I continue to be one of the judges at these important annual awards (which were this year in association with the Financial Times and Harvard Business Review) and last night I attended the best-ever-attended gala dinner at The Marriott Grosvenor Square to see the winners announced.

Sir Nigel Knowles, Joint CEO of DLA Piper, having spent ten years as Chair of the Managing Partners’ Forum reflected on the Management Excellence Summit that had taken place earlier in the day, thanked the team of judges led by Alistair Rose and handed over the baton to new Chair Michael Strong of CBRE (how good will it be to have a property sector influence amongst the many legal and accountancy firm members!).

After a short address on “What leaders should be thinking about” by Michael Watkins (chairman of Genesis Advisers, a professor at IMD in Switzerland and author of “The first 90 days: Critical success strategies for new leaders at all levels”) we were onto the awards. I’ve noted the winners here for ease of reference – and congratulations to them all:

Client categories

  • Best thought leadership campaign – Browne Jacobson (school academies)
  • Best use of know-how to enhance commerciality – A&L Goodbody (knowledge team in client-facing roles)
  • Best use of systems to enhance the client experience – CBRE (research client extranet)
  • Most innovative client service initiative – Dundas & Wilson (contract query service for financial institution)
  • Best performing brand:
    • Law – Linklaters
    • Accountancy – KPMG
    • Property – Jones Lang LaSalle
    • Consultancy – Tata Consultancy Services
  • Best brand – PwC

People categories

  • Best leadership development programme – Hogan Lovells (“Leading edge” for junior partners and “Momentum” for senior lawyers)
  • Best talent management and retention – Perez-Llorca (International Career Academy)
  • Most innovative approach to performance measurement – Weightmans (balanced scorecard dashboard)
  • Lifetime achievement – Sir Michael Snyder of Kingston Smith

Collaboration categories

  • Best collaboration across international frontiers – PwC (Netherlands developed knowledge management platform Pulse adopted by six territories)
  • Most innovative use of social media – BDO (Local authority campaign)
  • Best community engagement – TLT (coaching children)
  • Best social mobility programme – PRIME (legal work experience for less privileged)

Leadership categories

  • Exceptional achievement – Norton Rose
  • Best performing listed firm – The Mission Marketing Group
  • Best strategic leadership – Bird & Bird
  • Best emerging firm – Riverview
  • Best managed national firm – TLT
  • Best managed international firm – Clyde & Co

Sitting with me at my table were a team from Dublin’s A&L Goodbody (and it was great to share their celebrations) as well as a couple of the award’s many sponsors – “old” pal Ben Kent of Meridian West (formerly known as Lighthouse Research) and a new friend (I’d met one of its leaders last year) from accessprofessions.

Full details of the awards and all the winners, runners up and highly commended entries are at: http://www.mpfglobal.com/awards/index.aspx