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Manchester barrister Melanie Gavin shortlisted for regional Women in Business award

A barrister from Ward Hadaway's Manchester office is celebrating after being shortlisted in the North West Women in Business Awards 2018.

Paul Johnson with Melanie Gavin

Melanie Gavin from Bury, recently won the Client Management Innovation category of the Legal Week Innovation Awards with Ward Hadaway’s healthcare team and has now reached the final in this year’s regional awards.

The annual Barclays Women in Business Awards are designed to promote and celebrate the achievement of women in business across the North West.

Melanie specialises in offering legal consultancy services to large NHS organisations and private companies. This has led to her developing pioneering solutions to reduce legal spend and focus on delivering excellent innovative client service across both the healthcare and legal sectors.

She will represent Ward Hadaway in the Woman of the Year (Professional) category, after beating off competition from across the region to make the shortlist. The category recognises women who have shown exceptional abilities in mentoring other women and those who have helped their business achieve significant results in the past year.

Melanie was also shortlisted in the HSJ Partnership Awards earlier this year for her work in developing a knowledge system in partnership with a large NHS organization following a legal efficiency review which Ward Hadaway undertook for one Trust. This included interviews with clinical and management staff.

The system collates and centralises legal advice and knowledge on subjects ranging from procurement and HR to mental health law. It aims to help managers across the Trust to access the information they need at the touch of a button.

The firm, which is headed up in Manchester by executive partner Paul Johnson, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, with six years in Manchester and a decade in Leeds.

Paul said: “Once again Melanie has proved how she is making a real difference at Ward Hadaway by being a finalist in this year’s Barclays North West Women in Business Awards. It is wonderful for the firm when individual team members are recognised in this way.

“Her recent success is an acknowledgement that she is doing the job she set out to do by raising the profile of our healthcare team here in the North West. Her recent achievement is a big boost not just for Melanie, but for everyone at Ward Hadaway to know we are being recognised for our hard work and dedication.”

Melanie added: “I am proud to be recognised in these awards, it’s very humbling in fact.”

As one of seven children from a working class background, Melanie was the first in her family to go to university which was an achievement in itself. She didn’t stop though, and determined to succeed, continued to become the only female barrister at Ward Hadaway.

With more than 19 years’ experience in an advisory role to entrepreneurial businesses within the private sector, Melanie started her journey by qualifying as a barrister. She has since spent time working for the Justice and Home Affairs Unit at the European Commission in Brussels, has worked off-shore and also as in-house counsel for a large Plc. But it’s what she does now that she finds the most appealing.

Melanie has previously been involved in setting up and leading a think-tank networking forum for women in business which has involved meeting with senior professional women in New York with a view to helping generate business in the North West.

She is now looking to develop something similar in the North West with senior professional women and will be getting involved in the Women in Law Summit taking place in September.

Jeffrey Keeble, head of the 60-strong healthcare team at Ward Hadaway, added: “I am delighted that Melanie has been shortlisted for this prestigious award. She is a real asset to the healthcare team and we wish her all the best for the final.”

Melanie will find out the results at the North West Women in Business Awards 2018 ceremony on Thursday, July 5th at Tatton Park.

Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.

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