The legal profession made a strong showing in the 2008 New Year's honours list.

Nuala O'Loan, who qualified in the City and was lately Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman, became a Dame. Diana Babar, solicitor and team leader in the Treasury Solicitor's Department, was named a CBE.

The Crown Prosecution Service saw OBEs awarded to solicitors Elizabeth Howe, general counsel of the International Association of Prosecutors, Northamptonshire Chief Crown Prosecutor Grace Ononiwu and Sally Cullen, liaison magistrate in Rome.

OBEs also went to solicitor Abda Sharif, lately legal adviser at the British Embassy in Baghdad; solicitor and academic Dinah Crystal for services to pro bono legal work; Jamie Martin, managing partner at Newcastle firm Ward Hadaway, for services to business; and Penny Letts, former policy adviser to the Law Society's mental health and disability committee.

Michael Harris, president of the social security and child support appeals tribunal and a circuit judge, was knighted for public service, while fellow barrister Anthony Inglese, director-general of legal services at the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, became a member of the Order of the Bath.

Senior circuit judge Valerie Pearlman, Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) chief executive Anthony Douglas, and barrister and academic Professor Martin Wasik - former chairman of the Sentencing Advisory Panel - were all made CBEs.

Jonathan Rayner