Reading: Shoosmiths’ success at the inaugural Women in Law Awards

Ten Reading lawyers are celebrating after being noticed for their individual contributions and their firm, Shoosmiths in Forbury Road, winning the Law Firm of the Year (Large Firms) category at the first ever Women in Law Awards.

In addition to the firm’s success, finalists from Shoosmiths on the awards shortlist and their categories comprised:

  • Mentor of the Year – Michal Freeman-Shor, principal associate
  • Outstanding Returner of the Year and Unsung Hero – Lucy Shepherd, professional support lawyer
  • Legal Adviser of the Year and Litigator of the Year – Angela Bowman, partner
  • Legal Services Innovator of the Year – Mandeep Chima, senior associate.

The award ceremony was held live online, with the judging panel also meeting virtually to consider just under 400 award entries from more than 800 nominations.

There were many inspirational stories behind the individual award submissions about the routes women take to achieve success in the workplace, and their support of others. Other submissions highlighted the steps that mentors and leaders, and male diversity champions are taking to ensure women in law find themselves on a more level playing field. As well as categories for individuals, there were several categories to recognise the efforts of organisations of all sizes across the sector.

The judging criteria at the Women in Law Awards focuses on achievements in the workplace, the challenges faced (and solutions identified), and evidence of contributions made to support and inspire women.

Nominees from the firm’s Thames Valley office for this year’s Women in Law Awards also included:

  • Kiran Dhesi, partner
  • Fiona Teague, partner
  • Becky Gray, associate
  • Sanjeev Sharma, partner
  • Nina Smith, partner
  • Tara McInnes, principal associate.

Rachel Parker, head of diversity and inclusion, Shoosmiths said: “We’re really proud to have won this Women in Law award, as we continue the firm’s efforts to make progress on gender equality. It was also great to see so many Shoosmiths colleagues recognised individually, and to celebrate with them online alongside all the other finalists and nominees.”

Simone Broadhurst, managing director of events, Incisive Media, who presented the award on behalf of the judging panel said the reason why Shoosmiths won the Law Firm of the Year (Large Firms) award was: “The winning firm has incorporated gender equality into its strategy and impressed the judging panel with its willingness to track and measure the effectiveness of its policies, which is a vital and often overlooked part of any diversity and inclusion programme.”