The STEP Private Client Award 2018 has been won by in the category of International Legal Team of the Year for a mid-sized firm. The awards ceremony took place in London on the 7th November 2018, with the award – sponsored by Equiom – seeing stiff competition. Other finalists alongside Anaford Attorneys included Child & Child, Bär & Karrer, Harneys, and Bedell Cristin.
The 2018 ceremony marked the second consecutive year Anaford Attorneys had been shortlisted for the prestigious award, having also been named as finalists in 2017. Within the private client industry, the STEP awards are viewed as a hallmark of quality. Nominations are open to firms across the globe, including members and non-members of STEP. Anaford Partner Borja Lopez, who works out of the company’s Spanish tax practice, spoke of the nomination as testament to the solidification of Anaford as leaders in their field.
John Barnett TEP, on of the presiding judges of the 2018 awards, commented on the number of entries and the criteria for reaching the shortlist. With over 250 entries received from 23 countries, there were many categories this year that were heavily subscribed, said Barnett. Therefore, the only submissions that made it onto the shortlists were those that demonstrated true innovation and a different approach.
Comments from the Judges
Upon presenting Anaford Attorneys with the award, judges commented on the dynamism of the team and the refreshing international outlook that underpinned their decision. Further acknowledged were Anaford’s multi-jurisdictional expertise, contacts and skillset that facilitate the firm offering comprehensive cross-border services for complex families. Patricia Wass, STEP chair, congratulated all of the winners and finalists and talked about the excellent work and high standards that mark those firms that were shortlisted.
Anaford Partner Dharshi Wijetunga thanked the judges and talked about the amazing honour bestowed upon Anaford Attorneys through being recognised in this category by its peers. The year had been a difficult one, stated Wijetunga, as the company had dealt with the passing of the head of Anaford’s Spanish team, Fabricio Gonzalez, in 2018. The award was dedicated to Gonzalez’s memory, showing an ongoing commitment by the entire firm to remain internationally relevant and confirm capability for private client service. María Ferrando, a Spanish lawyer based in Zurich, accepted the award on behalf of Anaford Attorneys.