Former Allen & Overy senior partner David Morley and ITV general counsel Andrew Garard have joined the judging panel for the British Legal Awards 2017, for which entries are now open.

The pair join a judging line-up that includes a host of high profile former law firm leaders and current general counsel, including EE general counsel James Blendis, BAE Systems group general counsel Philip Bramwell and Heathrow Airport chief of staff and GC Carol Hui.

The awards – hosted by Legal Week in association with the City of London Law Society – serve as a showcase for the achievements of UK legal sector, with winners chosen by the independent judging panel.

This year, the awards will be held on 30 November at the culmination of Legal Week’s ambitious new two-day event, LegalWeek Connect, which will see law firm leaders, general counsel, technology and innovation heads meet to explore a wide range of issues driving innovation, disruption and change in the profession.

The 29 awards are open to those at law firms, in-house legal departments and other providers of legal services.

Key individual awards include The City of London Law Society Lifetime Achievement Award, Law Firm of the Year, General Counsel of the Year, the Editor’s Award for Law Firm Leader of the Year, and the Legal Services Innovation Award, which will showcase the most cutting-edge developments within the legal sector.

Meanwhile, the team awards include M&A (large deal), M&A (medium-sized deal), private equity, banking and finance, restructuring, private client, property, energy and infrastructure, litigation and dispute resolution, regulatory and investigations, competition, commercial and TMT.

Among the big winners at last year’s event, which was hosted by writer and Peep Show star David Mitchell, were Pinsent Masons, Linklaters and Vodafone. Pinsents saw off competition from firms including Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Latham & Watkins to scoop the coveted Law Firm of the Year award. Linklaters took the award for M&A Team of the Year in the large deal category and Vodafone scooped Legal Department of the Year (TMT).

The awards ceremony will take place at Finsbury Square in the heart of the City.