James Ward of our Licensed & Leisure team took his place on the judging panel for The Morning Advertiser’s Publican Awards 2018 this week.

James is part of a panel led by David Hancock, the founder of Inn Places, responsible for awarding the prize for best accommodation at next month’s ceremony.

He and his fellow judges met the four finalists at the Pullman London St Pancras.

James said: “I can’t give too much away but I thoroughly enjoyed the process – the finalists each spent time with the judges to share information and answer questions from industry experts on current and future plans and their company ethos.

“It was a really eye-opening process, and gave all of us a great deal of hope for the future of this market sector. From small family operators with a few sites to large national teams with 700-plus rooms nationwide, each of them presented excellent levels of care for guests and staff with training at the top of their agendas.

“The experience has given me a fascinating insight into the world of managing and growing pubs with rooms, and the passion required to help the sector thrive. I am looking forward to seeing the winners of all categories presented at the Battersea event next month.”