What an exciting year 2017 has been for us. The Newcastle corporate team has completed a number of successful deals, we’ve been recognised by Chambers and Legal 500 and, most recently, the firm has become Womble Bond Dickinson, opening up a host of new opportunities for our clients and contacts in the region.
The team has continued to develop and been recognised for the work we do. We won Deal of the Year (above £10m) for the second consecutive year at the North East Business Insider Dealmakers Awards 2017, this time for our work advising Newcastle City Council on the investment into the Science Central joint venture. This will support Newcastle’s £350m flagship re-generation project to create a global centre for urban innovation. This award followed our success last year for our work supporting Atom Bank’s growth and development.
In addition, we have enjoyed another successful year with legal directory rankings. Chambers recognised us for our ‘formidable corporate practice’ in Newcastle, recognising us as the only band one ranked firm in the North East. Legal 500 also ranked the team as tier one, remarking that we have ‘an approach that is unmatched in the region’.
Some of our younger team members have received recognition for their hard work and dedication. Stacey Hall was shortlisted for Young Dealmaker of the Year at the North East Business Insider Dealmakers Awards and was also identified as a Next Generation lawyer by Legal 500, one of seven in our Newcastle office. Our continued investment in our people has also led to growth in the team with the addition of three newly qualified solicitors; Oliver Rickett, Gemma Bourne and David Ridley. Oliver and Gemma, previously trainees with the firm, qualified into the corporate and tax teams respectively earlier this year. David joined us after training in Scotland where he spent time on an exciting secondment at one of the largest independent oil producers in the North Sea.
I was delighted to be acknowledged by Legal 500 as a leading individual alongside Jamie Pass who has been with the firm for over 20 years, while Ben Butler was also recognised for his continued work with Atom Bank. Simon Watts was named as an ’eminent practitioner’ by Chambers, confirming the strength of our senior corporate team who continue to develop and progress our practice here in the region.
All-in-all both the team and the firm have had a fantastic year. With the local legal market as competitive as ever, and Womble Bond Dickinson now operating on a transatlantic scale, we’re looking forward to working and growing with our clients across the region in 2018. In particular, we continue to be focussed on our local clients and markets and bringing our local knowledge, national expertise and transatlantic opportunities to the region where we as a business are based.