For those of you wanting a little pin from the Law Society, the 2008 Scottish Legal Awards will feature new judges and several new categories.
No clients around to give their true feelings of the legal profession, so you can expect the usual self congratulatory team to do the same as before .. and before ...and before ...
The Scotsman reports :
SIX new experts are to join the judging panel for the 2008 Scottish Legal Awards, which will be launched on Wednesday with a live legal debate in Edinburgh.
A panel of leading legal lights will field questions from the audience and discuss "Tesco law", the handling of the Lockerbie trial, legal training and "right to roam" legislation.
The Edinburgh debate - which will be held at The Scotsman's offices on Holyrood Road and will be sponsored by the Balvenie - will be followed by a similar event at the Lighthouse in Glasgow, on 19 September.
This year's competition will also include a campaign to raise £10,000 for Children 1st, the charity for children's welfare.
Now in their sixth year, the Cuthbert Scottish Legal Awards, which are sponsored by Bank of Scotland Corporate, with The Scotsman as the media partner, will include two new categories: the Balvenie private client team of the year award and the academy choice award for firm of the year, which will be drawn from a poll of more than 100 of Scotland's business leaders.
Margo MacDonald, independent list MSP for the Lothians, will again chair the judging panel. She will be joined by the six new judges:
• Geraldine Gammell, chief executive of the Prince's Trust Scotland;
• Robert Pirrie, chief executive of the WS Society;
• Professor Tom Mullen, head of law at Glasgow University;
• Michael Lugton, chief executive of the Scottish Law Commission;
• Valerie Stacey QC, vice dean of the Faculty of Advocates;
• and Alastair Northrop, editor of Scottish Business Insider.
The six new faces will join existing judges who are returning for another year, including: John Campbell QC; Dr Andrew Cubie; Tom Wood; David Lee, assistant editor of The Scotsman; Donald Kerr, head of corporate banking east of Scotland at Bank of Scotland Corporate; John Ferguson, director of development at the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations; Andrew Sturgess, senior partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers and chairman of Institute of Directors, Scotland.
A total of 15 awards will be presented at a gala lunch next February. The deadline for entries is Wednesday 28 November.
Rebecca Davies, director of Cuthbert Recruitment, says: "As the programme has grown and developed, its credentials as a highly respected and rigorous programme have also been furthered. Our judging panel has now scrutinised more than 1,000 nominations and presented more than 60 awards for excellence in legal services in Scotland.
"In 2008, we will further our commitment to providing a first-class panel of expert judges and a portfolio of categories that best reflects the breadth of the legal profession."
Donald Kerr, from Bank of Scotland Corporate, says: "The Scottish Legal Awards represent a key partnership for Bank of Scotland Corporate.
"Coupled with our position as a provider of banking products and services to legal firms across Scotland, it makes perfect sense for us to sponsor these awards.
"The Scottish legal profession is an integral component of our business and we believe it's vital that these awards are given every encouragement."
New category sponsors lending their support to the awards for the first time include the Law Society of Scotland, Registers of Scotland, the Balvenie and O2.
Gillespie Macandrew, one of Edinburgh's oldest practices, won the firm of the year title last year, with Anderson Strathern and Harper Macleod each carrying off a brace of prizes.
• To book your place at the Balvenie Live Legal debates, call KDMedia on 0131-624 9840 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org