Howard Kennedy wins two awards at BIALL Annual Conference

"Man and woman talking while holding files and a coffee.

Every year the British and Irish Association of Law Librarians (BIALL) recognises and rewards the high levels of service and professional commitment achieved by those individuals and services working within the legal information and law library sector. 

This year the Knowledge and Information team at Howard Kennedy received two awards:

  • LexisNexis Award 2020
  • Wildy BIALL Law Librarian of the Year 2021

LexisNexis Award 2020

The Knowledge and Information Team were awarded the LexisLibrary Award 2020 which recognises outstanding service given by legal information services, law libraries and those teams managing legal collections and resources. 

Katy Snell (née Davies), Knowledge and Information Manager, and Zoltan Csirko, Knowledge and Information Officer, were recommended for the award due to their achievements during 2020. This included initiating a document automation project and the development of current awareness and proofreading/automation tools. They delivered these projects whilst at the same time significantly increasing the number of research enquiries undertaken. 

A common theme of the testimonials was the resourcefulness and high level of customer service given by the team.

Katy Snell accepted the award on behalf of the team and commented “The Knowledge and Information team at Howard Kennedy is delighted to receive this award. It was lovely to hear testimonials from our fee earners and it is testament to the collaborative culture within the firm that we have been able to effectively introduce new products and boost the enquiry service”.

The 2020 awards were delayed due to last year's conference being cancelled so this year they announced winners for the last two years at the 2021 Awards. 

Wildy BIALL Law Librarian of the Year 2021

In addition, Katy Snell was awarded The Wildy BIALL Law Librarian of the Year, an award presented each year to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the work of BIALL or the legal information world. She was nominated for her significant contribution to the work and wellbeing of BIALL members during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Katy has been an active member of BIALL for several years – she is currently both Chair of the Publications Committee and one of the organisers of the Knowledge Management Special Interest Group (KM SIG).

As part of her KM SIG role, Katy sent an email announcing that the group would be running a lunchtime catch-up call on "working from home". She was quick to act, holding the meeting the same week that the stay at home order was announced in March 2020.

This initial meeting covered topics such as technology, keeping in touch with colleagues and the practicalities of working from home. There was significant interest in joining and gave librarians across the legal sector an opportunity to check in with colleagues in other firms and talk about the challenges they were facing.

These calls have continued throughout the year, with many BIALL members finding these calls invaluable. They've boosted the mental wellbeing of attendees and a lasting community has been built thanks to Katy's sustained efforts to reassure others in uncertain times.

These calls are only a part of what Katy has been doing. As part of the BIALL Publications Committee she was also involved in producing an additional Special Edition of the BIALL Newsletter on the theme of working from home. To quote one nominator, our winner has been “an inspiration” over the last 12 months.

Reflecting on the two award wins Katherine Miller, who heads up the Knowledge and Information team, commented: "The projects initiated and supported by the team are an example of the firm's commitment to smarter working and it's fantastic to see the team's efforts (both in these areas and in terms of the carrying out of day-to-day service) acknowledged by fee earners from within the firm as well the external recognition from leading market knowledge supplier LexisNexis"


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