Now is the time to demonstrate how your firm, chambers or in-house team has positioned itself ahead of the pack this year: nominations are open for the most prestigious showcase of talent in the industry, the Legal Business Awards 2015.
The event will take place on Wednesday 18 February 2015 at The Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London. You have until 17 November to provide submissions in any of the 23 categories open to teams or individuals. This includes two new categories: Boutique of the Year, which recognises the exceptional performance of highly specialised or niche firms; and Legal Innovator of the Year, which acknowledges the firm, chambers, alternative legal provider or in-house team that has broken new ground in the provision and resourcing of legal services.
For the full category line up and FAQs about the awards, as well as a list of this year’s winners, click here. But as every award is hotly contested, with only an average of six nominations shortlisted in each category, here’s a list of tips gleaned from 17 years of Legal Business Awards that will help you make the most of your achievements:
Not just for law firms
The practice area awards (eg Corporate Team of the Year) are open not just to law firms, but chambers and in-house teams as well.
While joint submissions are welcomed, the awards aim to single out individuals and organisations as best-in-breed. Where it is clear one party has made the most significant contribution, it is likely that team alone will be shortlisted.
UK-based lead partners on matters
The practice area awards are open to any organisation practising in the UK but to be eligible, the team must be led by an individual working out of a UK office (with the exception of Competition Team of the Year which will also consider teams working out of Brussels).
Matters must be completed
Do not include outstanding matters, especially disputes that are likely to go to appeal or M&A deals that could face significant regulatory hurdles. The practice area awards recognise teams that have achieved successful outcomes for clients, which cannot be established if a matter is still in the air.
The practice area awards relate to matters completed in the calendar year 2014 only.
You are welcome to submit more than once in each category but each matter should be submitted separately. However, look at the category criteria. Very often with the practice area awards, we are looking to award a team for its outstanding performance in one specific matter. In many cases if you cannot identify a standout deal or case from a cluster, neither will we. Arguably it is better to concentrate efforts on producing one knockout submission than diluting the impact with multiple matters, unless it is a suite of deals for one client that have a progressive effect.
Keep it brief
Format and style are irrelevant but getting to the point is important. We ask for no more than 600 words per submission to encourage nominees to stick to the salient facts. By all means provide links to supplementary information or clippings that support your submission but do not waste space with boilerplate text about your organisation’s core values or a list of academic articles written by the lead individual on the team.
Include client feedback where appropriate
Including positive quotes from clients in your submission about the contribution made by the team, individual or organisation will carry more weight than anything else.
Best of luck – we look forward to receiving your submissions. If you have any questions at all relating to your submissions or the criteria, please contact Mark McAteer. Last year, well over 1,000 guests saw DLA Piper named our Law firm of the Year, while Vodafone scooped the In-House Team of the Year accolade. With 2014 already proving to be a much stronger year for the legal profession generally, we anticipate very strong competition across all categories.