9. Editor's Award-Article-201612080511

(L-R): Awards host David Mitchell, Gowling WLG head of international projects Quentin Poole, Legal Week editor Georgina Stanley

Gowling WLG’s head of international projects Quentin Poole picked up the Editor’s Award for Law Firm Leader of the Year at the British Legal Awards – the only award selected by Legal Week’s editorial team, rather than the independent judging panel that decides the rest of the winners.

Poole’s prize reflects the leadership achievements he has made during a long career spanning more than 35 years, including 20 as managing or senior partner.

During more than three decades, Poole has helped transform what was legacy Wragge & Co from a small 50-lawyer outfit into a significant international player on the hunt for further expansion around the world.

He played a key role in Wragges’ 2014 merger with London’s Lawrence Graham, which gave the firm a long-sought London boost. The firm then went on to surprise the market with its combination with Canada’s Gowlings earlier this year.

It means that combined, the firm has around 1,400 legal professionals working out of 18 cities in the UK, Canada, continental Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

In his current role as head of international projects, Poole is helping the firm expand further still, with Poole outlining ambitions to complete two more major combinations by 2020.

And Poole has achieved all of this while maintaining his reputation as someone who places just as much importance on the culture and happiness of his staff as he does on the firm’s business priorities.