In the latest edition of the Legal 500, the annual guide to UK law firms, several Cumbrian lawyers and practices were singled out for praise. The publishers carry out extensive research and thousands of client interviews to gauge the strengths of different firms. Only the best make it into the guide… here are some local highlights.

Bendles Solicitors LLP in Carlisle was included for the first time. It received the accolade for their work in the Family Law sector in the North area category, with partner Rebecca Tonkin leading the Family Law team. Along with Rebecca, Alison Bone was highlighted as highly experienced in children’s matters while Vivienne Clough and consultant Doug Claxton take the lead on matrimonial work. Hannah Smith and Elizabeth Wilson are also solicitors within the Family law team.

At Baines Wilson, commercial property specialists Duncan Harty and Sean Logue were named as “leading individuals in the guide - the only commercial property lawyers in Cumbria to receive the accolade.

Dispute resolution and litigation specialist Elizabeth Black was named as a “next generation partner” – someone who makes a material difference to the practice’s offering – while her colleague Imogen Duck was said to be a “rising star”.

Baines Wilson, based in Carlisle, was given the highest ‘band 1’ ranking in the North for advice on corporate and commercial law, commercial property, and dispute resolution and litigation. It was also recommended for employment law.

Sean Logue, Head of Partnership at Baines Wilson, said: “To see our key practice areas recognised by this prestigious guide is a reflection of the excellent work carried out firm-wide and testament to the excellent results we achieve on behalf of clients.”

Burnetts Solicitors, one of the largest law firms in the north, had five lawyers listed as leading individuals, three rising stars and three next generation partners.

Burnetts, which has offices in Cumbria and is rapidly expanding in Newcastle, also had five departments all achieve top tier rankings in the guide - Agribusiness, Commercial Property, Commercial Litigation, Corporate, and Medical Negligence and Serious Injury.

Managing Partner Nick Gutteridge said: “This is a fantastic achievement for Burnetts and for our solicitors. It’s good to achieve this recognition as we embark on our plans to grow our teams across both counties in the year ahead and we’re excited about the future for Burnetts.”