Scotland’s most prestigious awards programme is about to announce the finalists on Monday 10th January, and promise sto recognise and reward talented professionals and teams working in Scottish law.

The Scott + Co Scottish Legal Awards 2011 officially launched in Autumn last year at a preview party held at The Signet Library which was hosted by legal awards judge, Robert Pirrie, chief executive of the WS Society. Sponsors and former winners gathered to review the 2011 entry guide, which included its largest line-up of categories ever, with 19 awards covering the breadth of the profession.

Over 40 firms entering the programme last year,  and there are six new categories in the Scottish Legal Awards this year. For the first time in the history of the legal awards, judges are looking to recognise the work of clerks and practice managers working for Scotland’s busy advocate stables and organisations.

Also new this year is the ‘Banking/Restructuring Team of the Year’ award, which recognises the teams of corporate lawyers working in the ever changing landscape of lending and refinancing. Teams may be acting for banks in their own refinancing arrangements or acting for companies as they go through their own restructuring changes.

The newly created ‘Energy Team of the Year Award’ will go to a team of legal professionals advising traditional or renewable energy businesses. With Scotland leading the UK in offshore and onshore wind farms and also breaking new ground in alternative sources of energy, legal teams which have established an early presence in this area and have a strong track record of success will be recognised.

The return of the ‘Commercial Property Team of the Year’ reflects the growing levels of activity in this important area for Scottish law firms. As banks seek to off load some of the major land assets, legal teams who have experienced an active year with good transactional activity are asked to consider entering this important category.

Finally, Scotland’s lawyers are generally a big-hearted bunch and in recognition of this, the judges have created the ‘Fundraising Achievement of the Year Award’. This will go to the firm that has made a significant contribution to the community through its consistent and often imaginative approach to charity work.

The deadline for entries was 5pm on Friday 3 December and a judging day due to take place on Friday 10 December.  The finalists will be announced Monday 10 January, with a reception to be held on Wednesday 2 February.

The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony, which will take place in Edinburgh in March.