Leeds woman Bilkis Mahmood, Senior Partner at Blackstone Law, has won the ‘Services to Law’ category in the British Muslim Awards.
Bilkis launched her own law firm just five years ago, and beat off competition from lawyers working for top London and Birmingham firms to win the prestigious national award.
Bilkis received her award at a ceremony attended by more than 400 representatives from business, public services and the community.
The achievement is all the greater because Bilkis, who qualified in 2003, only started her own practice five years ago.
In doing so, she has applied her wide experience of the public sector – having worked for Leeds City Council and set up a solicitor training programme – and private business where she specialised in training and development.
Blackstone Law, which currently has nine fee earners, is developing its Corporate portfolio alongside a specialism in Defamation.
The practice also offers: Personal Injury; Commercial Leasing; Family law; and Private Crime work. In the future, Bilkis wants to develop a not-for-profit arm to provide training contracts for trainee solicitors, with the aim of increasing opportunities within the profession.
The British Muslim Awards seek to demonstrate the contribution to British society by Muslims across a wide range of achievements.
They attract thousands of nominations every year and Bilkis Mahmood was the only Yorkshire representative in a shortlist of seven in the ‘Services to Law’ category; five were from London and one from Birmingham.
Bilkis said: “It was a great privilege to win such a prestigious award. My own practice caters for a wide range of nationalities and cultures and reflects the diversity of Leeds’ population.
“In addition, our developing Corporate services arm recognises the need for legal support for growing businesses as the economy improves.”