I’ve been a judge on these awards for many years and it’s always great to go along to the dinner and ceremony to see the lucky winners hear the news of their success and receive their gongs. So I glammed up as best I could and travelled to the Marriott Hotel in Grosvenor Square to join 300 other happy folk from the world of law, accountancy and property.

After the drinks reception (where most of the people I spoke to had either just moved firms or were just about to), Sir Nigel Knowles of DLA opened proceedings with a short speech mentioning some of the many changes in the professions and some of the MPF’s surveys and FT campaigns.

Then Colin Jackson CBE took over as Master of Ceremonies to take us through the awards. He was charming, friendly and self-effacing as he shared a couple of anecdotes from his journey to becoming a hurdles world champion. Although he did make me feel a little old when he asked whether we remembered Linford Christie (I had worked with him 15 years ago when he kindly gave a lot of time to film for a motivational training film for London Young Apprenticeships). And the good thing about having a top athlete in this role meant that he positively sprinted through proceedings and we finished at least an hour before we had done so on previous years.

The winners were (more information at www.mpfglobal.com):

  • Best collaboration across international frontiers: BDO (Berwin Leighton Paisner second)
  • Best collaboration across the management matrix: Stephens Scown (e.surv)
  • Best new market entrant: New Street Solutions (Assistenza Legale)
  • Best community engagement: Walker Morris (GVA)
  • Best leadership development programme: Menzies
  • Best performing listed firm: NCC Group
  • Best financial leadership: Bevan Brittan
  • Best innovation in client service or relationship management: BDO (ICAEW)
  • Best managed workplace: Tuca Zbarcea & Associatii/LABLAW
  • Best led firm: Taylor Vinters
  • Best social mobility programme: Eversheds (Shoosmiths)
  • Best use of technology to enhance the client experience: Taylor Wessing (Flint Bishop)
  • Best performing brand: Allen & Overy, CBRE, PwC, McKinsey
  • Lifetime achievement: Padraig O Riordain of Arthur Cox
  • Best strategic leadership: Taylor Wessing (BDO)