5 years of The British Wills and Probate Awards

The British Wills and Probate Awards celebrates its FIFTH year in 2022 at the aptly named Grand Hotel in Birmingham. Hosted as a hybrid event again on 20th October, with the in person ceremony simultaneously live-streamed via The British Wills and Probate Awards website, organisers Today’s Media have announced this year is a sell-out.

Reflecting on recognising and celebrating the very best of the Wills and Probate Industry over the past 5 years, Today’s Wills and Probate takes a walk down memory lane to look at the ups and downs of this fantastic event.

The awards has seen its fair share of mis-haps. From losing the winners envelopes, power cuts, no internet 30 minutes before we were due to live stream and envelopes that didn’t match slides we’ve seen first hand how quickly things can go wrong. But, as the saying goes, the show must go on and for the mostpart we’ve managed to deliver an exceptional event without the audience even knowing!

Architect of The British Wills and Probate Awards and non-executive director of Today’s Media Karen Babington shared her thoughts on the launch of what has affectionately become known simply as “BWAP” to many:

“When we launched Today’s Wills and Probate we received overwhelming support from the sector. Within a year we recognised that this neglected and often lonely area of law was under represented, and certainly not championed in the way it should be. We had formulated a plan around what an awards would look like but it took another 2 years before we worked up the courage to launch it.

Our vision was to add a dedicated independent awards to the legal event calendar for wills and probate professionals, both regulated and unregulated, For specialist individuals, and companies to be recognised for what they do day to day. Perhaps also to drive innovation, product development and technology.

We needed to have a grand gala dinner to celebrate these achievements. But would anyone enter, attend, be willing to judge the awards? With gratitude I would like to say we received overwhelming support right from the start and now through to our 5th year. Even during the pandemic when we had no choice but to revert to a virtual ceremony it was a social media smash, you didn’t let us or the industry down.

So thank you from all of us and I have no doubt that Jennie Bond, who is synonymous with the awards will knock our socks off when we meet again on 20th October.”

Headline Sponsors Property Solutions Group said:

“The British Wills & Probate Awards is literally the Oscars of the probate world and we are delighted to be sponsoring this magnificent event for a second year. Celebrating at a glitzy bash at the Grand Hotel in Birmingham – what’s not to love? We can’t wait to catch up with everybody again.”

Networking Sponsors Exizent added:

“This is the big event for the whole wills and probate sector. We’re are delighted to have been involved over the past couple of years and are looking forward to recognising the hard work of committed practitioners and celebrating in style at what’s bound to be another fantastic evening.”

Emma Baddaley, Strategic Relationship Director of Estatesearch, commented: 

“The British Wills and Probate Awards is one of the most important and key events in the private client sector. Participating in the awards has helped us gain superb recognition in the sector, and as a technology business we believe the Technology and Innovation awards in particular, promote important awareness of the work of all the winners and finalists to the industry. Together, this helps drive improvements in the delivery of legal services for the benefit of all of our clients. The awards are a fantastic opportunity to pause, recognise and reflect on the successes, evolution, and achievements of all those involved in the sector.  

We will continue to work with TWP to help make the event bigger and better every year. We are proud to have been so decorated at the awards over the past few years and extremely honoured to be part of the rich history and success of such a prestigious event.”

Managing Director of Today’s Media David Opie has been involved in BWAP since 2019 and following his acquisition of the business in 2021 is responsible for its continued success.

“We’ve come a long way since 2018. BWAP is now firmly positioned as THE awards ceremony in the wills and probate sector. We’ve invested a huge amount of time in ensuring our categories are reflective of the changing industry; selecting our fabulous judging panel and equipping them to be objective with a focus on excellence to ensure the awards remain truly independent; and getting the right balance between location, venue, technology, format and entertainment to ensure the night itself is special for all involved.

It’s a real team effort and I can only say a huge thank you to Allie, Grace, Jamie, Joe and Karen for all their work in bringing the 2022 awards together. Thank you to everybody for your continued support and here’s to many more years to come!”


BWAP Timeline

7th June 2018 The British Wills and Probate Awards is launched

18th October 2018 – The inaugural British Wills and Probate Awards is hosted at The Palms Conservatory, Ardencote. Our host is the ever-present Jennie Bond, with Arken.Legal our first Headline Sponsors

17th October 2019 – Arken.Legal return as Headline Sponsor as The British Wills and Probate Awards 2019 takes its bow at The Belfry, Birmingham.

28th February 2020With the awards set to take place at Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel on Thursday 22nd October 2020, an extra four categories are added to the growing list of awards, taking the total to 17

23rd March 2020 – The UK is plunged in lockdown with Prime Minster Boris Johnson’s instructions:

“From this evening I must give the British people a very simple instruction – you must stay at home. Because the critical thing we must do is stop the disease spreading between households.”

7th May 2020The British Wills and Probate Awards announces plans to run the 2020 event with a statement saying

“Plans for the Gala Dinner, scheduled for 22nd October 2020, have been put on hold until there is greater clarity from Government on the nature of social distancing requirements post-lockdown. However, The British Wills & Probate Awards are committed to completing the judging and awards process.”

Alongside Headline Sponsorship. the awards also introduces a brand new “Champagne Reception” sponsor with Executor Solutions (now Property Solutions Group) taking on the mantle.

24th July 2020The shortlist is announced for the 2020 awards, with confirmation that the ceremony will be hosted as a virtual event. 

22nd October 2020 – For the first time, The British Wills and Probate Awards is hosted as a virtual ceremony with nearly 800 people tuning in to celebrate the cream of the wills and probate crop!

21st May 2021 – Having announced the awards would return in 2021 with a brand new Headline Sponsor in Executor Solutions (now Property Solutions Group) and a Brand New Champagne Reception sponsor in Exizent, there was still uncertainty about whether it would run online or in person.

Organisers Today’s Media announced the addition of an industry voted category with The Today’s Wills and Probate Industry Champion formally launched with sponsors Arken.Legal.

6th August 2021 – Given extensive coronavirus enforced lockdowns and uncertainty, the decision to host The British Wills and Probate Awards 2021 was announced late in the day; with The Grand in Birmingham selected as our venue for the triumphant return alongside a live stream to accommodate everyone who wanted to join in person, or watch online.

Ever -present host Jennie Bond returned to the stage for the first time in 2 years to host the glitzy dinner.

21st October 2021The fourth, and first-ever hybrid, British Wills and Probate Awards is hosted live at The Grand Hotel Birmingham. between the live stream and those who attended in person, the attendance was in excess of 700 people.

18th February 2022 – With a new logo, and a raft a new categories aimed at reflecting the ongoing changes in the industry, the fifth edition of The British Wills and Probate Awards is announced with a re-branded Headline Sponsor in Executor Solutions, and Exizent returning as a re-styled Networking Sponsor.

The awards, which will again be hybrid, will return to The Grand Hotel after such positive feedback from 2021.

13th September 2022 – The death of Queen Elizabeth II comes at the end of the week in which the shortlist for the 2022 awards is released, delaying the Today’s Wills and Probate Newsletter and the final list in full.

20th October 2022The sell-out British Wills and Probate Awards takes place at The Grand Hotel in Birmingham with the live stream also available via The British Wills and Probate Awards website.

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