Categories and Criteria

The Dorset Legal Awards will be open for Entries and Nominations from Friday 7th September 2018 to Friday 26th October 2018.

All information will be treated confidentially and will only be circulated amongst the judges. Entries are judged on merit only, with no reference to external considerations. For full details of how your submission will be dealt with, please read through The Dorset Legal Awards Terms & Conditions which can be found here.

Click on a category below to see the entry criteria

(Trainee / student or graduate CILEx / Paralegal/ Legal Assistant)

10 marks will be given for each of the criteria below which should be no longer than 200 words each

  • Give details of a specific situation to illustrate your/their delivery of exemplary client care
  • Outline a real scenario to demonstrate your/their commercial acumen
  • Provide details of an event where professional integrity prevailed over other considerations
  • Describe an occasion where your/their team and people skills were demonstrated
  • Outline evidence to show your/their technical progress and development

Applicants Information

Rising Star of the Year

(Trainee / student or graduate CILEx / Paralegal/ Legal Assistant)

10 marks will be given for each of the criteria below which should be no longer than 200 words each

  • Give details of a specific situation to illustrate your/their delivery of exemplary client care
  • Outline a real scenario to demonstrate your/their commercial acumen
  • Provide details of an event where professional integrity prevailed over other considerations
  • Describe an occasion where your/their team and people skills were demonstrated
  • Outline evidence to show your/their technical progress and development

Sponsored by: ASH Elite

10 marks will be given for each of the criteria below which should be no longer than 200 words each

  • Give details of an initiative you have introduced during the qualifying period that demonstrates corporate social responsibility
  • What motivated you to introduce this initiative
  • Explain how you secured buy-in and support internally for this initiative
  • Outline the impact and results achieved for the pro bono client over the qualifying period
  • Detail the benefits that have been derived from this initiative internally

Applicants Information

Contribution to the Community Award

10 marks will be given for each of the criteria below which should be no longer than 200 words each

  • Give details of an initiative you have introduced during the qualifying period that demonstrates corporate social responsibility
  • What motivated you to introduce this initiative
  • Explain how you secured buy-in and support internally for this initiative
  • Outline the impact and results achieved for the pro bono client over the qualifying period
  • Detail the benefits that have been derived from this initiative internally

Sponsored by: ASH Elite

10 marks will be given for each of the criteria below which should be no longer than 200 words each

  • Give details of a close working relationship between yourself/ your firm and an educational establishment
  • What motivated you to introduce this relationship
  • Explain how you secured buy-in and support internally for this relationship
  • Outline the impact and results achieved for the educational establishment over the qualifying period
  • Detail the benefits that have been derived from this relationship internally

Applicants Information

Engagement with Education Award

10 marks will be given for each of the criteria below which should be no longer than 200 words each

  • Give details of a close working relationship between yourself/ your firm and an educational establishment
  • What motivated you to introduce this relationship
  • Explain how you secured buy-in and support internally for this relationship
  • Outline the impact and results achieved for the educational establishment over the qualifying period
  • Detail the benefits that have been derived from this relationship internally

Sponsored by: Bournemouth University

Bournemouth University sponsors the Dorset Legal Awards

(includes Solicitor, FCILEx and Licensed Conveyancers) 

10 marks will be given for each of the criteria below which should be no longer than 200 words each

  • Outline how much income you/they have been directly responsible for in the qualifying period
  • Describe your/their contribution to the success of significant cases or projects in the qualifying period
  • Provide one specific example to demonstrate how you/they have provided added-value service to a client
  • Explain how you/they are developing a reputation in your/their area of expertise and standing out from your/their peers
  • Give an account of a specific incident or event that demonstrated your/their inherent leadership qualities

Applicants Information

Lawyer of the Year

(includes Solicitor, FCILEx and Licensed Conveyancers) 

10 marks will be given for each of the criteria below which should be no longer than 200 words each

  • Outline how much income you/they have been directly responsible for in the qualifying period
  • Describe your/their contribution to the success of significant cases or projects in the qualifying period
  • Provide one specific example to demonstrate how you/they have provided added-value service to a client
  • Explain how you/they are developing a reputation in your/their area of expertise and standing out from your/their peers
  • Give an account of a specific incident or event that demonstrated your/their inherent leadership qualities

Sponsored by: QuoStar

(must be actively involved with the management of the firm) 

10 marks will be given for each of the criteria below which should be no longer than 200 words each

  • Explain how you/they have maintained or enhanced the reputation of your firm during the qualifying period
  • Give an account of a specific incident or event that demonstrated your/their leadership qualities
  • Explain how your/their vision has positively influenced the future strategy of your/their practice
  • Indicate how valued qualities and skills are being transferred to younger members of your/their team
  • What has been your single greatest contribution to the wellbeing of your practice during the qualifying period

Applicants Information

Partner of the Year

(must be actively involved with the management of the firm) 

10 marks will be given for each of the criteria below which should be no longer than 200 words each

  • Explain how you/they have maintained or enhanced the reputation of your firm during the qualifying period
  • Give an account of a specific incident or event that demonstrated your/their leadership qualities
  • Explain how your/their vision has positively influenced the future strategy of your/their practice
  • Indicate how valued qualities and skills are being transferred to younger members of your/their team
  • What has been your single greatest contribution to the wellbeing of your practice during the qualifying period

Sponsored by: ASH Elite

(1-49 employees)

10 marks will be given for each of the criteria below which should be no longer than 200 words each.

  • Detail your firm’s top three highlights from the qualifying period
  • Summarise your financial performance over the qualifying period, including year on year comparisons, and highlighting any areas of exceptional growth
  • Describe how your firm attracts and retains new staff
  • List three new clients you have attracted during the qualifying period
  • Explain how you measure client satisfaction and promote client loyalty

Applicants Information

Law Firm of the Year (1-49 employees)

(1-49 employees)

10 marks will be given for each of the criteria below which should be no longer than 200 words each.

  • Detail your firm’s top three highlights from the qualifying period
  • Summarise your financial performance over the qualifying period, including year on year comparisons, and highlighting any areas of exceptional growth
  • Describe how your firm attracts and retains new staff
  • List three new clients you have attracted during the qualifying period
  • Explain how you measure client satisfaction and promote client loyalty

Sponsored by: QuoStar

(100+ employees) 

10 marks will be given for each of the criteria below which should be no longer than 200 words each.

  • Detail your firm’s top three highlights from the qualifying period
  • Summarise your financial performance over the qualifying period, including year on year comparisons, and highlighting any areas of exceptional growth
  • Describe how your firm attracts and retains new staff
  • List three new clients you have attracted during the qualifying period
  • Explain how you measure client satisfaction and promote client loyalty

Applicants Information

Law Firm of the Year (100+ employees)

(100+ employees) 

10 marks will be given for each of the criteria below which should be no longer than 200 words each.

  • Detail your firm’s top three highlights from the qualifying period
  • Summarise your financial performance over the qualifying period, including year on year comparisons, and highlighting any areas of exceptional growth
  • Describe how your firm attracts and retains new staff
  • List three new clients you have attracted during the qualifying period
  • Explain how you measure client satisfaction and promote client loyalty

Sponsored by: Saffery Champness

10 marks will be given for each of the criteria below which should be no longer than 200 words each

  • Explain why the quality of service you offer is exceptional and illustrate your claims with specific examples
  • Give details of your involvement in three notable cases over the qualifying period
  • Indicate how valued qualities and skills are being transferred to younger team members
  • Using specific examples, illustrate the commercial value or personal impact of your services to clients
  • Set out your team’s financial performance over the qualifying period and how you plan to maintain growth

Applicants Information

Team of the Year – Family

10 marks will be given for each of the criteria below which should be no longer than 200 words each

  • Explain why the quality of service you offer is exceptional and illustrate your claims with specific examples
  • Give details of your involvement in three notable cases over the qualifying period
  • Indicate how valued qualities and skills are being transferred to younger team members
  • Using specific examples, illustrate the commercial value or personal impact of your services to clients
  • Set out your team’s financial performance over the qualifying period and how you plan to maintain growth

Sponsored by: Iceberg

10 marks will be given for each of the criteria below which should be no longer than 200 words each

  • Explain why the quality of service you offer is exceptional and illustrate your claims with specific examples
  • Give details of your involvement in three notable cases over the qualifying period
  • Indicate how valued qualities and skills are being transferred to younger team members
  • Using specific examples, illustrate the commercial value or personal impact of your services to clients
  • Set out your team’s financial performance over the qualifying period and how you plan to maintain growth

Applicants Information

Team of the Year – Property

10 marks will be given for each of the criteria below which should be no longer than 200 words each

  • Explain why the quality of service you offer is exceptional and illustrate your claims with specific examples
  • Give details of your involvement in three notable cases over the qualifying period
  • Indicate how valued qualities and skills are being transferred to younger team members
  • Using specific examples, illustrate the commercial value or personal impact of your services to clients
  • Set out your team’s financial performance over the qualifying period and how you plan to maintain growth

Sponsored by: ASH Elite

10 marks will be given for each of the criteria below which should be no longer than 200 words each

  • Explain why the quality of service you offer is exceptional and illustrate your claims with specific examples
  • Give details of your involvement in three notable cases over the qualifying period
  • Indicate how valued qualities and skills are being transferred to younger team members
  • Using specific examples, illustrate the commercial value or personal impact of your services to clients
  • Set out your team’s financial performance over the qualifying period and how you plan to maintain growth

Applicants Information

Team of the Year – Private Client

10 marks will be given for each of the criteria below which should be no longer than 200 words each

  • Explain why the quality of service you offer is exceptional and illustrate your claims with specific examples
  • Give details of your involvement in three notable cases over the qualifying period
  • Indicate how valued qualities and skills are being transferred to younger team members
  • Using specific examples, illustrate the commercial value or personal impact of your services to clients
  • Set out your team’s financial performance over the qualifying period and how you plan to maintain growth

Sponsored by: Iceberg

10 marks will be given for each of the criteria below which should be no longer than 200 words each

  • Explain why the quality of service you offer is exceptional and illustrate your claims with specific examples
  • Give details of your involvement in three notable cases over the qualifying period
  • Indicate how valued qualities and skills are being transferred to younger team members
  • Using specific examples, illustrate the commercial value or personal impact of your services to clients
  • Set out your team’s financial performance over the qualifying period and how you plan to maintain growth

Applicants Information

Team of the Year – Company / Corporate Commercial

10 marks will be given for each of the criteria below which should be no longer than 200 words each

  • Explain why the quality of service you offer is exceptional and illustrate your claims with specific examples
  • Give details of your involvement in three notable cases over the qualifying period
  • Indicate how valued qualities and skills are being transferred to younger team members
  • Using specific examples, illustrate the commercial value or personal impact of your services to clients
  • Set out your team’s financial performance over the qualifying period and how you plan to maintain growth

Sponsored by: Quostar

10 marks will be given for each of the criteria below which should be no longer than 200 words each

  • Explain why the quality of service you offer is exceptional and illustrate your claims with specific examples
  • Give details of your involvement in three notable cases over the qualifying period
  • Indicate how valued qualities and skills are being transferred to younger team members
  • Using specific examples, illustrate the commercial value or personal impact of your services to clients
  • Confirm your team’s financial performance over the qualifying period and how you intend to maintain growth

Applicants Information

Team of the Year – Dispute Resolution / Litigation

10 marks will be given for each of the criteria below which should be no longer than 200 words each

  • Explain why the quality of service you offer is exceptional and illustrate your claims with specific examples
  • Give details of your involvement in three notable cases over the qualifying period
  • Indicate how valued qualities and skills are being transferred to younger team members
  • Using specific examples, illustrate the commercial value or personal impact of your services to clients
  • Confirm your team’s financial performance over the qualifying period and how you intend to maintain growth

Sponsored by: Insight6

Insight6 sponsors the 2019 Dorset Legal Awards

10 marks will be given for each of the criteria below which should be no longer than 200 words each

  • Explain why the quality of service you offer is exceptional and illustrate your claims with specific examples
  • Give details of your involvement in three notable cases over the qualifying period
  • Indicate how valued qualities and skills are being transferred to younger team members
  • Using specific examples, illustrate the commercial value or personal impact of your services to clients
  • Set out your team’s financial performance over the qualifying period and how you plan to maintain growth

Applicants Information

Team of the Year – Personal Injury / Clinical Negligence

10 marks will be given for each of the criteria below which should be no longer than 200 words each

  • Explain why the quality of service you offer is exceptional and illustrate your claims with specific examples
  • Give details of your involvement in three notable cases over the qualifying period
  • Indicate how valued qualities and skills are being transferred to younger team members
  • Using specific examples, illustrate the commercial value or personal impact of your services to clients
  • Set out your team’s financial performance over the qualifying period and how you plan to maintain growth

Sponsored by: ASH Elite

This award is for team excellence by an in-house legal department (public sector or corporate) and recognises its effectiveness, integration with senior management, management of legal and commercial objectives and people development. 10 marks will be given for each of the criteria below which should be no longer than 200 words each.

  • Please evidence the following:
    • The team’s efficient, timely and proactive legal advice – preferably supported by senior management of the organisation
    • The team demonstrated and valued role and input within the senior management team
    • The team demonstrated the ability to balance legal obligations and the employer’s strategic objectives
    • The team’s people commitment as shown through the effective investment in training and development and fostering a collegiate environment which engenders support for all

Applicants Information

Team of the Year – In-house

This award is for team excellence by an in-house legal department (public sector or corporate) and recognises its effectiveness, integration with senior management, management of legal and commercial objectives and people development. 10 marks will be given for each of the criteria below which should be no longer than 200 words each.

  • Please evidence the following:
    • The team’s efficient, timely and proactive legal advice – preferably supported by senior management of the organisation
    • The team demonstrated and valued role and input within the senior management team
    • The team demonstrated the ability to balance legal obligations and the employer’s strategic objectives
    • The team’s people commitment as shown through the effective investment in training and development and fostering a collegiate environment which engenders support for all

  • Please nominate a lawyer or legal professional who you think has made an unrivalled impact and lasting contribution to the legal services market in the region during their lifetime.
  • Using up to 1,000 words, set out why you think your nominated person deserves to be recognised. Your submission should consider such qualities as their pioneering business flair, the values and ethical standards they uphold, why they are an inspiration and why they will have made a long lasting impact on the legal community.

The Judging Panel of the Dorset Legal Awards will review all nominations and announce the recipient at the Awards Dinner.

Applicants Information

Outstanding Achievement

  • Please nominate a lawyer or legal professional who you think has made an unrivalled impact and lasting contribution to the legal services market in the region during their lifetime.
  • Using up to 1,000 words, set out why you think your nominated person deserves to be recognised. Your submission should consider such qualities as their pioneering business flair, the values and ethical standards they uphold, why they are an inspiration and why they will have made a long lasting impact on the legal community.

The Judging Panel of the Dorset Legal Awards will review all nominations and announce the recipient at the Awards Dinner.


Sponsored by: QuoStar

(50-99 employees) 

10 marks will be given for each of the criteria below which should be no longer than 200 words each.

  • Detail your firm’s top three highlights from the qualifying period
  • Summarise your financial performance over the qualifying period, including year on year comparisons, and highlighting any areas of exceptional growth
  • Describe how your firm attracts and retains new staff
  • List three new clients you have attracted during the qualifying period
  • Explain how you measure client satisfaction and promote client loyalty

Applicants Information

Law Firm of the Year (50-99 employees)

(50-99 employees) 

10 marks will be given for each of the criteria below which should be no longer than 200 words each.

  • Detail your firm’s top three highlights from the qualifying period
  • Summarise your financial performance over the qualifying period, including year on year comparisons, and highlighting any areas of exceptional growth
  • Describe how your firm attracts and retains new staff
  • List three new clients you have attracted during the qualifying period
  • Explain how you measure client satisfaction and promote client loyalty

Sponsored by:

Smithy & Williamson logo