influential figures within the PI sector attended the awards, which were hosted by Katherine Ryan, the actress and comedian who has taken part in shows such as BBC’s Live At The Apollo, QI, ITV’s The Jonathan Ross Show and Channel 4’s 8 Out Of 10 Cats.
A record number of entries were made for the 2016 Eclipse Proclaim Personal Injury Awards. The unprecedented number of entrants – a 40% increase on last year – has come at a time of great uncertainty for the market, emphasising the event’s position as the pre-eminent awards ceremony on the personal injury calendar.
The full list of winners
Claimant Personal Injury Lawyer of the Year – Hilary Meredith – Hilary Meredith Solicitors
Defendant Personal Injury Lawyer of the Year – Maria Pittordis – Hill Dickinson
Claimant Personal Injury Team of the Year – Hodge Jones & Allen
Defendant Personal Injury Team of the Year – Clyde & Co
Barristers’ Chambers of the Year – Ropewalk Chambers
Mediation Achiever of the Year – Jonathan Dingle
Rehab Provider of the Year – CCMS
Claims Management Company of the Year – First4Lawyers
Medicolegal Provider of the Year – Premex Services
Insurance Provider of the Year – Abbey Legal Protection
Supporting the Industry (1-10 employees) Award – Trevor Gilbert & Associates
Supporting the Industry (11+ employees) Award – Premex Group
Young Achiever of the Year – Agnieszka Lipko – Simpson Millar
Practice/Operations Manager of the Year – Michael Goodridge – 9 Gough Square Chambers
Best Newcomer – Rhiannon Stokes – Stokes Case Management
Marketing Campaign of the Year – Irwin Mitchell
Outstanding Case of the Year – Keoghs
Outstanding Achievement – Winn Solicitors
Lifetime Achievement – Frank Burton QC – 12 KBW