Rachel Seaton, a corporate lawyer with national firm Shoosmiths, is celebrating after being crowned legal 'Birmingham Young Professional of the Year', at the Birmingham Young Professional Awards ceremony at Birmingham's ICC.
Rachel picked up the award from Countdown presenter, Rachel Riley, at the event which attracted more than 900 guests.
Birmingham Young Professional of the Year (BYPY) is an annual award ceremony which recognises the stars of the city's business and professional services. Every year hundreds of guests gather at the ICC to celebrate up and coming talent across six categories - finance, legal, HR, recruitment and training, technology, property and construction and marketing and communications.
Rachel was initially nominated for the award by Shoosmiths Head of Corporate in Birmingham Martin Letza, and had to attend a panel interview of 9 independent judges to choose the winner. Solicitor, Rachel was up against two associates from Gateley and Squire Patton Boggs.
In tandem with her day job as a corporate lawyer, Rachel is the chair of BPS Birmingham Future's Engage committee, where she established the Dragon's Den one-day workshop in schools, which aims to equip pupils with valuable group and communication skills as well as giving them an insight into entrepreneurship. She is also a committee member of Thrive and Colmore Business District's Community Buildings group. Rachel cites entrepreneur and ex-Birmingham City chief executive, Karren Brady, as her inspiration in business and first got the legal bug while participating in a mock trial at secondary school.
Rachel said of her awards success: 'It is an honour to have won Birmingham Young Professional of the Year in the legal category - especially when the competition was so fierce. I work within a supportive team and culture of Shoosmiths - the open plan office, the friendly environment, highly driven individuals - inspires and enables younger lawyers, like me, to flourish.
'The city is an exciting place to live, work and make contacts and new connections. It is important for this generation to help the next generation in the city too, which is why I am involved in committees outside of work, so I have additional opportunities to make a difference outside of my role at Shoosmiths.'
Judges were impressed by what Rachel had achieved in her short career to date, and noted her as being 'energetic', 'enthusiastic' and 'approachable'. They were also impressed by her work with BPS engage committee and called her a 'raw talent' who would make an 'excellent mentor'.