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Partner and Head of Family Law, Rugby
I’m writing this on the train from London following an amazing night at News on the Block’s 2015 Enfranchisement and Right to Manage Awards fondly known as the ERMAs.
This was the first time I have attended the awards so I was really excited and after settling into the hotel and faffing with my hair, I was ready to go.
The ERMAs were held at The Underglobe which was a breath-taking venue, located, as its name suggests underneath Shakespeare’s Globe. The drinks reception was a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and clients, as well as meeting new people. We were surrounded by Shakespearean memorabilia which unfortunately I didn't have enough time to study in any great detail so I've made a mental note to return and look at properly.
After drinks, we made our way to our table located in the middle of the main hall surrounded by drapes, fancy lighting and the odd tree... it was like stepping into A Midsummer Nights Dream!
My colleagues, Roger Hardwick, Sam Bishop, Mark North, Karina Ray and I were delighted to be joined at our table by Anne-Marie O'Leary of CRM, Dave Poppleton of Inspired Property Management, Michael Jacobs of Michael Laurie Magar, Craig Stevens of Warwick Estates and Mark Borg of Energy Portfolio. As a new Trainee to our Residential Leasehold team it was the perfect opportunity for me to get to know our valued clients as well as gaining some insider tips to the world of property management.
On to the important part... the food! We had a smoked fish starter, served with nuts and green beans followed by a good old fashioned steak for main. Delicious!
Rugby star Kyran Bracken took to the stage to tell us some of his dressing room and tour secrets, including how the team went to Buckingham Palace and stole what they could get their hands on, resulting in players showing off about owning the Queen's napkins and clanking when they bowed to her. He was very entertaining and a great opener to the awards.
The first part of the awards ceremony took place and amongst some worthy competition our very own Roger Hardwick, came Highly Commended in the Regional Professional of the Year Award. Winners included Oliver French, Valuer of the Year, Emily Fitzpatrick, Regional Professional of the Year and Falcon Chambers, Barristers Chambers of the Year.
Following a lemon tart dessert (yum!), the second half of the awards took place with more awards - winners included Knight Frank, Valuers of the Year, Cerian Jones, Expert Witness of the Year and Thomas Jefferies, Barrister of the Year.
Roger was up for two awards and Brethertons was up for Solicitor Firm of the year. It was fantastic Roger and the firm to have been nominated and recognised but, naturally, we were disappointed not to have won on this occasion. Competition was fierce though and we have to congratulate our fellow nominees on their successes. Besides, it would be unfair for Roger to win three years in a row!
Following the ceremony, we stuck around for more socialising prior to a group walk over the Millennium Bridge and back to our hotel, stopping along the way to take advantage of the beautiful surroundings with night time views of St Paul's, Tower Bridge and the Shard. After a couple of drinks and a serious debate over whether we have dinner and tea, or lunch and dinner, it was off to bed ready to be up bright eyed and bushy-tailed for the day's work ahead.