Blake Morgan lawyer named solicitor of the year

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Southampton solicitor Edward McMullen has been named Solicitor of the Year after building a great reputation for himself in Blake Morgan’s construction team.

Ed took the title in the Hampshire Legal Awards 2015, run by Hampshire Law Society, and picked up his award at a black tie dinner held at Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth.

In a successful night for Blake Morgan, he was joined at the ceremony by his colleague Carina McFadden, who was shortlisted in the Junior Solicitor of the Year category.

Ed joined the construction team at Blake Morgan in April 2013 and quickly established himself as a leader in this specialist sector.

He advises on legal issues surrounding construction projects and developments, with clients including leading developers and not-for-profit organisations.

Ed was nominated by Richard Wade, a partner in the firm and head of the construction team, who told judges: “Ed rapidly surpassed all expectations both with his technical skills and his terrific work ethic, meaning that he had achieved everything that we expected over a year or two within just a few months!

“Ed’s ability to get quickly to grips with complex problems in the procurement and negotiation of construction projects enables the team to advise an increasingly broad mixture of clients.

“Based in Southampton and working on projects that are nationwide, he is bringing business from other regions into Hampshire directly as a result of his specialist skills.”

Ed was also praised for his charity fundraising efforts, which included organising a series of cycling challenges which raised more than £2,000 for CRASH, the construction industry’s favoured charity for the homeless. He was one of a 17-strong Blake Morgan team who cycled 230 miles from Holyhead to Cardiff to raise money for the Velindre Cancer Centre in Wales, raising more than £10,000.

Carina McFadden, a solicitor in the firm’s commercial litigation team, was nominated as Junior Solicitor of the Year and successfully made the shortlist for the award.

Carina joined Blake Morgan in its accounts team in 2009 before becoming a paralegal and training as a solicitor, qualifying in September 2014.

She helped grow the professional negligence sector at the firm as well as supporting its mentoring scheme, which works with GCSE pupils at Brookfield School in Fareham, and Blake Morgan’s work experience schemes.

She was nominated by Jill Bainbridge, a partner in the firm’s dispute resolution team, who said: “Carina is extremely hard-working and dedicated and consistently produces work of a high level. Her commitment to the profession and our firm can be seen by her transition from the accounts team to qualified solicitor.”