Paula Dillon, Partner in the Real Estate team at Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD), has won Lawyer of the Year at the Yorkshire Legal Awards. A hugely experienced lawyer, Paula also serves on WBD's UK and Global boards. She is heavily involved in the region and as the first female President of Leeds Chamber of Commerce has championed equality and diversity, in particular women in STEM. 

Her leadership of the firm's Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) programme culminated in WBD recently being awarded the Law Society Gold standard for D&I and she has made a substantial impact on the local legal market with her work to open up the profession to non-graduates through the Legal Apprenticeship Scheme.  

Paul Singh, who leads the litigation team at Sheffield City Council and is president of Sheffield & District Law Society, led the panel of judges. He also revealed Dillon as Yorkshire Lawyer of the Year, saying:

“For the winner, we looked beyond someone who had won big cases or simply improved their firm’s turnover. We were looking for someone who had contributed to the legal community and the Yorkshire community as a whole.”

Among Dillon’s achievements, Singh noted her position as a senior partner who consistently appears in the Legal 500 directory, as well as her championing of gender equality through her work at the Leeds Chamber of Commerce, and her fundraising for annual singing competition the Crypt Factor.

In addition, Paula co-founded The Yorkshire Property Awards and is a member of Leeds Beckett University Business Engagement Advisory Board.

The Yorkshire Legal Awards, which bring together and celebrate the outstanding legal talent across the region, were attended by over 900 legal professionals at New Dock Hall in Leeds.

WBD also won the Intellectual Property Award for the achievements of its Leeds-based Intellectual Property team led by Partner, Patrick Cantrill.