This year’s recipient of the City of London Law Society Lifetime Achievement Award was Allen & Overy (A&O) special global counsel Philip Wood.

Wood, described by awards chairman Ed Sparrow as a “polymath”, has spent a long career at the magic circle firm, including 29 years as a partner from 1973 to 2002 and 10 years as head of its banking department.

In 2009, he was appointed honorary Queen’s Counsel. As special global counsel at A&O, he has continued to play a key role as head of its Global Law Intelligence Unit, a thinktank launched by the firm in 2010 that has carried out major research projects examining the impact of Brexit and the global financial crisis.

In addition, he has written 19 books, holds academic posts at three of the UK’s top universities, and in 2014 completed the Paris marathon.

Presenting the award, Sparrow commented: “He is one of the world’s leading experts in comparative and cross-border financial law, a celebrated speaker, a well-known writer (even having a pop song to his credit) and a highly experienced practitioner. His latest book, The Fall of the Priests and the Rise of the Lawyers, is a major philosophic book for our times.”