We place great emphasis on ensuring that our legal expertise and client service are of the highest standard to provide reassurance to our clients. This has been recognised by independent industry bodies.

Legal directories

Our legal expertise is recognised by the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners directories. These directories undertake research on the legal sector and rank firms in order of their capabilities.

Law Society accreditations

Debenhams Ottaway has been recognised by the Law Society in a number of its accreditation schemes.

What does this mean for you?

  • reassurance and peace of mind – highly qualified people with the right expertise
  • you’re not relying on our word – recognition by industry bodies
  • you’ll receive legal services of the highest standard – regular assessments ensure this level is always maintained across the entire firm
  • you can easily identify legal practitioners with proven competency in given areas of law.


Over the years we have been shortlisted for and won of a variety of awards, both locally and nationally

  • St Albans Chamber of Commerce Community Business Awards 2020 winner, Susan Glenholme, Team Leader
  • St Albans Chamber of Commerce Community Business Awards 2019 winner, CSR
  • Law Society Excellence Awards 2015 Winner, Excellence in Private Client Practice
  • Inspiring Hertfordshire Awards 2015 Finalist, Community Champion
  • Inspiring Hertfordshire Awards 2014 Winner, Medium to Large Business of the Year
  • STEP Private Client Awards 2014/15 Finalist, Legal Team of the Year (Midsize)
  • Inspiring Hertfordshire Awards 2013 Finalist, Excellence in Customer Service.
  • Legal 500

    We have been recognised in the following areas in the latest Legal 500 rankings

    • Personal tax, trusts and probate (Tier 1)
    • Family (Tier 2)
    • Commercial property (Tier 2)
    • Employment (Tier 2)
    • Personal Injury (Tier 3)
    • Commercial litigation (Tier 3)
    • Corporate and commercial (Tier 3)
    • Charities and not-for-profit (Tier 2)

  • Chambers and Partners UK

    We have been recognised in the following areas in the latest Chambers and Partners UK rankings

    • Family (Band 1)
    • Real estate / commercial property (Band 1)

  • Chambers and Partners HNW

    We have been recognised in the following area in the latest Chambers and Partners HNW rankings

    • Private Wealth (Band 1)

  • Lexcel

    Lexcel is the Law Society’s international practice management standard. It is only awarded to law firms who meet the highest management and customer care standards. Lexcel accredited practices undergo rigorous independent assessment every year to ensure they meet required standards of excellence in areas such as client care, case management and risk management.

  • ISO 9001

    ISO 9001 is the international standard for a quality management system (“QMS”).  In order to be certified to the ISO 9001 standard, a company must follow the requirements set forth in the ISO 9001 Standard. The standard is used by organizations to demonstrate their ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer and regulatory requirements and to demonstrate continuous improvement.

  • Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme (WIQS)

    Debenhams Ottaway was one of the first law firms in Hertfordshire to receive the Law Society’s Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme (WIQS). WIQS provides a best practice quality mark for Wills and Estate Administration advice that consumers can trust. The scheme sets client service standards to ensure transparency in process, costs and communications. It outlines required practices for will drafting, probate and estate administration to help address common risks, errors and inconsistencies that arise in delivering advice.

  • Family Law Advanced

    Partner Helen Young is a member of the advanced tier of the specialist Law Society Family Panel. The scheme covers specialist areas of family law work and members have to show, to the satisfaction of the Law Society, that they have and will maintain a high level of knowledge, skills, experience and practice in selected, specialist areas of family law.

  • Conveyancing Quality Scheme

    The Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) provides a recognised quality standard for residential conveyancing practices. Membership achievement establishes a level of credibility for member firms based upon

    • the integrity of the Senior Responsible Officer and other key conveyancing staff
    • the firm’s adherence to good practice management standards
    • adherence to prudent and efficient conveyancing procedures through the scheme protocol.

  • Personal Injury Accreditation

    Partner Howard Kent is a member of the Law Society’s Personal Injury Panel. Members of the panel must have detailed knowledge of the law applicable to personal injury compensation claims and have a proven track record in successfully managing complex personal injury claims.

  • Cyber Essentials Audit

    Debenhams Ottaway has passed the Cyber Essentials audit. The Cyber Essentials Scheme covers the basics of cyber security in an organisations enterprise or corporate IT system. Completing this audit demonstrates our commitment to protecting client data.

  • LawNet

    As a LawNet member firm we are part of a network of over 2,000 lawyers across the UK. Everyone in the network is committed to sharing expertise, knowledge and best practice, which ensures that you benefit from the experience and resources of not just your lawyer but the entire network.

    LawNet does not seek to profit from its members, only to see them grow and be successful in their local market. Please visit www.lawnet.co.uk for more information.

  • Eurojuris

    We are members of Eurojuris, one of the largest law firm networks in Europe and North America with further connections to the Middle East and Asia.  Through this membership we have developed personal connections with lawyers from all over the world allowing us to help our clients operate their businesses and manage their legal affairs internationally. To find out more about Eurojuris, please visit their website.

  • Community Business Awards 2020 Winner, Team Leader

    Managing Partner, Susan Glenholme of Debenhams Ottaway won the Business Leader of Year award at the St Albans Chamber of Commerce Community Business Awards 2020. The awards celebrate the contribution of individuals, companies and the business community within St Albans. The award recognises that Susan has the leadership, interpersonal and organisational skills necessary to achieve her goal of growing the firm into a stronger and healthier business for the next generation of lawyers and business support leaders.

  • Community Business Awards 2019 Winner, CSR

    Debenhams Ottaway won the St Albans Chamber of Commerce Corporate Social Responsibility award at the annual business community awards in October 2019. The awards celebrate the contribution of individuals, companies and the business community within St Albans. The award recognises Debenhams Ottaway’s commitment to CSR,  their chosen charity, Youth Talk and the local community.

  • Law Society Excellence Awards

    Debenhams Ottaway won the prestigious Law Society Excellence Award 2015 for their private client work. The awards, held in London, celebrate leading teams and individuals in the legal profession. The award recognises the work we do advising people locally and throughout the country, on personal wealth management including their wills, trusts, probate and family law.

  • Inspiring Hertfordshire Awards

    Debenhams Ottaway won the ‘Medium to Large Business of the Year’ award at the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce Inspiring Hertfordshire Awards 2014. The judges were impressed by “their growth which is consistent and sustainable, investment in and development of their people and constant improvement to commercial and corporate services”.