The 2011 Lawyers Weekly Awards, sponsored by Bentley Motors, shone a spotlight on Australia’s star legal performers at a gala awards ceremony on Thursday night.
|Life Achievement Award winner Sir Laurence Street with his family at the 2011 Lawyers Weekly Awards, held at the Sydney Opera House on Thursday night.|
The upper echelons of private practice and in-house legal talent rubbed shoulders and drank cocktails with the legal leaders of tomorrow, as managing partners, dealmakers, young lawyers, law students, in-house legal teams and the most innovative legal and law firm staff were honoured across nine distinct categories.
Sir Laurence Street stole the show when he was honoured with the Bentley Motors Lifetime Achievement Award. Sir Laurence, the third chief justice of NSW in his family, had the almost 200 people in the audience in the forecourt of the Sydney Opera House in stitches when he cheekily suggested that one of the Bentley cars on display at the ceremony should be handed to him as a prize for taking out the award.
In a moving acceptance speech, Sir Laurence made reference to many notable achievements during his illustrious legal career, which began when he was admitted as a barrister in 1951 and continues today.
The former NSW chief justice also revealed that as a high school student, prior to serving with the Australian Navy during World War II, he was caned three times at high school.
|"Just like the Logies, but without the Botox": Master of Ceremonies James O'Loghlin, describing the awards, kept the crowd entertained with his lighthearted jibes about the legal profession|
The yelps of delight which greeted the announcement that Laing O'Rourke had taken out the Dolman In-House Team of the Year Award would have startled the residents of Kirribilli across the water, as would the howls of laughter when MC James O'Loghlin, a former lawyer himself, compared his time as a law student with that of Ryan Harvey, the recipient of The College of Law - Law Student of the Year Award.
It was that sort of night, with legal excellence, and maybe somewhat exaggerated legal excellence as the wine flowed, being celebrated throughout the evening.
See below for the full list of winners.
Read the full details of each of the winners & finalists for each award: