West Dorset law firm Kitson & Trotman has won the ‘Contribution to the Community’ category in the first-ever Dorset Law Awards.

Partners Richard King, Tracy Scammell and Jason Hodnett were presented with the trophy at a black-tie awards ceremony at the Bournemouth International Centre.

“We are thrilled to have won this award,” said Richard King. “Celebrating and supporting the community in which we live and work is very important to us at Kitson & Trotman.”

Jason Hodnett said: “It means a great deal for the firm to be recognised for something which represents the values we really believe in.” The firm, which has offices in Bridport, Beaminster, Lyme Regis and Weymouth, provides legal advice and services to business and private clients throughout the South West, nationally and internationally. The firm was founded in 1756 and specialises in property, wills and probate, business, family, dispute resolution and agriculture.

Over the years, its sponsorship includes support for Martin Clunes’ Buckham Fair, The Melplash Show, Beaminster Festival, Bridport Literary Festival and Lyme Regis Lifeboat Week.

In 2016, Kitson & Trotman launched its own education bursary for a local law student, which was won by Nicole Hannon, from Chickerell, who is now studying at King’s College, London. The annual bursary makes a vital contribution towards books, tuition fees and living expenses. Students also have the opportunity to gain valuable work experience and the firm keeps in touch with their progress. Over the past year, the firm has been working closely with Dorset Community Foundation -the county’s primary organisation for raising and distributing funding and grant-making to good causes - to set up a new charitable fund to support West Dorset-based organisations.

Local charities as well as community groups are able to apply for grants of up to £5,000. Grants from the Kitson & Trotman Fund are dispersed through the foundation’s Neighbourhood funding programme which addresses local issues, social problems and disadvantage due to age, illness, disability, isolation, discrimination or financial hardship.

Tracy said: “Setting up a charitable fund like this is a wonderful way to give back to local charitable causes. We are very pleased to be working with the foundation as it has more than 17 years’ experience in supporting local residents facing disadvantage,” said Tracy Scammell.

The finalists in the Dorset Legal Awards were judged by an independent panel of legal and business professionals.

Visit dorsetlegalawards.co.uk