Manchester opened this year’s legal awards season last week by rewarding its brightest legal lights. Obiter was particularly tickled by the irony of Pannone (now part of Slater & Gordon) edging out its master to win private client team of the year.

‘If you can’t beat them, buy them,’ was one audience member’s response as the winner was announced to the biggest cheer of the evening.

Obiter was also pleased to see JMW Solicitors finally win medium law firm of the year having lost out in seven previous categories.

One JMW wag told us: ‘We were ready to call ourselves the Leonardo DiCaprio of the legal world – there’s only so many times you can look pleased when someone else has won!’

Obiter commiserated with Manchester law society chief executive Fran Eccles-Bech for spraining her ankle on the morning of the event and so missing out on the dance floor.

And special mention goes to trainee of the year Raana Afsarpour of Express Solicitors who told us (we assume before the wine was served) she loved the Gazette and would be thrilled to see her name in print. Raana, we’re happy to oblige.