Awards hat-trick for Ward Hadaway

Posted on the 16 June 2015

Awards hat-trick for Ward Hadaway

LAW firm Ward Hadaway has won a hat-trick of legal industry awards.

The firm, which has offices in Newcastle, Leeds and Manchester, walked off with three awards at the inaugural Northern Law Awards.

Ward Hadaway Trainee Solicitor James Fairman was named Trainee of the Year, the property team at the firm's Newcastle office was named Property Team of the Year and Ward Hadaway Managing Partner Jamie Martin won the Outstanding Achievement Award.

Covering legal practitioners across the North East and Cumbria, the Northern Law Awards showcases and celebrates outstanding achievement in the legal industry.

The Trainee of the Year award aimed to recognise trainee solicitors who were able to demonstrate excellent legal skills, initiative and contribution to their practice.

James Fairman, who is in the second year of his training contract at Ward Hadaway, won the award for what the judges described as his "combination of commitment, enthusiasm and initiative that show what a significant contribution a trainee can make to a firm".

Oxford graduate James, who is currently working as part of Ward Hadaway's healthcare team, spent nine years in the Royal Air Force as an officer and helicopter pilot including spells in Iraq, Kenya and Northern Ireland, before embarking on a career in the law.

He was nominated for displaying "a constant hunger" to improve his legal skills, his "excellent" all-round ability and client service skills and his "infectious" passion for his work.

James said: "It was terrific to be shortlisted for the award but to win it ahead of some really outstanding candidates is a real honour."

Managing Partner Jamie Martin said: "James thoroughly deserves this recognition. Not only is he a real credit to the firm but he is also extremely popular amongst his fellow trainees and colleagues at Ward Hadaway so I am delighted he has won this award."

The property team based at Ward Hadaway's Newcastle office won the Property Team of the Year award for its strong track record of advising clients across a wide range of areas from housebuilding to commercial development.

Judges praised the team's combination of legal expertise, client service excellence and team working, saying Ward Hadaway's team "were able to not only meet the criteria for this award but surpass it".

The judges added: "The team showed excellent client service across all aspect of complex property legal and planning issues and are a clear asset to their firm."

Lesley Fairclough, Partner and Head of Development at Ward Hadaway, said: "We are absolutely delighted to have won this award, which is testament to the hard work, dedication and skill of everyone who works in our property department.

"Despite having one of the largest specialist legal property departments in the region, we strive to deliver exceptional service to each and every one of our clients, from large national housebuilders to individuals buying and selling their own homes.

"It is very rewarding to see this work independently recognised by the Northern Law Awards, particularly since client service excellence is one of the key criteria for winning the award."

Ward Hadaway Managing Partner Jamie Martin won the special Outstanding Achievement award in recognition of his long-standing contribution to the legal profession in the North East and his integral role in the growth of Ward Hadaway, where he has been Managing Partner since 1998.

In the citation for his award, judges said that: "Since he became Managing Partner, the firm`s income has increased four-fold to £33m and the firm has more than doubled in size with over 450 people now based in Newcastle, Leeds and Manchester.

"Ward Hadaway has risen to be ranked in the Top 75 law firms in the country and is recognised as a leading firm by the independent guides published by Legal 500 and Chambers.

"Jamie's drive and determination combined with a clear strategic vision have seen the firm expand from its North East base into the major legal centres of Leeds, in 2008, and Manchester in 2012. It is a significant achievement to have successfully entered these very competitive market places whilst still maintaining independence."

Judges also praised Jamie's contribution to business in the North East with roles at the CBI and the Institute of Directors and his work in the wider community with a number of charitable organisations in the North East and as chairman of Newcastle College Group.

Jamie Martin commented: "I am honoured to be the first recipient of this award. Ward Hadaway is a team effort and I am truly grateful for all the hard work and support from my partners and colleagues over many years, together with the support, loyalty and trust placed in us by the firm's clients, we could not have achieved what we have at Ward Hadaway without the support, commitment and loyalty of partners, staff and clients.

"These awards are a testament of the strength of the legal sector in the region, and the serious and important work that the legal sector does to help communities and the economy to thrive. Well done to all those who received awards and to those who were short-listed."

Jeffrey Keeble, Partner and Head of Healthcare at Ward Hadaway, and a long-standing colleague of Jamie Martin, said: "Jamie is a truly worthy winner of this award for his contribution to the legal profession, to business and to the wider community in the North East.

"However, knowing him I know that he will be most proud of the fact that Ward Hadaway has won two other awards for its work with and service to clients in the Northern Law Awards!"

The awards were announced at a black tie dinner at The Biscuit Factory in Newcastle.