The Law Society announced the winners of the 2009 Excellence Awards last night at a ceremony attended by 550 at the Royal Horticultural Halls in London

The winners were:

Awards for individuals: Solicitor of the Year – In-houseSponsored by Hiscox Winner: Roger Clayson – Nuclear Decommissioning Authority Highly commended: Geoff Wild – Kent County CouncilSolicitor of the Year – Private PracticeSponsored by DXWinner: Jason McCue – H20 Law Highly commended: Ian Rosenblatt – Rosenblatt Solicitors Junior Lawyer of the YearSponsored by Zurich Winner: Natasha Catterson – Fisher Meredith Highly commended: Gwendolen Morgan – Bindmans and Young Legal Aid LawyersAWS Legal Businesswoman of the YearWinner: June Venters QC – Venters Solicitors Legal Executive of the YearSponsored by The Institute of Legal Executives Winner: Darren Hill – United Utilities Highly commended: Alexandra Loxton – Anthony Collins SolicitorsAdvocate of the YearSponsored by Logica Winner: Paul Bowen – Doughty Street Chambers [London]Highly commended: Peter Rees QC – Debevoise & Plimpton Team awards:Excellence in Client ServiceSponsored by Moneypenny Winner: The Law Shop Highly commended: Legal Services Unit – Staffordshire County Council, and Thaliwal Bridge SolicitorsExcellence in Equality & DiversitySponsored by the Equality and Human Rights Commission Winner: Simmons & Simmons Highly commended: Legal Directorate – Royal College of NursingExcellence in Community InvestmentSponsored by Deloitte Winner: Allen & OveryLegal Sector Alliance Award for Excellence in Environmental ResponsibilitySponsored by Canon UK & Ireland Winner: Travers Smith Excellence in Marketing & Business DevelopmentSponsored by Orange Winner: Jackson Barrett & Gass Lexcel Award for Excellence in Practice ManagementSponsored by Lloyds TSB Commercial Winner: Watkins & Gunn Solicitors Excellence in InnovationSponsored by TFBWinner: ThomasMansfield Highly commended: Legal Services – Lincolnshire County CouncilExcellence in Exporting Legal ServicesSponsored by American AirlinesWinner: Trowers & Hamlins Highly commended: Clarke Willmott

Law Society president Robert Heslett said: ‘The winners have made the promotion of best practice an integral part of their work. All the shortlisted entries should be extremely proud of their achievement. The Excellence Awards are part of the Law Society's commitment to promoting excellence in legal services. The solicitors' profession and legal sector as a whole have taken significant steps in the area of innovation, development and availability of legal services in recent years. These awards, which celebrate the very best in our great profession, recognise the central role that legal services play in all areas of society.’