For the awards, twenty countries were represented with more than 450 entries covering the 34 categories. The Corporate Council of South Africa and Africa Legal were partners supporting the event.
Giles Brake, Chief Executive of Alliot Global Alliance, a key sponsor, said it was a huge shame that it was still impossible that the celebration could not be held in person but he wished all the entrants his best wishes.
Africa Legal Chief Executive Scott Cowan commended the law firms that took part and acknowledged that the challenges they had faced had been unprecedented.
“There is not a single law firm or lawyer that hasn’t been touched by the pandemic. We have all had colleagues and clients who have become unwell and some of them have died, our families have been impacted and our livelihoods threatened. I can only salute those who have managed to fight their way through this – none of us have come out stronger but we will recover and we will find balance again. Right now being a survivor is as commendable as being a winner. All of us need to extend a hand to those who have not made it, who have gone out of business, or been impacted by ill health and loss. We are in this together and, while business is business, we are a community and we can and must help each other and, most of all, be kind.”
The big award of the night – African Law Firm of the Year – Large Practice – went to Ghana-headquartered AB & David Africa which works across 24 countries.
African Law Firm of the Year – Small Practice – also went to a Ghanaian firm – the corporate and commercial-focussed Bentsi-Enchill, Letsa & Ankomah.
The African Legal Awards charity partner Save the Children supports the Children’s Advocate Award which this year went to Baker McKenzie.
“This is an award that looks at what a law firm has done to support the legal rights of vulnerable children. We are delighted and grateful to everyone who has taken this initiative into their hearts to work tirelessly to help African children, who are among the world’s most impoverished and vulnerable people,” said Scott, who is a member of the African advisory board for Save the Children.
The full broadcast is available to view on demand here, with the individual winner's videos under the 2021 Virtual Ceremony tab, along with the digital programme.
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