Coodes Solicitors is celebrating after winning two awards at the British Conveyancing Awards. The South West law firm was awarded Highly Commended for Technology Team of the Year and licensed conveyancer Laura Vanstone was crowned Young Practitioner of the Year at an online ceremony on 25 May.
Team members watched the ceremony and celebrated in their homes and offices across Cornwall and Devon.
Sponsored by Groundsure, the Young Practitioner of the Year award recognises an exceptional individual under 30 years old who has shown a high level of involvement and development within the sector or area of practice.
Laura Vanstone joined Coodes as a PA in 2018 and qualified as a Licensed Conveyancer in December 2020. Based in the firm’s Holsworthy office, she was recently made Head of New Build, leading the team that specialises in advising buyers of new build properties.
Partner and Head of Conveyancing Maria Richards nominated Laura for the award in recognition of her commitment to excellent customer service. In the submission, Maria highlighted how Laura had received consistently positive feedback from clients while managing a large caseload during a challenging year.
Commenting on Laura’s nomination, the judges said: “Laura’s really impressive journey from PA through paralegal to qualifying licensed conveyancer stands out. She held the fort in the Covid emergency and grew in the process. She has developed into a practitioner of complex legal work that many shy away from.”
Sponsored by CTS, the Technology Team of the Year award was for a firm or legal supplier who had shown great initiative by implementing technology which enhanced efficiency, productivity and effectiveness of the business, delivering an exceptional customer experience.
Coodes’ success in the Technology Team of the Year award was the result of how the firm adapted to new ways of working during the pandemic. Quickly implementing new electronic systems, the Residential Property team successfully used new technology to communicate with clients and complete on property sales and purchases. The team continues to innovate by introducing new technology to streamline the house buying and selling process.
The judges said: “It’s refreshing to see the impact that tech has made, not just to the client but also to the culture of the firm. It seems to have been a real concerted effort to get all the tech in place to benefit client, employee and business.”
The British Conveyancing Awards recognise individuals, teams and companies who have gone above and beyond to support buyers and sellers to move home. Describing 2021 as “the most challenging year the conveyancing industry has perhaps ever seen,” the award organisers say “we have all witnessed herculean efforts by so many individuals, law firms and suppliers.”
Coodes Solicitors Chairman Peter Lamble said: “Congratulations to everyone who was involved in winning these two national awards. Being highly commended for Technology Team of the Year is testament to the way the whole firm has pulled together and embraced innovative new technology during the pandemic. It has been a challenging year, but by working together and being adaptable we have very successfully maintained our consistently high standards of client service.
“Special congratulations go to Laura Vanstone, whose hard work and dedication to customer service have been recognised in the Young Practitioner of the Year award. Laura deserves to be very proud of her achievements and I know colleagues will join me in thanking her for the contribution she has made to the firm during her career to date.”
Laura Vanstone said: “It feels like a great achievement to be named Young Practitioner of the Year and shows that hard work pays off. There was a very strong shortlist so it is brilliant to win this national award.
“We are a close knit team and the last 14 months have proved just how well we can adapt and work together to give our clients the best possible service.”
Based across Cornwall and Devon, Coodes’ Residential Property team provides conveyancing services for people buying and selling properties. The team also offers a range of specialist advice, including buy to let, equity release, remortgaging and help to buy.