Strictly the Best! – Gemma Boyle Wins Legal PA of the Year Award

In front of a packed and vocal crowd attending the annual Legal PA of the Year awards ceremony, Gemma Boyle from Addleshaw Goddard (Manchester) was named 2013 Legal PA of the Year.

Gemma, still very emotional and dazed after receiving her award, said: “I just want to say how honoured I am that everyone at AG felt I was good enough to be nominated - let alone shortlisted or even win! Everyone at AG has been very supportive over the last 10 years and I feel fortunate that I get to work for Andrew and the Delivering Differently team and help lead the exciting changes the firm is making. I'm really looking forward to the next 10 years at AG!”

The awards ceremony, organised by recruitment specialists Strictly Recruitment, was held at The Brewery on the 27 November. Representatives from more than 40 law firms were eager to discover who, from the hundreds of entries received from across the UK, had won awards in the four categories.

Strictly’ launched the awards last year to recognise the vital role Legal PAs, Secretaries, Support Staff Managers and Team Leaders play in the industry. The awards are the only scheme of this kind to be fully supported by the legal profession.

Paul Kelly, Director of Strictly Recruitment, said “We are delighted with the positive response there has been to the awards scheme. To see how far we have come with it is simply amazing. The awards night has already become THE night of year for the Legal PA community. The night everyone wants to be a part of! Several firms have already been in contact to see how they can be involved next year.”

We must also say a massive thank you to our sponsors who have supported the awards by donating some really attractive prizes:

Reed & McKay British Airways The Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs Sitting on the panel of judges were: Danielle Thompson Ruth Davison Vicki Lister Sarah-Jane Muskett Margaret Baker

The winners and finalists at this year’s awards ceremony were:

Legal PA of the Year

Winner: Legal PA of the Year – Gemma Boyle, Addleshaw Goddard, Manchester

Runner up: Legal PA of the Year – Sarah Ward, Latham & Watkins, London


Other Finalists: Susan Cooper (Linklaters), Hayley Cook (Clifford Chance), Julie Byrne (Baker & McKenzie), Louise Joyce (Reed Smith)


Up and Coming Legal PA of the Year

Winner: Up and Coming Legal PA of the Year – Meghan Gallacher, Pinsent Masons, Glasgow.

Other Finalists: Maja Kosinska (Addleshaw Goddard), Amy Heffer (Baker & McKenzie), Chloe Atkins (Reed Smith), Sarah Leddra (Olswang)


Meghan pictured holding her award and training prize from ILSPA, said: “I am absolutely delighted to have won the Up and Coming Legal PA of the Year award. I felt really honoured that my work colleagues thought so highly of me to nominate me for this award. It's a great feeling to have the recognition for all my hard work since I joined Pinsent Masons two years ago.”

Secretarial/PA Manager of the Year

Winner: Secretarial/PA Manager of the Year – Paula Anderson, Reed Smith, London. Other Finalists: Stacey Trethewey (Latham & Watkins), Jacquie Hibbert (Pinsent Masons), Zoe Mitchell (Baker & McKenzie)

Paula said: “Aside from being surprised and overwhelmed, I am delighted to have won the Legal PA Manager of the Year award. I work with a fantastic team at Reed Smith and with two of my team as finalists we could not be happier. What a fantastic evening and huge thanks to all at Strictly and the panel for making it possible.”

Legal PA Employers of the Year

Winner: Baker & McKenzie Other Finalists: Sherman & Sterling, Latham & Watkins, Pinsent Masons

HR Director, Martin Blackburn said: “We are thrilled to win this award because it recognises all the hard work put in by the entire Secretarial Services function to really make a difference to Baker & McKenzie's business. Every one of our PA's can take real pride in winning this award.”

Legal PA of the Year Awards 2014

Strictly Recruitment Managing Director, David Molt, said: “I’d like to offer my congratulations to all the finalists, in a year of such intense competition to make the shortlist is a huge commendation in itself”.

“Once again we all owe a debt of gratitude to the many representatives from the nominating firms, not just from the Secretarial and HR departments, but in a lot of cases right up to Board Room level, who have continued to see the awards as a value add to their business.”

The Legal PA of The Year competition will return in 2014 bigger and better. For more information on how you or your firm can be involved, please contact Paul Kelly on or 020 7628 4000.