Grand Ceremony for Grand Awards on Grand Night

The British Wills and Probate Awards returned in style this evening at The Grand Hotel in Birmingham. The great and the good of the industry came together to recognise and celebrate the success of all those involved in the wills and probate sector.

The hybrid ceremony was watched by over 800 people between the live stream and the in-person event in the Grand Ballroom.

Michael Edwards, Group Business Director at Headline Sponsor Executor Solutions said

“After a year like no another, it was great to be back in the room at a British Wills and Probate Awards. Great to see faces both familiar and new, we can’t wait for next year! Congratulations to all of the winners, highly deserved and it was clear to see just how much it meant to you!”

Managing Director Barry Mattock added

“It means a lot to Executor Solutions to be leading the celebrations today.”

On a night of surprises Farewill and Kings Court Trust returned to defend their Will Writing Firm of the Year (National) and Probate Provider of the Year respectively. Fraser and Fraser went one step further than 2020, converting their “Highly Commended” last year into a winner’s trophy at this year’s ceremony.

Morecambe Bay Wills and Estates Limited went home with 2 awards, Will Writing Firm of the Year: North & Midlands (Sponsored by The Institute of Paralegals) and a new for 2021 category, Will Writing Sole Practitioner of the Year (Sponsored by Will Aid).

In an unusual twist the judges could not decide between Thomson Snell & Passmore LLP and Emmersons Solicitors in the Private Client Team of the Year (Sponsored by Pro-Gen Research) category with a joint winner for the first time in the history of the awards.

Double winners Shoosmiths went one better in the Court of Protection Team of the Year (Sponsored by Anglia Research) following their “Highly Commended” last year, and defended the hard fought Best Contentious Wills & Probate Team (Sponsored by Inheritance Funding from Tower Street Finance) category.

Oliver Simpson of Taylor&Emmet LLP succeeded Jade Gani as this year’s Young Practitioner of the Year (Sponsored by The Law Superstore) with Lois Dixon of Farnworth Rose “Highly Commended” by the judges.

And Hugh James took home the prestigious Solicitor Firm of the Year: National (Sponsored by Inheritance Data) with head of the team Eleanor Evans leading the celebrations on the night.

Commenting on the success of all involved, Nick Cousins, CEO at Champagne Reception sponsor Exizent said

“It’s been amazing to be involved in such a big event for the probate industry and delighted it’s been available virtually too. A massive congratulations to all the nominees and winners, it’s fantastic to see so many people invested in the work they do.”

In a new category for 2021 Michael Culver was the inaugural winner of the Today’s Wills and Probate Industry Champion Award, a voted for by the industry award which recognises the individuals who have made a significant contribution to the life and times in the sector. Michael, who is Chair of Solicitors for the Elderly, came out on top against some incredibly stiff competition;

  • Former chair of the Law Society of England & Wales’ Wills and Equity Committee and Head of Wills and Estates at Thursfields, Ian Bond;
  • Head of Private Client at Morrisons Holly Chantler;
  • and previous winner of the British Wills and Probate Awards Young Practitioner of the Year and Head of Wills and Probate at Aston Bond Jade Gani.

Summarising the celebrations David Opie, Managing Director of Today’s Media, the publishers of Today’s Wills and Probate and organisers of the awards said

“It’s been a huge team effort to bring these awards together and I’m incredibly grateful to everyone at Today’s Media, and all our supporters for the contributions to the awards.”

“Whether you’ve joined us in spirit or in person, I just want to say thank you… without you these awards simply wouldn’t happen”

“Congratulations to all the winners and those who have been highly commended and a huge thank you to everyone who entered and joined on the afternoon.”

A full list of highly commended and winners is below:

Best use of Technology: Sponsored by IHT Loan from Tower Street Finance

  • Highly Commended: Brachers LLP
  • Winner: Estatesearch

Best use of Marketing & Social Media: Sponsored by Today’s Legal Content

  • Highly Commended: Finders International
  • Winner: Friends Legal Solicitors

Probate Research Firm of the Year: Sponsored by Provira

  • Highly Commended: Finders International
  • Winner: Fraser & Fraser

*NEW* Funeral Plan Provider of the Year Safe Hands Plans Limited

  • Highly Commended: Avalon Funeral Plans
  • Winner: Golden Charter Ltd

Community Involvement Award: Sponsored by Honey Legal

  • Highly Commended: Marcus Bishop Associates Limited
  • Winner: Stanford Legal Services

Court of Protection Team of the Year: Sponsored by Anglia Research

  • Highly Commended: Freeths LLP
  • Winner: Shoosmiths LLP

Will Writing Sole Practitioner of the Year: Sponsored by Will Aid

  • Highly Commended: Touch Solicitors Ltd
  • Winner: Morecambe Bay Wills and Estates Limited

Best Contentious Wills & Probate Team: Sponsored by Inheritance Funding from Tower Street Finance

  • Highly Commended: Serle Court
  • Winner: Shoosmiths LLP

Will Writing Firm of the Year: North & Midlands: Sponsored by The Institute of Paralegals

  • Highly Commended: Will & Probate Services
  • Winner: Morecambe Bay Wills and Estates Limited

Will Writing Firm of the Year: South

  • Highly Commended: Thy Will Be Done (Spain) Ltd
  • Winner: Heritage Wills

Will Writing Firm of the Year: National: Sponsored by Friends Legal

  • Highly Commended: Heritage Wills
  • Winner: Farewill Ltd

Probate Provider of the Year Small Firms (Under 75 staff): Sponsored by Just Clear

  • Highly Commended: Sterling Trust Corporation Limited
  • Winner: Farewill Ltd

Probate Provider of the Year Large Firms (Over 75 staff): Sponsored by CLS Property Insight

  • Highly Commended: Shakespeare Martineau
  • Winner: Kings Court Trust

Most Rewarding Charity Initiative: Sponsored by Inheritance Advance from Tower Street Finance

  • Highly Commended: Safe Hands Plans Limited
  • Winner: The Burnside Partnership

Innovation of the Year: Sponsored by Ampla Finance

  • Highly Commended: Comentis Ltd  / Honey Legal
  • Winner: Broomhead & Saul Solicitors

Private Client Team of the Year: Sponsored by Pro-Gen Research

  • Highly Commended: Morrisons Solicitors LLP / Taylor&Emmet LLP
  • Winner: Thomson Snell & Passmore LLP / Emmersons Solicitors

Young Practitioner of the Year: Sponsored by The Law Superstore

  • Highly Commended: Lois Dixon – Farnworth Rose Solicitors
  • Winner: Oliver Simpson – Taylor&Emmet LLP

Solicitor Firm of the Year: North

  • Highly Commended: Oliver & Co Solicitors
  • Winner: Brabners LLP

Solicitor Firm of the Year: Midlands

  • Highly Commended: Flint Bishop LLP
  • Winner: Fishers Solicitors

Solicitor Firm of the Year: South

  • Highly Commended: Simpson Solicitors South West
  • Winner: Grant Saw Solicitors LLP

Solicitor Firm of the Year: National: Sponsored by Inheritance Data

  • Highly Commended: Weightmans LLP
  • Winner: Hugh James

The Today’s Wills and Probate Industry Champion: Sponsored by Arken.legal

  • Michael Culver

 

Congratulations from everyone at Today’s Wills and Probate 

Today's Wills and Probate