Yorkshire Lawyer Awards
Howard Culley, from law firm Irwin Mitchell, was named Lawyer of the Year at the Yorkshire Lawyer awards last night.
The award was given in recognition of his contribution to the legal profession during his career at Irwin Mitchell, since he joined the company as a graduate over 30 years ago. He stepped down as Managing Partner earlier this year but remains a partner at the firm.
In his early years at Irwin Mitchell, Culley concentrated on building a new commercial practice, whilst taking control of the firm's finance function. His was then appointed the firm's National Managing Partner in 1985, and during his tenure the firm grew from a small Magistrates Court practice in Sheffield to become one of the largest law firms in the country.
Culley has also played a vital role in Sheffield outside of his legal duties, most notably with his sporting connections with a spell as chairman of Sheffield Wednesday Football Club. He also set up the Sheffield City Trust which helped Sheffield win the title of the UK's first City of Sport.
Culley said: "It is an honour to be presented with this award. When I started here over 30 years ago we had a vision for where we wanted to take Irwin Mitchell, and it is remarkable what we have achieved over the years."
New National Managing Partner John Pickering said: "Under Howard's stewardship, this firm has gone from strength to strength in recent years. I have nothing but praise for his truly magnificent contribution and business acumen, on which we will continue to draw as Irwin Mitchell prepares for the opportunities of the new legal services market place."
Irwin Mitchell was also highly commended in the Law Firm of the Year Award for the best law firm with over 30 partners.