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 2014.
The event will take place on Thursday 13 February 2014 at The Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London. You have until 18 November to provide submissions in any of the 22 categories open to teams or individuals.This includes two new categories: Legal Technology Team of the Year, which recognises the key contribution made by chief information officers and technology specialists at firms that have been at the cutting-edge of technology and innovation; and Young In-House Lawyer of the Year, which acknowledges the outstanding contribution of junior in-house counsel.
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 top tips taken from 16 years of Legal Business Awards that will help you make the most of your achievements:
- Diversity: 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. The practice area awards relate to matters completed in the calendar year 2013.
- Collaboration: 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
- Location: 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)
- Completeness: 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.
- Multiplicity: 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.
- Brevity: format and style is 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.
- Affirmation: 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. The provision of client references and relevant contact details is a major factor in favour of submissions.
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, close to 1,000 guests saw Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton scoop Law firm of the Year, while LOCOG general counsel Terry Miller was named Lawyer of the Year for her work on London’s 2012 Olympics. Could 2014 be your turn?