Pandemic didn’t dampen British Wills and Probate Awards sparkle

The British Wills and Probate Awards enjoyed an afternoon of sparkle as the ceremony took to the virtual stage in its third year.

Due to the current restrictions in place, the traditional awards event couldn’t take place, but this didn’t stop the cream of the crop coming together in their finery to celebrate the achievements and efforts of practitioners in the Wills and Probate arena.

Jennie Bond, the ex-Royal correspondent, took the helm and ensured the virtual ceremony ran without a hitch.

Jennie Bond commented:

“May I give my personal congratulations to everyone involved in the 2020 British Wills and Probate Awards. Our headline sponsor Arken.legal (UK) Ltd, Champagne Sponsor Executor Solutions, category sponsors, our eminent judges and of course all of you for entering and participating in the event. Your determination and dedication have shown how the Wills and Probate sector can overcome adversity, especially in the wake of a global pandemic. It was my pleasure to host the awards again this year, and it’s great to see how the sector continues to adapt and change. The camaraderie between everyone is clearly evident, and although Covid-19 has kept us apart this year, I’m sure we’ll all get together sometime soon.”

The winners of this year’s awards were:

Will Writing Firm of the Year (sponsored by Dignity) – Farewill

Solicitor Firm of the Year (National) (sponsored by Countrywide Legacy) – The Burnside Partnership

Solicitor Firm of the Year (North) – Taylor & Emmet

Solicitor Firm of the Year (Midlands) – Wright Hassall

Solicitor Firm of the Year (South) (sponsored by Arken.legal (UK)) – Simpson Solicitors

Innovation of the Year (sponsored by Ampla Finance Legacy) – Tower Street Finance

Your Practitioner of the Year (sponsored by Professional Paralegal Register) – Jade Gani, Aston Bond

Best Use of Technology (sponsored by The Law Superstore) – Estatesearch

Probate Provider of the Year (large firms) (sponsored by Executor Solutions) – Kings Court Trust

Probate Provider of the Year (small firms) (sponsored by The Honey Group) – Farewill

Best Use of Marketing and Social Media (sponsored by Solve Legal Marketing) – Parker Bullen

Court of Protection Team of the Year (sponsored by The Property Ladder Group) – Bolt Burdon

Best Contentious Wills and Probate Team – Shoosmiths

Community Involvement Award (sponsored by Lawyer Checker) – Stanford Wills

Charity Legacy Team of the Year (sponsored by Remember a Charity) – Cancer Research

Private Client Team of the Year (sponsored by Anglia Research) – Brachers

Probate Research Firm of the Year – Finders International

Karen Babington, Director at The Practical Vision Network, said:

“I want to say congratulations to all of the shortlisters, you were all worthy of taking the crown. I don’t envy the position of our judging panel this year.

“I think it’s important to celebrate excellence within this sector, rewarding those who actively work all year round to improve the service offered to clients. I am proud that the British Wills and Probate Awards leads the way in this recognition.

“This is the third time we’ve held this event, and although it took to the virtual stage, it didn’t disappoint. 2020 has been a year of trials and tribulations for lots of different reasons, and professionals in this sector have had to overcome a number of challenges. Gathering together, even if it is only once a year, to celebrate success, is exactly what everyone needs at this moment in time.

“I want to offer my thanks to all of the sponsors involved in the awards. Without your support, the ceremony wouldn’t be the same.”

Dave Newick, Managing Director of Arken.legal (UK) Ltd, the headline sponsor for the event said:

“It’s an honour to headline sponsor an event that recognises client service and innovation across the industry. Taking a moment to spotlight and praise the practices and individuals who have gone above and beyond for clients and communities during these challenging times, is something we owed to our industry of key workers – I’m so glad we could all make that happen with the virtual ceremony. A big thank you to the wonderful Jennie Bond for returning as host, and to Karen, Chris and their team for finding a way to deliver the awards safely and successfully. A big congratulations to everyone who was shortlisted, and to the winners! An incredible achievement.”

Those who achieved second place in their category were highly commended for their commitment and dedication to the sector during the pandemic. Those that were awarded with this honour were:

Will Writing Firm of the Year (sponsored by Dignity) – SLS Wills and Thy Will Be Done

Solicitor Firm of the Year (National) (sponsored by Countrywide Legacy) – Hugh Jones Solicitors

Solicitor Firm of the Year (North) – Hugh Jones Solicitors

Solicitor Firm of the Year (Midlands) – Fishers

Solicitor Firm of the Year (South) (sponsored by Arken.legal (UK)) – Grant Saw Solicitors

Innovation of the Year (sponsored by Ampla Finance Legacy) – Foot Anstey

Young Practitioner of the Year (sponsored by Professional Paralegal Register) – Sarah Ahchoon, Morrisons Solicitors

Best Use of Technology (sponsored by The Law Superstore) – My Probate Partner

Probate Provider of the Year (large firms) (sponsored by Executor Solutions) – Co-op Legal Services

Probate Provider of the Year (small firms) (sponsored by The Honey Group) – Fishers

Best Use of Marketing and Social Media (sponsored by Solve Legal Marketing) – WillSuite

Court of Protection Team of the Year (sponsored by The Property Ladder Group) – Shoosmiths

Best Contentious Wills and Probate Team – Ashfords LLP

Community Involvement Award (sponsored by Lawyer Checker) – Oliver & Co

Charity Legacy Team of the Year (sponsored by Remember a Charity) – British Heart Foundation

Private Client Team of the Year (sponsored by Anglia Research) – Bolt Burdon

Probate Research Firm of the Year – Fraser & Fraser

For more information about the British Wills and Probate Awards click here.

Find out what happened during the ceremony checking out #BWAPAwards2020 on social media.

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