Conveyancing veteran Mark Gawor celebrated with friends in style after winning in the Special Recognition category at The Wharf Property Awards 2016.

The founder of property solicitors Gawor and Co was presented with his award by Elvis towards the end of the glittering, Vegas-themed ceremony at Building Six in the O2.

The recognition comes 41 years into the Wapping-based lawyer’s career and, in an emotional acceptance speech, he thanked everyone who had helped to build Gawor and Co, which is celebrating its 20th birthday this year.

He said: “Thank you to my wonderful partners and staff who have been with me all these year and thank you to all you guys out there who have recommended us, supported us, partied with us and here’s to the next 20 years.”

Mark giving his acceptance speech at the awards ceremony

Mark began as a teaboy at Trowers and Hamlins in 1975, becoming a fully qualified solicitor in 1984 before initially setting himself up in Shoreditch.

After a period of success in the mid 80s, the recession saw the 58-year-old lose 90% of his clients when the market came to a standstill.

Refusing to give up, he moved to Canary Wharf in 1991 with friend Peter Rouse to set up Rouse and Co before moving to Wapping to create Gawor and Co, sponsors of the property awards, in 1996.

When asked on the night what the recognition meant to him, Mark said: “I feel great. Thank you very much. It’s all about hard work and friendship.

Mark's career spans more than four decades

“I have to say a massive thank you to all the people who work with me, all the agents and the people who do a good job. Thank you to everybody.

“I hope to continue what we’ve been doing so successfully over the last 20 years and tonight I just hope to get home safely.”

Find out what the other winners at The Wharf Property Awards 2016 had to say here.